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  • Citing Sources

Citing Sources: What are citations and why should I use them?

What is a citation.

Citations are a way of giving credit when certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again-- it provides an important roadmap to your research process. Whenever you use sources such as books, journals or websites in your research, you must give credit to the original author by citing the source. 

Why do researchers cite?

Scholarship is a conversation  and scholars use citations not only to  give credit  to original creators and thinkers, but also to  add strength and authority  to their own work.  By citing their sources, scholars are  placing their work in a specific context  to show where they “fit” within the larger conversation.  Citations are also a great way to  leave a trail  intended to help others who may want to explore the conversation or use the sources in their own work.

In short, citations

(1) give credit

(2) add strength and authority to your work

(3) place your work in a specific context

(4) leave a trail for other scholars

"Good citations should reveal your sources, not conceal them. They should honeslty reflect the research you conducted." (Lipson 4)

Lipson, Charles. "Why Cite?"  Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles--MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More . Chicago: U of Chicago, 2006. Print.

What does a citation look like?

Different subject disciplines call for citation information to be written in very specific order, capitalization, and punctuation. There are therefore many different style formats. Three popular citation formats are MLA Style (for humanities articles) and APA or Chicago (for social sciences articles).

MLA style (print journal article):  

Whisenant, Warren A. "How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX." Sex Roles Vol. 49.3 (2003): 179-182.

APA style (print journal article):

Whisenant, W. A. (2003) How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX. Sex Roles , 49 (3), 179-182.

Chicago style (print journal article):

Whisenant, Warren A. "How Women Have Fared as Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Since the Passage of Title IX." Sex Roles 49, no. 3 (2003): 179-182.

No matter which style you use, all citations require the same basic information:

  • Author or Creator
  • Container (e.g., Journal or magazine, website, edited book)
  • Date of creation or publication
  • Publisher 

You are most likely to have easy access to all of your citation information when you find it in the first place. Take note of this information up front, and it will be much easier to cite it effectively later.

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APA Citation Style

Citation examples.

  • Paper Format
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  • Journal Article
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  • Dictionary Entry
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  • YouTube Video
  • Facebook Post
  • Webpage on a Website
  • Supplemental Reference Examples
  • Archival Documents and Collections

Parenthetical citations:  (Grady et al., 2019; Jerrentrup et al., 2018)

Narrative citations:  Grady et al. (2019) and Jerrentrup et al. (2018)

  • If a journal article has a DOI, include the DOI in the reference.
  • If the journal article does not have a DOI and is from an academic research database, end the reference after the page range (for an explanation of why, see the  database information  page). The reference in this case is the same as for a print journal article.
  • Do not include database information in the reference unless the journal article comes from a database that publishes original, proprietary content, such as UpToDate (see an example on the  database information  page).
  • If the journal article does not have a DOI but does have a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online journal that is not part of a database), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.
  • If the journal article has an article number instead of a page range, include the article number instead of the page range (as shown in the Jerrentrup et al. example).

Parenthetical citations:  (Rabinowitz, 2019; Sapolsky, 2017)

Narrative citations:  Rabinowitz (2019) and Sapolsky (2017)

  • If the book includes a DOI, include the DOI in the reference after the publisher name.
  • Do not include the publisher location.
  • If the book does not have a DOI and comes from an academic research database, end the book reference after the publisher name. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print book.

Parenthetical citations:  (Schaefer & Shapiro, 2019; Schulman, 2019)

Narrative citations:  Schaefer and Shapiro (2019) and Schulman (2019)

  • If a magazine article has a DOI, include the DOI in the reference.
  • If the magazine article does not have a DOI and is from an academic research database, end the reference after the page range. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print magazine article.
  • If the magazine article does not have a DOI but does have a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online magazine that is not part of a database), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.
  • If the magazine article does not have volume, issue, and/or page numbers (e.g., because it is from an online magazine), omit the missing elements from the reference (as in the Schulman example).

Parenthetical citation:  (Carey, 2019)

Narrative citation:  Carey (2019)

  • If the newspaper article is from an academic research database, end the reference after the page range. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print newspaper article.
  • If the newspaper article has a URL that will resolve for readers (e.g., it is from an online newspaper), include the URL of the article at the end of the reference.
  • If the newspaper article does not have volume, issue, and/or page numbers (e.g., because it is from an online newspaper), omit the missing elements from the reference, as shown in the example.
  • If the article is from a news website (e.g., CNN, HuffPost)—one that does not have an associated daily or weekly newspaper—use the format for a  webpage on a website  instead.

Parenthetical citation:  (Aron et al., 2019)

Narrative citation:  Aron et al. (2019)

  • If the edited book chapter includes a DOI, include the chapter DOI in the reference after the publisher name.
  • If the edited book chapter does not have a DOI and comes from an academic research database, end the edited book chapter reference after the publisher name. Do not include  database information  in the reference. The reference in this case is the same as for a print edited book chapter.
  • Do not create references for chapters of authored books. Instead, write a reference for the whole book and cite the chapter in the text if desired (e.g., Kumar, 2017, Chapter 2).

Parenthetical citation:  (Merriam-Webster, n.d.)

Narrative citation:  Merriam-Webster (n.d.)

  • Because entries in  Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary  are updated over time and are not archived, include a  retrieval date  in the reference.
  • Merriam-Webster is both the author and the publisher, so the name appears in the author element only to avoid repetition.
  • To quote a dictionary definition, view the pages on quotations and  how to quote works without page numbers  for guidance. Additionally, here is an example:  Culture  refers to the “customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group” (Merriam-Webster, n.d., Definition 1a).

Parenthetical citation:  (National Cancer Institute, 2019)

Narrative citation:  National Cancer Institute (2019)

The specific agency responsible for the report appears as the author. The names of parent agencies not present in the  group author name  appear in the source element as the publisher. This creates concise in-text citations and complete reference list entries.

Parenthetical citation:  (Harvard University, 2019)

Narrative citation:  Harvard University (2019)

  • Use the name of the account that uploaded the video as the author.
  • If the account did not actually create the work, explain this in the text if it is important for readers to know. However, if that would mean citing a source that appears unauthoritative, you might also look for the author’s YouTube channel, official website, or other social media to see whether the same video is available elsewhere.

Parenthetical citations:  (APA Databases, 2019; Gates, 2019)

Narrative citations:  APA Databases (2019) and Gates (2019)

  • Present the name of the individual or group author the same as you would for any other reference. Then provide the Twitter handle (beginning with the @ sign) in square brackets, followed by a period.
  • Provide the first 20 words of the tweet as the title. Count a URL, a hashtag, or an emoji as one word each, and include them in the reference if they fall within the first 20 words.
  • If the tweet includes an image, a video, a poll, or a thumbnail image with a link, indicate that in brackets after the title: [Image attached], [Video attached], [Thumbnail with link attached].
  • The same format used for Twitter is also used for Instagram.  

Parenthetical citation:  (News From Science, 2019)

Narrative citation:  News From Science (2019)

  • Provide the first 20 words of the Facebook post as the title. Count a URL or other link, a hashtag, or an emoji as one word each, and include them in the reference if they fall within the first 20 words. 
  • If a status update includes images, videos, thumbnail links to outside sources, or content from another Facebook post (such as when sharing a link), indicate that in square brackets.

Parenthetical citations:  (Fagan, 2019; National Institute of Mental Health, 2018; Woodyatt, 2019; World Health Organization, 2018)

Narrative citations:  Fagan (2019), National Institute of Mental Health (2018), Woodyatt (2019), and World Health Organization (2018)

  • Provide as specific a  date  as is available on the webpage. This might be a year only; a year and month; or a year, month, and day.
  • Italicize the title of a webpage.
  • When the author of the webpage and the publisher of the website are the same, omit the publisher name to avoid repetition (as in the World Health Organization example).
  • When contents of a page are meant to be updated over time but are not archived, include a  retrieval date  in the reference (as in the Fagan example).
  • Use the webpage on a website format for articles from news websites such as CNN and HuffPost (these sites do not have associated daily or weekly newspapers). Use the  newspaper article category  for articles from newspaper websites such as  The New York Times  or  The Washington Post .
  • Create a reference to an open educational resources (OER) page only when the materials are available for download directly (i.e., the materials are on the page and/or can be downloaded as PDFs or other files). If you are directed to another website, create a reference to the specific webpage on that website where the materials can be retrieved. Use this format for material in any OER repository, such as OER Commons, OASIS, or MERLOT.
  • Do not create a reference or in-text citation for a whole website. To mention a website in general, and not any particular information on that site, provide the name of the website in the text and include the URL in parentheses. For example, you might mention that you used a website to create a survey.

The following supplemental example references are mention in the  Publication Manual:

  • retracted journal or magazine article
  • edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
  • edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD)
  • religious work
  • annotated religious work

Archival document and collections are not presented in the  APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition . This content is available only on the APA Style website .  This guidance has been expanded from the 6th edition.

Archival sources include letters, unpublished manuscripts, limited-circulation brochures and pamphlets, in-house institutional and corporate documents, clippings, and other documents, as well as such nontextual materials as photographs and apparatus, that are in the personal possession of an author, form part of an institutional collection, or are stored in an archive such as the Archives of the History of American Psychology at the University of Akron or the APA Archives. For any documents like these that are available on the open web or via a database (subscription or nonsubscription), follow the reference templates shown in Chapter 10 of the Publication Manual.

The general format for the reference for an archival work includes the author, date, title, and source. The reference examples shown on this page may be modified for collections requiring more or less specific information to locate materials, for different types of collections, or for additional descriptive information (e.g., a translation of a letter). Authors may choose to list correspondence from their own personal collections, but correspondence from other private collections should be listed only with the permission of the collector.

Keep in mind the following principles when creating references to archival documents and collections:

  • As with any reference, the purpose is to direct readers to the source, despite the fact that only a single copy of the document may be available and readers may have some difficulty actually seeing a copy.
  • Include as much information as is needed to help locate the item with reasonable ease within the repository. For items from collections with detailed finding aids, the name of the collection may be sufficient; for items from collections without finding aids, more information (e.g., call number, box number, file name or number) may be necessary to help locate the item.
  • If several letters are cited from the same collection, list the collection as a reference and provide specific identifying information (author, recipient, and date) for each letter in the in-text citations (see Example 3).
  • Use square brackets to indicate information that does not appear on the document.
  • Use “ca.” (circa) to indicate an estimated date (see Example 5).
  • Use italics for titles of archival documents and collections; if the work does not have a title, provide a description in square brackets without italics.
  • Separate elements of the source (e.g., the name of a repository, library, university or archive, and the location of the university or archive) with commas. End the source with a period.
  • If a publication of limited circulation is available in libraries, the reference may be formatted as usual for published material, without the archival source.
  • Note that private letters (vs. those in an archive or repository) are considered personal communications and cited in the text only.

1. Letter from a repository

Frank, L. K. (1935, February 4). [Letter to Robert M. Ogden]. Rockefeller Archive Center (GEB Series 1.3, Box 371, Folder 3877), Tarrytown, NY, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Frank, 1935)
  • Narrative citation: Frank (1935)
  • Because the letter does not have a title, provide a description in square brackets.

2. Letter from a private collection

Zacharius, G. P. (1953, August 15). [Letter to William Rickel (W. Rickel, Trans.)]. Copy in possession of Hendrika Vande Kemp.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Zacharius, 1953)
  • Narrative citation: Zacharius (1953)
  • In this example, Hendrika Vande Kemp is either the author of the paper or the author of the paper has received permission from Hendrika Vande Kemp to cite a letter in Vande Kemp’s private collection in this way. Otherwise, cite a private letter as a  personal communication .

3. Collection of letters from an archive

Allport, G. W. (1930–1967). Correspondence. Gordon W. Allport Papers (HUG 4118.10), Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Allport, 1930–1967)
  • Narrative citation: Allport (1930–1967)

To cite specific letters in the text, provide the author and range of years as shown in the reference list entry, plus details about who wrote the specific letter to whom and when the specific letter was written.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Allport, 1930–1967, G. Boring to Allport, December 26, 1937)
  • Narrative citation: Allport (1930–1967, Allport to G. Boring, March 1, 1939)
  • Use the parenthetical citation format to cite a letter that E. G. Boring wrote to Allport because Allport is the author in the reference. Use either the parenthetical or narrative citation format to cite letters that Allport wrote.

4. Unpublished papers, lectures from an archive or personal collection

Berliner, A. (1959). Notes for a lecture on reminiscences of Wundt and Leipzig. Anna Berliner Memoirs (Box M50), Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Berliner, 1959)
  • Narrative citation: Berliner (1959)

5. Archival/historical source for which the author and/or date is known or is reasonably certain but not stated on the document

Allport, A. (presumed). (ca. 1937). Marion Taylor today—by the biographer [Unpublished manuscript]. Marion Taylor Papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, MA, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Allport, ca. 1937)
  • Narrative citation: Allport (ca. 1937)
  • Because the author is reasonably certain but not stated on the document, place the word “presumed” in parentheses after the name, followed by a period.
  • Because the date is reasonably certain but not stated on the document, the abbreviation “ca.” (which stands for “circa”) appears before the year in parentheses.

6. Archival source with group author

Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs. (1949, November 5–6). Meeting of Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs. David Shakow Papers (M1360), Archives of the History of American Psychology, University of Akron, Akron, OH, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs, 1949)
  • Narrative citation: Subcommittee on Mental Hygiene Personnel in School Programs (1949)

7. Interview recorded and available in an archive

Smith, M. B. (1989, August 12). Interview by C. A. Kiesler [Tape recording]. President’s Oral History Project, American Psychological Association, APA Archives, Washington, DC, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Smith, 1989)
  • Narrative citation: Smith (1989)
  • For interviews and oral histories recorded in an archive, list the interviewee as the author. Include the interviewer’s name in the description.

8. Transcription of a recorded interview, no recording available

Sparkman, C. F. (1973). An oral history with Dr. Colley F. Sparkman/Interviewer: Orley B. Caudill. Mississippi Oral History Program (Vol. 289), University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Sparkman, 1973)
  • Narrative citation: Sparkman (1973)

9. Newspaper article clipping, historical, in personal collection

Psychoanalysis institute to open. (1948, September 18). [Clipping from an unidentified Dayton, OH, United States, newspaper]. Copy in possession of author.

  • Parenthetical citation: (“Psychoanalysis Institute to Open,” 1948)
  • Narrative citation: “Psychoanalysis Institute to Open” (1948)
  • Use this format only if you are the person who is in possession of the newspaper clipping.

10. Historical publication of limited circulation

Sci-Art Publishers. (1935). Sci-Art publications [Brochure]. Roback Papers (HUGFP 104.50, Box 2, Folder “Miscellaneous Psychological Materials”), Harvard University Archives, Cambridge, MA, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (Sci-Art Publishers, 1935)
  • Narrative citation: Sci-Art Publishers (1935)

11. Archived photographs, no author and no title

[Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes]. (ca. 1917–1954). Robert Mearns Yerkes Papers (Box 137, Folder 2292), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: ([Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes], ca. 1917–1954)
  • Narrative citation: [Photographs of Robert M. Yerkes] (ca. 1917–1954)
  • Because the archived photographs do not have a title, provide a bracketed description instead.
  • Because the archived photographs do not have an author, move the bracketed description to the author position of the reference.

12. Microfilm

U.S. Census Bureau. (1880). 1880 U.S. census: Defective, dependent, and delinquent classes schedule: Virginia [Microfilm]. NARA Microfilm Publication T1132 (Rolls 33–34), National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, United States.

  • Parenthetical citation: (U.S. Census Bureau, 1880)
  • Narrative citation: U.S. Census Bureau (1880)

Read the full APA guidelines on citing ChatGPT 

OpenAI. (2023).  ChatGPT  (Mar 14 version) [Large language model].  https://chat.openai.com/chat

  • Parenthetical citation:  (OpenAI, 2023)
  • Narrative citation:  OpenAI (2023)

Author:  The author of the model is OpenAI.

Date:  The date is the year of the version you used. Following the template in Section 10.10, you need to include only the year, not the exact date. The version number provides the specific date information a reader might need.

Title:  The name of the model is “ChatGPT,” so that serves as the title and is italicized in your reference, as shown in the template. Although OpenAI labels unique iterations (i.e., ChatGPT-3, ChatGPT-4), they are using “ChatGPT” as the general name of the model, with updates identified with version numbers.

The version number is included after the title in parentheses. The format for the version number in ChatGPT references includes the date because that is how OpenAI is labeling the versions. Different large language models or software might use different version numbering; use the version number in the format the author or publisher provides, which may be a numbering system (e.g., Version 2.0) or other methods.

Bracketed text  is used in references for additional descriptions when they are needed to help a reader understand what’s being cited. References for a number of common sources, such as journal articles and books, do not include bracketed descriptions, but things outside of the typical peer-reviewed system often do. In the case of a reference for ChatGPT, provide the descriptor “Large language model” in square brackets. OpenAI describes ChatGPT-4 as a “large multimodal model,” so that description may be provided instead if you are using ChatGPT-4. Later versions and software or models from other companies may need different descriptions, based on how the publishers describe the model. The goal of the bracketed text is to briefly describe the kind of model to your reader.

Source:  When the publisher name and the author name are the same, do not repeat the publisher name in the source element of the reference, and move directly to the URL. This is the case for ChatGPT. The URL for ChatGPT is  https://chat.openai.com/chat . For other models or products for which you may create a reference, use the URL that links as directly as possible to the source (i.e., the page where you can access the model, not the publisher’s homepage).

What to include and what to exclude

Works included in a reference list.

The reference list provides a reliable way for readers to identify and locate the works cited in a paper. APA Style papers generally include reference lists, not  bibliographies.

In general, each work cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the text. Check your work carefully before submitting your manuscript or course assignment to ensure no works cited in the text are missing from the reference list and vice versa, with only the following exceptions.

Works Excluded From a Reference List

There are a few kinds of works that are not included in a reference list. Usually a work is not included because readers cannot recover it or because the mention is so broad that readers do not need a reference list entry to understand the use.

Information on works included in a reference list is covered in Sections 2.12 and 8.4 of the  APA Publication Manual, Seventh Edition

*This guidance has been expanded from the 6th edition.*

  • Personal communications  such as emails, phone calls, or text messages are cited in the text only, not in the reference list, because readers cannot retrieve personal communications.
  • General mentions of whole websites, whole periodicals, and common software and apps in the text do not require in-text citations or reference list entries because the use is broad and the source is familiar.
  • The source of an epigraph does not usually appear in the reference list unless the work is a scholarly book or journal. For example, if you open the paper with an inspirational quotation by a famous person, the source of the quotation does not appear in the reference list because the quotation is meant to set the stage for the work, not substantiate a key point.   
  • Quotations from research participants in a study you conducted can be presented and discussed in the text but do not need citations or reference list entries. Citations and reference list entries are not necessary because the quotations are part of your original research. They could also compromise participants’ confidentiality, which is an ethical violation.
  • References included in a meta-analysis, which are marked with an asterisk in the reference list, may be cited in the text (or not) at the author’s discretion. This exception is relevant only to authors who are conducting a meta-analysis.

DOIs and URLs

The DOI or URL is the final component of a reference list entry. Because so much scholarship is available and/or retrieved online, most reference list entries end with either a DOI or a URL.

  • A DOI is a unique alphanumeric string that identifies content and provides a persistent link to its location on the internet. DOIs can be found in database records and the reference lists of published works.
  • A URL specifies the location of digital information on the internet and can be found in the address bar of your internet browser. URLs in references should link directly to the cited work when possible.

Follow these guidelines for including DOIs and URLs in references:

  • Include a DOI for all works that have a DOI, regardless of whether you used the online version or the print version.
  • If a print work does not have a DOI, do not include any DOI or URL in the reference.
  • If an online work has both a DOI and a URL, include only the DOI.
  • For works without DOIs from websites (not including academic research databases), provide a URL in the reference (as long as the URL will work for readers).
  • For works without DOIs from most  academic research databases , do not include a URL or database information in the reference because these works are widely available. The reference should be the same as the reference for a print version of the work.
  • For works from databases that publish original, proprietary material available only in that database (such as the UpToDate database) or for works of limited circulation in databases (such as monographs in the ERIC database), include the name of the database or archive and the URL of the work. If the URL requires a login or is session-specific (meaning it will not resolve for readers), provide the URL of the database or archive home page or login page instead of the URL for the work. See the page on including  database information in references  for more information. 
  • If the URL is no longer working or no longer provides readers access to the content you intend to cite, follow the guidance for works with  no source .
  • Other alphanumeric identifiers such as the International Standard Book Number (ISBN) and the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) are not included in APA Style references.

Follow these guidelines to format DOIs and URLs:

  • Present both DOIs and URLs as hyperlinks (i.e., beginning with “http:” or “https:”).
  • Because a hyperlink leads readers directly to the content, it is not necessary to include the words “Retrieved from” or “Accessed from” before a DOI or URL.
  • It is acceptable to use either the default display settings for hyperlinks in your word-processing program (e.g., usually blue font, underlined) or plain text that is not underlined.
  • Leave links live if the work is to be published or read online.
  • Follow the current recommendations of the International DOI Foundation to format DOIs in the reference list, which as of this publication is as follows:

https://doi.org/ xxxxx

  • The string “https://doi.org/” is a way of presenting a DOI as a link, and “xxxxx” refers to the DOI number.
  • The preferred format of the DOI has changed over time. Although older works use previous formats (e.g., “http:/dx.doi.org/” or “doi:” or “DOI:” before the DOI number), in your reference list, standardize DOIs into the current preferred format for all entries. For example, use  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0040251  in your reference even though that article, published in 2016, presented the number in an older format.
  • Copy and paste the DOI or URL from your web browser directly into your reference list to avoid transcription errors. Do not change the capitalization or punctuation of the DOI or URL. Do not add line breaks manually to the hyperlink; it is acceptable if your word-processing program automatically adds a break or moves the hyperlink to its own line.
  • Do not add a period after the DOI or URL because this may interfere with link functionality.

When a DOI or URL is long or complex, you may use shortDOIs or shortened URLs if desired.

  • Use the  shortDOI service  provided by the International DOI Foundation to create shortDOIs. A work can have only one DOI and only one shortDOI; the shortDOI service will either produce a new shortDOI for a work that has never had one or retrieve an existing shortDOI.
  • Some websites provide their own branded shortened URLs, and independent URL shortening services are available as well. Any shortened URL is acceptable in a reference as long as you check the link to ensure that it takes you to the correct location.
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Fundamentals of APA

American Psychological Association (APA) style includes  parenthetical in-text citations  and a  reference list . 

APA uses  parenthetical citations  as its form of in-text citation. Provide a parenthetical citation  before the period  directly following the information you are citing. These citations should correspond to a more detailed citation in the reference list but only need to specify a page number if directly quoting or borrowing from the source material. The essential elements for this in-text citation are the author's last name and the date for the specific publications. The last name may be omitted if the sentence states or makes clear the source material.

APA uses a  reference list ,  an alphabetized list of sources following the end of the book or paper,  for its complete list of sources referenced. This list should be titled "References" in bold and alphabetized by the first item in the citation, which, in most cases, is the author's last name. Each reference from this list must be cited in your paper and vice versa.

Basic Format

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. (Year of publication). Title . Publisher Name.

Print Articles

Author Last Name, Author First Initial, & Author Last Name, Author First Initial. (Year). Article Title. Periodical Title , volume number(issue number), pages.

Electronic Articles

Author Last Name, Author First Initial. (Year). Article Title. Periodical Title , volume number(issue number), pages. doi or static url.

Physical Images/Artwork

Artist Last Name, Artist First Initial. (Year). Artwork Title [medium]. Host Institution Name, City, State, Country. URL of institution.

Electronic Images/Artwork

Artist Last Name, Artist First Initial. (Year). Image Title [medium]. Source Title. URL of image.

In-text Citation Examples

Standard case :

"Lorem   ipsum  dolor sit  amet ,  consectetur   adipiscing   elit" (Last name, 2000, p.10).

If the author is not available , the title of the source may be used:

Lorem   ipsum  dolor sit  amet ,  consectetur   adipiscing   elit ("Source title", 2000, pp.10-11).

If multiple authors cited have the same last name , use the author's first initial along with their last name:

"Lorem   ipsum  dolor sit  amet ,  consectetur   adipiscing   elit" (E. Bronte, 1847, p.10).

Lorem   ipsum  dolor sit  amet ,  consectetur   adipiscing   elit (C. Bronte, 1847, p.10).

Full Citation Examples for the Reference List

Archival material :

Child, J. (1974).  Journal, 1974 . [Unpublished journal].  Papers of Julia Child, 1925-1993(MC 644, item 4).  Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute,  https://id.lib.harvard.edu/ead/c/ sch00222c00006 /catalog .

Child, P. (1967). Julia Child at the White House [Photograph]. Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute, https://id.lib.harvard.edu/images/olvwork539731/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:4510469/catalog.

Beck, S., Bertholle, L., & Child, J. (1961).  Mastering the art of French cooking.  Knopf.

Child, J. & Child, P. (1968).  The French chef cookbook . Alfred A. Knopf .

Journal article :

Muneal, M. (2011).  Studies in Popular Culture , 34(1), 152–154. www.jstor.org/stable/23416357.

Nussbaum, D. (2005). "In Julia Child's Kitchen, October 5 1998".  Gastronomica , 5(3), 29-38. doi: 10.1525/gfc.2005.5.3.29.

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  • APA Style website The online version of the APA Style Manual, this website offers to help with the technical elements of formatting in APA as well as writing and citing your work.
  • Purdue OWL APA Guide The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is one of the most complete citation guides available online. The APA Guide explains how to format a paper in APA and breaks down citations by type with numerous examples.
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How to Cite Sources

Here is a complete list for how to cite sources. Most of these guides present citation guidance and examples in MLA, APA, and Chicago.

If you’re looking for general information on MLA or APA citations , the EasyBib Writing Center was designed for you! It has articles on what’s needed in an MLA in-text citation , how to format an APA paper, what an MLA annotated bibliography is, making an MLA works cited page, and much more!

MLA Format Citation Examples

The Modern Language Association created the MLA Style, currently in its 9th edition, to provide researchers with guidelines for writing and documenting scholarly borrowings.  Most often used in the humanities, MLA style (or MLA format ) has been adopted and used by numerous other disciplines, in multiple parts of the world.

MLA provides standard rules to follow so that most research papers are formatted in a similar manner. This makes it easier for readers to comprehend the information. The MLA in-text citation guidelines, MLA works cited standards, and MLA annotated bibliography instructions provide scholars with the information they need to properly cite sources in their research papers, articles, and assignments.

  • Book Chapter
  • Conference Paper
  • Documentary
  • Encyclopedia
  • Google Images
  • Kindle Book
  • Memorial Inscription
  • Museum Exhibit
  • Painting or Artwork
  • PowerPoint Presentation
  • Sheet Music
  • Thesis or Dissertation
  • YouTube Video

APA Format Citation Examples

The American Psychological Association created the APA citation style in 1929 as a way to help psychologists, anthropologists, and even business managers establish one common way to cite sources and present content.

APA is used when citing sources for academic articles such as journals, and is intended to help readers better comprehend content, and to avoid language bias wherever possible. The APA style (or APA format ) is now in its 7th edition, and provides citation style guides for virtually any type of resource.

Chicago Style Citation Examples

The Chicago/Turabian style of citing sources is generally used when citing sources for humanities papers, and is best known for its requirement that writers place bibliographic citations at the bottom of a page (in Chicago-format footnotes ) or at the end of a paper (endnotes).

The Turabian and Chicago citation styles are almost identical, but the Turabian style is geared towards student published papers such as theses and dissertations, while the Chicago style provides guidelines for all types of publications. This is why you’ll commonly see Chicago style and Turabian style presented together. The Chicago Manual of Style is currently in its 17th edition, and Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is in its 8th edition.

Citing Specific Sources or Events

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Gettysburg Address
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Speech
  • President Obama’s Farewell Address
  • President Trump’s Inauguration Speech
  • White House Press Briefing

Additional FAQs

  • Citing Archived Contributors
  • Citing a Blog
  • Citing a Book Chapter
  • Citing a Source in a Foreign Language
  • Citing an Image
  • Citing a Song
  • Citing Special Contributors
  • Citing a Translated Article
  • Citing a Tweet

6 Interesting Citation Facts

The world of citations may seem cut and dry, but there’s more to them than just specific capitalization rules, MLA in-text citations , and other formatting specifications. Citations have been helping researches document their sources for hundreds of years, and are a great way to learn more about a particular subject area.

Ever wonder what sets all the different styles apart, or how they came to be in the first place? Read on for some interesting facts about citations!

1. There are Over 7,000 Different Citation Styles

You may be familiar with MLA and APA citation styles, but there are actually thousands of citation styles used for all different academic disciplines all across the world. Deciding which one to use can be difficult, so be sure to ask you instructor which one you should be using for your next paper.

2. Some Citation Styles are Named After People

While a majority of citation styles are named for the specific organizations that publish them (i.e. APA is published by the American Psychological Association, and MLA format is named for the Modern Language Association), some are actually named after individuals. The most well-known example of this is perhaps Turabian style, named for Kate L. Turabian, an American educator and writer. She developed this style as a condensed version of the Chicago Manual of Style in order to present a more concise set of rules to students.

3. There are Some Really Specific and Uniquely Named Citation Styles

How specific can citation styles get? The answer is very. For example, the “Flavour and Fragrance Journal” style is based on a bimonthly, peer-reviewed scientific journal published since 1985 by John Wiley & Sons. It publishes original research articles, reviews and special reports on all aspects of flavor and fragrance. Another example is “Nordic Pulp and Paper Research,” a style used by an international scientific magazine covering science and technology for the areas of wood or bio-mass constituents.

4. More citations were created on  EasyBib.com  in the first quarter of 2018 than there are people in California.

The US Census Bureau estimates that approximately 39.5 million people live in the state of California. Meanwhile, about 43 million citations were made on EasyBib from January to March of 2018. That’s a lot of citations.

5. “Citations” is a Word With a Long History

The word “citations” can be traced back literally thousands of years to the Latin word “citare” meaning “to summon, urge, call; put in sudden motion, call forward; rouse, excite.” The word then took on its more modern meaning and relevance to writing papers in the 1600s, where it became known as the “act of citing or quoting a passage from a book, etc.”

6. Citation Styles are Always Changing

The concept of citations always stays the same. It is a means of preventing plagiarism and demonstrating where you relied on outside sources. The specific style rules, however, can and do change regularly. For example, in 2018 alone, 46 new citation styles were introduced , and 106 updates were made to exiting styles. At EasyBib, we are always on the lookout for ways to improve our styles and opportunities to add new ones to our list.

Why Citations Matter

Here are the ways accurate citations can help your students achieve academic success, and how you can answer the dreaded question, “why should I cite my sources?”

They Give Credit to the Right People

Citing their sources makes sure that the reader can differentiate the student’s original thoughts from those of other researchers. Not only does this make sure that the sources they use receive proper credit for their work, it ensures that the student receives deserved recognition for their unique contributions to the topic. Whether the student is citing in MLA format , APA format , or any other style, citations serve as a natural way to place a student’s work in the broader context of the subject area, and serve as an easy way to gauge their commitment to the project.

They Provide Hard Evidence of Ideas

Having many citations from a wide variety of sources related to their idea means that the student is working on a well-researched and respected subject. Citing sources that back up their claim creates room for fact-checking and further research . And, if they can cite a few sources that have the converse opinion or idea, and then demonstrate to the reader why they believe that that viewpoint is wrong by again citing credible sources, the student is well on their way to winning over the reader and cementing their point of view.

They Promote Originality and Prevent Plagiarism

The point of research projects is not to regurgitate information that can already be found elsewhere. We have Google for that! What the student’s project should aim to do is promote an original idea or a spin on an existing idea, and use reliable sources to promote that idea. Copying or directly referencing a source without proper citation can lead to not only a poor grade, but accusations of academic dishonesty. By citing their sources regularly and accurately, students can easily avoid the trap of plagiarism , and promote further research on their topic.

They Create Better Researchers

By researching sources to back up and promote their ideas, students are becoming better researchers without even knowing it! Each time a new source is read or researched, the student is becoming more engaged with the project and is developing a deeper understanding of the subject area. Proper citations demonstrate a breadth of the student’s reading and dedication to the project itself. By creating citations, students are compelled to make connections between their sources and discern research patterns. Each time they complete this process, they are helping themselves become better researchers and writers overall.

When is the Right Time to Start Making Citations?

Make in-text/parenthetical citations as you need them.

As you are writing your paper, be sure to include references within the text that correspond with references in a works cited or bibliography. These are usually called in-text citations or parenthetical citations in MLA and APA formats. The most effective time to complete these is directly after you have made your reference to another source. For instance, after writing the line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities : “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…,” you would include a citation like this (depending on your chosen citation style):

(Dickens 11).

This signals to the reader that you have referenced an outside source. What’s great about this system is that the in-text citations serve as a natural list for all of the citations you have made in your paper, which will make completing the works cited page a whole lot easier. After you are done writing, all that will be left for you to do is scan your paper for these references, and then build a works cited page that includes a citation for each one.

Need help creating an MLA works cited page ? Try the MLA format generator on EasyBib.com! We also have a guide on how to format an APA reference page .

2. Understand the General Formatting Rules of Your Citation Style Before You Start Writing

While reading up on paper formatting may not sound exciting, being aware of how your paper should look early on in the paper writing process is super important. Citation styles can dictate more than just the appearance of the citations themselves, but rather can impact the layout of your paper as a whole, with specific guidelines concerning margin width, title treatment, and even font size and spacing. Knowing how to organize your paper before you start writing will ensure that you do not receive a low grade for something as trivial as forgetting a hanging indent.

Don’t know where to start? Here’s a formatting guide on APA format .

3. Double-check All of Your Outside Sources for Relevance and Trustworthiness First

Collecting outside sources that support your research and specific topic is a critical step in writing an effective paper. But before you run to the library and grab the first 20 books you can lay your hands on, keep in mind that selecting a source to include in your paper should not be taken lightly. Before you proceed with using it to backup your ideas, run a quick Internet search for it and see if other scholars in your field have written about it as well. Check to see if there are book reviews about it or peer accolades. If you spot something that seems off to you, you may want to consider leaving it out of your work. Doing this before your start making citations can save you a ton of time in the long run.

Finished with your paper? It may be time to run it through a grammar and plagiarism checker , like the one offered by EasyBib Plus. If you’re just looking to brush up on the basics, our grammar guides  are ready anytime you are.

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Cite your sources

  • is the right thing to do  to give credit to those who had the idea
  • shows that you have read and understand  what experts have had to say about your topic
  • helps people find the sources  that you used in case they want to read more about the topic
  • provides   evidence  for your arguments
  • is professional and  standard practice   for students and scholars

What is a Citation?

A citation identifies for the reader the original source for an idea, information, or image that is referred to in a work.

  • In the body of a paper, the  in-text citation  acknowledges the source of information used.
  • At the end of a paper, the citations are compiled on a  References  or  Works Cited  list. A basic citation includes the author, title, and publication information of the source. 

Citation basics

From:  Lemieux  Library,  University  of Seattle 

Why Should You Cite?

Quoting Are you quoting two or more consecutive words from a source? Then the original source should be cited and the words or phrase placed in quotes. 

Paraphrasing If an idea or information comes from another source,  even if you put it in your own words , you still need to credit the source.  General vs. Unfamiliar Knowledge You do not need to cite material which is accepted common knowledge. If in doubt whether your information is common knowledge or not, cite it. Formats We usually think of books and articles. However, if you use material from web sites, films, music, graphs, tables, etc. you'll also need to cite these as well.

Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of someone else as your own without proper acknowledgment of the source. When you work on a research paper and use supporting material from works by others, it's okay to quote people and use their ideas, but you do need to correctly credit them. Even when you summarize or paraphrase information found in books, articles, or Web pages, you must acknowledge the original author.

Citation Style Help

Helpful links:

  • MLA ,  Works Cited : A Quick Guide (a template of core elements)
  • CSE  (Council of Science Editors)

For additional writing resources specific to styles listed here visit the  Purdue OWL Writing Lab

Citation and Bibliography Resources

Writing an annotated bibliography

  • How to Write an Annotated Bibliography
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Home » How to Cite Research Paper – All Formats and Examples

How to Cite Research Paper – All Formats and Examples

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Research Paper Citation

Research Paper Citation

Research paper citation refers to the act of acknowledging and referencing a previously published work in a scholarly or academic paper . When citing sources, researchers provide information that allows readers to locate the original source, validate the claims or arguments made in the paper, and give credit to the original author(s) for their work.

The citation may include the author’s name, title of the publication, year of publication, publisher, and other relevant details that allow readers to trace the source of the information. Proper citation is a crucial component of academic writing, as it helps to ensure accuracy, credibility, and transparency in research.

How to Cite Research Paper

There are several formats that are used to cite a research paper. Follow the guide for the Citation of a Research Paper:

Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Year of Publication.

Example : Smith, John. The History of the World. Penguin Press, 2010.

Journal Article

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Year of Publication, pp. Page Numbers.

Example : Johnson, Emma. “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Environmental Science Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, 2019, pp. 45-59.

Research Paper

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Paper.” Conference Name, Location, Date of Conference.

Example : Garcia, Maria. “The Importance of Early Childhood Education.” International Conference on Education, Paris, 5-7 June 2018.

Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Webpage.” Website Title, Publisher, Date of Publication, URL.

Example : Smith, John. “The Benefits of Exercise.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 March 2022, https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-exercise.

News Article

Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper, Date of Publication, URL.

Example : Robinson, Sarah. “Biden Announces New Climate Change Policies.” The New York Times, 22 Jan. 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/climate/biden-climate-change-policies.html.

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher.

Example: Smith, J. (2010). The History of the World. Penguin Press.

Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range.

Example: Johnson, E., Smith, K., & Lee, M. (2019). The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture. Environmental Science Journal, 10(2), 45-59.

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of paper. In Editor First Initial. Last Name (Ed.), Title of Conference Proceedings (page numbers). Publisher.

Example: Garcia, M. (2018). The Importance of Early Childhood Education. In J. Smith (Ed.), Proceedings from the International Conference on Education (pp. 60-75). Springer.

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of webpage. Website name. URL

Example: Smith, J. (2022, March 1). The Benefits of Exercise. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-exercise

Author, A. A. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of article. Newspaper name. URL.

Example: Robinson, S. (2021, January 22). Biden Announces New Climate Change Policies. The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/22/climate/biden-climate-change-policies.html

Chicago/Turabian style

Please note that there are two main variations of the Chicago style: the author-date system and the notes and bibliography system. I will provide examples for both systems below.

Author-Date system:

  • In-text citation: (Author Last Name Year, Page Number)
  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher.
  • In-text citation: (Smith 2005, 28)
  • Reference list: Smith, John. 2005. The History of America. New York: Penguin Press.

Notes and Bibliography system:

  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Page Number.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: John Smith, The History of America (New York: Penguin Press, 2005), 28.
  • Bibliography citation: Smith, John. The History of America. New York: Penguin Press, 2005.

JOURNAL ARTICLES:

  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume Number (Issue Number): Page Range.
  • In-text citation: (Johnson 2010, 45)
  • Reference list: Johnson, Mary. 2010. “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Journal of Communication 60(2): 39-56.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Article Title,” Journal Title Volume Number, Issue Number (Year): Page Range.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Journal Title Volume Number, Issue Number (Year): Page Range.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Mary Johnson, “The Impact of Social Media on Society,” Journal of Communication 60, no. 2 (2010): 39-56.
  • Bibliography citation: Johnson, Mary. “The Impact of Social Media on Society.” Journal of Communication 60, no. 2 (2010): 39-56.

RESEARCH PAPERS:

  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Paper.” Conference Proceedings Title, Location, Date. Publisher, Page Range.
  • In-text citation: (Jones 2015, 12)
  • Reference list: Jones, David. 2015. “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Climate Change, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2015. Springer, 10-20.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Title of Paper,” Conference Proceedings Title, Location, Date (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), Page Range.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Paper.” Conference Proceedings Title, Location, Date. Place of publication: Publisher, Year.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: David Jones, “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Climate Change, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2015 (New York: Springer, 10-20).
  • Bibliography citation: Jones, David. “The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture.” Proceedings of the International Conference on Climate Change, Paris, France, June 1-3, 2015. New York: Springer, 10-20.
  • In-text citation: (Author Last Name Year)
  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Webpage.” Website Name. URL.
  • In-text citation: (Smith 2018)
  • Reference list: Smith, John. 2018. “The Importance of Recycling.” Environmental News Network. https://www.enn.com/articles/54374-the-importance-of-recycling.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Title of Webpage,” Website Name, URL (accessed Date).
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Webpage.” Website Name. URL (accessed Date).
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: John Smith, “The Importance of Recycling,” Environmental News Network, https://www.enn.com/articles/54374-the-importance-of-recycling (accessed April 8, 2023).
  • Bibliography citation: Smith, John. “The Importance of Recycling.” Environmental News Network. https://www.enn.com/articles/54374-the-importance-of-recycling (accessed April 8, 2023).

NEWS ARTICLES:

  • Reference list: Author Last Name, First Name. Year. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper, Month Day.
  • In-text citation: (Johnson 2022)
  • Reference list: Johnson, Mary. 2022. “New Study Finds Link Between Coffee and Longevity.” The New York Times, January 15.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Author First Name Last Name, “Title of Article,” Name of Newspaper (City), Month Day, Year.
  • Bibliography citation: Author Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Name of Newspaper (City), Month Day, Year.
  • Footnote/Endnote citation: Mary Johnson, “New Study Finds Link Between Coffee and Longevity,” The New York Times (New York), January 15, 2022.
  • Bibliography citation: Johnson, Mary. “New Study Finds Link Between Coffee and Longevity.” The New York Times (New York), January 15, 2022.

Harvard referencing style

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of book. Publisher.

Example: Smith, J. (2008). The Art of War. Random House.

Journal article:

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of journal, volume number(issue number), page range.

Example: Brown, M. (2012). The impact of social media on business communication. Harvard Business Review, 90(12), 85-92.

Research paper:

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year of publication). Title of paper. In Editor’s First initial. Last name (Ed.), Title of book (page range). Publisher.

Example: Johnson, R. (2015). The effects of climate change on agriculture. In S. Lee (Ed.), Climate Change and Sustainable Development (pp. 45-62). Springer.

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of page. Website name. URL.

Example: Smith, J. (2017, May 23). The history of the internet. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/history-of-the-internet

News article:

Format: Author’s Last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day of publication). Title of article. Title of newspaper, page number (if applicable).

Example: Thompson, E. (2022, January 5). New study finds coffee may lower risk of dementia. The New York Times, A1.

IEEE Format

Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Book. Publisher.

Smith, J. K. (2015). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House.

Journal Article:

Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Article. Title of Journal, Volume Number (Issue Number), page numbers.

Johnson, T. J., & Kaye, B. K. (2016). Interactivity and the Future of Journalism. Journalism Studies, 17(2), 228-246.

Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Paper. Paper presented at Conference Name, Location.

Jones, L. K., & Brown, M. A. (2018). The Role of Social Media in Political Campaigns. Paper presented at the 2018 International Conference on Social Media and Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.

  • Website: Author(s) or Organization Name. (Year of Publication or Last Update). Title of Webpage. Website Name. URL.

Example: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2019, August 29). NASA’s Mission to Mars. NASA. https://www.nasa.gov/topics/journeytomars/index.html

  • News Article: Author(s). (Year of Publication). Title of Article. Name of News Source. URL.

Example: Johnson, M. (2022, February 16). Climate Change: Is it Too Late to Save the Planet? CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2022/02/16/world/climate-change-planet-scn/index.html

Vancouver Style

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “The study conducted by Smith and Johnson^1 found that…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of book. Edition if any. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Example: Smith J, Johnson L. Introduction to Molecular Biology. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley-Blackwell; 2015.

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “Several studies have reported that^1,2,3…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of article. Abbreviated name of journal. Year of publication; Volume number (Issue number): Page range.

Example: Jones S, Patel K, Smith J. The effects of exercise on cardiovascular health. J Cardiol. 2018; 25(2): 78-84.

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “Previous research has shown that^1,2,3…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of paper. In: Editor(s). Title of the conference proceedings. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication. Page range.

Example: Johnson L, Smith J. The role of stem cells in tissue regeneration. In: Patel S, ed. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Regenerative Medicine. London: Academic Press; 2016. p. 68-73.

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “According to the World Health Organization^1…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of webpage. Name of website. URL [Accessed Date].

Example: World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public [Accessed 3 March 2023].

In-text citation: Use superscript numbers to cite sources in the text, e.g., “According to the New York Times^1…”.

Reference list citation: Format: Author(s). Title of article. Name of newspaper. Year Month Day; Section (if any): Page number.

Example: Jones S. Study shows that sleep is essential for good health. The New York Times. 2022 Jan 12; Health: A8.

Author(s). Title of Book. Edition Number (if it is not the first edition). Publisher: Place of publication, Year of publication.

Example: Smith, J. Chemistry of Natural Products. 3rd ed.; CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2015.

Journal articles:

Author(s). Article Title. Journal Name Year, Volume, Inclusive Pagination.

Example: Garcia, A. M.; Jones, B. A.; Smith, J. R. Selective Synthesis of Alkenes from Alkynes via Catalytic Hydrogenation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 10754-10759.

Research papers:

Author(s). Title of Paper. Journal Name Year, Volume, Inclusive Pagination.

Example: Brown, H. D.; Jackson, C. D.; Patel, S. D. A New Approach to Photovoltaic Solar Cells. J. Mater. Chem. 2018, 26, 134-142.

Author(s) (if available). Title of Webpage. Name of Website. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: National Institutes of Health. Heart Disease and Stroke. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/heart-disease-and-stroke (accessed April 7, 2023).

News articles:

Author(s). Title of Article. Name of News Publication. Date of Publication. URL (accessed Month Day, Year).

Example: Friedman, T. L. The World is Flat. New York Times. April 7, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/04/07/opinion/world-flat-globalization.html (accessed April 7, 2023).

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a book should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of book (in italics)
  • Edition (if applicable)
  • Place of publication
  • Year of publication

Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al. Molecular Cell Biology. 4th ed. New York, NY: W. H. Freeman; 2000.

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a journal article should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of article
  • Abbreviated title of journal (in italics)
  • Year of publication; volume number(issue number):page numbers.

Chen H, Huang Y, Li Y, et al. Effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction on depression in adolescents and young adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(6):e207081. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.7081

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a research paper should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of paper
  • Name of journal or conference proceeding (in italics)
  • Volume number(issue number):page numbers.

Bredenoord AL, Kroes HY, Cuppen E, Parker M, van Delden JJ. Disclosure of individual genetic data to research participants: the debate reconsidered. Trends Genet. 2011;27(2):41-47. doi:10.1016/j.tig.2010.11.004

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a website should include the following information, in this order:

  • Title of web page or article
  • Name of website (in italics)
  • Date of publication or last update (if available)
  • URL (website address)
  • Date of access (month day, year)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How to protect yourself and others. CDC. Published February 11, 2022. Accessed February 14, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

In AMA Style Format, the citation for a news article should include the following information, in this order:

  • Name of newspaper or news website (in italics)
  • Date of publication

Gorman J. Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots. The New York Times. January 13, 2020. Accessed January 14, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/13/science/living-robots-xenobots.html

Bluebook Format

One author: Daniel J. Solove, The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor, and Privacy on the Internet (Yale University Press 2007).

Two or more authors: Martha Nussbaum and Saul Levmore, eds., The Offensive Internet: Speech, Privacy, and Reputation (Harvard University Press 2010).

Journal article

One author: Daniel J. Solove, “A Taxonomy of Privacy,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 154, no. 3 (January 2006): 477-560.

Two or more authors: Ethan Katsh and Andrea Schneider, “The Emergence of Online Dispute Resolution,” Journal of Dispute Resolution 2003, no. 1 (2003): 7-19.

One author: Daniel J. Solove, “A Taxonomy of Privacy,” GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 113, 2005.

Two or more authors: Ethan Katsh and Andrea Schneider, “The Emergence of Online Dispute Resolution,” Cyberlaw Research Paper Series Paper No. 00-5, 2000.

WebsiteElectronic Frontier Foundation, “Surveillance Self-Defense,” accessed April 8, 2023, https://ssd.eff.org/.

News article

One author: Mark Sherman, “Court Deals Major Blow to Net Neutrality Rules,” ABC News, January 14, 2014, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/court-deals-major-blow-net-neutrality-rules-21586820.

Two or more authors: Siobhan Hughes and Brent Kendall, “AT&T Wins Approval to Buy Time Warner,” Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/at-t-wins-approval-to-buy-time-warner-1528847249.

In-Text Citation: (Author’s last name Year of Publication: Page Number)

Example: (Smith 2010: 35)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher; Year of publication.

Example: Smith J. Biology: A Textbook. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2010.

Example: (Johnson 2014: 27)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Article. Abbreviated Title of Journal. Year of publication;Volume(Issue):Page Numbers.

Example: Johnson S. The role of dopamine in addiction. J Neurosci. 2014;34(8): 2262-2272.

Example: (Brown 2018: 10)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Paper. Paper presented at: Name of Conference; Date of Conference; Place of Conference.

Example: Brown R. The impact of social media on mental health. Paper presented at: Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association; August 2018; San Francisco, CA.

Example: (World Health Organization 2020: para. 2)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Webpage. Name of Website. URL. Published date. Accessed date.

Example: World Health Organization. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. WHO website. https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease-coronavirus-2019. Updated August 17, 2020. Accessed September 5, 2021.

Example: (Smith 2019: para. 5)

Reference List Citation: Author’s last name First Initial. Title of Article. Title of Newspaper or Magazine. Year of publication; Month Day:Page Numbers.

Example: Smith K. New study finds link between exercise and mental health. The New York Times. 2019;May 20: A6.

Purpose of Research Paper Citation

The purpose of citing sources in a research paper is to give credit to the original authors and acknowledge their contribution to your work. By citing sources, you are also demonstrating the validity and reliability of your research by showing that you have consulted credible and authoritative sources. Citations help readers to locate the original sources that you have referenced and to verify the accuracy and credibility of your research. Additionally, citing sources is important for avoiding plagiarism, which is the act of presenting someone else’s work as your own. Proper citation also shows that you have conducted a thorough literature review and have used the existing research to inform your own work. Overall, citing sources is an essential aspect of academic writing and is necessary for building credibility, demonstrating research skills, and avoiding plagiarism.

Advantages of Research Paper Citation

There are several advantages of research paper citation, including:

  • Giving credit: By citing the works of other researchers in your field, you are acknowledging their contribution and giving credit where it is due.
  • Strengthening your argument: Citing relevant and reliable sources in your research paper can strengthen your argument and increase its credibility. It shows that you have done your due diligence and considered various perspectives before drawing your conclusions.
  • Demonstrating familiarity with the literature : By citing various sources, you are demonstrating your familiarity with the existing literature in your field. This is important as it shows that you are well-informed about the topic and have done a thorough review of the available research.
  • Providing a roadmap for further research: By citing relevant sources, you are providing a roadmap for further research on the topic. This can be helpful for future researchers who are interested in exploring the same or related issues.
  • Building your own reputation: By citing the works of established researchers in your field, you can build your own reputation as a knowledgeable and informed scholar. This can be particularly helpful if you are early in your career and looking to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

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How to Cite a Research Paper

Last Updated: January 11, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was reviewed by Gerald Posner and by wikiHow staff writer, Jennifer Mueller, JD . Gerald Posner is an Author & Journalist based in Miami, Florida. With over 35 years of experience, he specializes in investigative journalism, nonfiction books, and editorials. He holds a law degree from UC College of the Law, San Francisco, and a BA in Political Science from the University of California-Berkeley. He’s the author of thirteen books, including several New York Times bestsellers, the winner of the Florida Book Award for General Nonfiction, and has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in History. He was also shortlisted for the Best Business Book of 2020 by the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 406,608 times.

When writing a paper for a research project, you may need to cite a research paper you used as a reference. The basic information included in your citation will be the same across all styles. However, the format in which that information is presented is somewhat different depending on whether you're using American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago, or American Medical Association (AMA) style.

Citation Help

what are citations for research paper

  • For example: "Kringle, K., & Frost, J."

Step 2 Provide the year the paper was published.

  • For example: "Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012)."
  • If the date, or any other information, are not available, use the guide at https://blog.apastyle.org/apastyle/2012/05/missing-pieces.html .

Step 3 List the title of the research paper.

  • For example: "Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012). Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer."
  • If you found the research paper in a database maintained by a university, corporation, or other organization, include any index number assigned to the paper in parentheses after the title. For example: "Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012). Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer. (Report No. 1234)."

Step 4 Include information on where you found the paper.

  • For example: "Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012). Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer. (Report No. 1234). Retrieved from Alaska University Library Archives, December 24, 2017."

Step 5 Use a parenthetical citation in the body of your paper.

  • For example: "(Kringle & Frost, 2012)."
  • If there was no date on the research paper, use the abbreviation n.d. : "(Kringle & Frost, n.d.)."

Step 1 Start with the authors' names.

  • For example: "Kringle, Kris, and Jack Frost."

Step 2 List the title of the research paper.

  • For example: "Kringle, Kris, and Jack Frost. "Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon among North Pole Reindeer." Master's thesis."

Step 3 Provide the place and year of publication.

  • For example: "Kringle, Kris, and Jack Frost. "Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon among North Pole Reindeer." Master's thesis, Alaska University, 2012."

Step 4 Include any additional information necessary to locate the paper.

  • For example: "Kringle, Kris, and Jack Frost. "Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon among North Pole Reindeer." Master's thesis, Alaska University, 2012. Accessed at https://www.northpolemedical.com/raising_rudolf."

Step 5 Follow your instructor's guidance regarding in-text citations.

  • Footnotes are essentially the same as the full citation, although the first and last names of the authors aren't inverted.
  • For parenthetical citations, Chicago uses the Author-Date format. For example: "(Kringle and Frost 2012)."

Step 1 Start with the authors of the paper.

  • For example: "Kringle, Kris, and Frost, Jack."

Step 2 Provide the title of the research paper.

  • For example: "Kringle, Kris, and Frost, Jack. "Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon Among North Pole Reindeer.""

Step 3 Identify the paper's location.

  • For example, suppose you found the paper in a collection of paper housed in university archives. Your citation might be: "Kringle, Kris, and Frost, Jack. "Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon Among North Pole Reindeer." Master's Theses 2000-2010. University of Alaska Library Archives. Accessed December 24, 2017."

Step 4 Use parenthetical references in the body of your work.

  • For example: "(Kringle & Frost, p. 33)."

Step 1 Start with the author's last name and first initial.

  • For example: "Kringle K, Frost J."

Step 2 Provide the title in sentence case.

  • For example: "Kringle K, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer."

Step 3 Include journal information if the paper was published.

  • For example: "Kringle K, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer. Nat Med. 2012; 18(9): 1429-1433."

Step 4 Provide location information if the paper hasn't been published.

  • For example, if you're citing a paper presented at a conference, you'd write: "Kringle K, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer. Oral presentation at Arctic Health Association Annual Summit; December, 2017; Nome, Alaska."
  • To cite a paper you read online, you'd write: "Kringle K, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among North Pole reindeer. https://www.northpolemedical.com/raising_rudolf"

Step 5 Use superscript numbers in the body of your paper.

  • For example: "According to Kringle and Frost, these red noses indicate a subspecies of reindeer native to Alaska and Canada that have migrated to the North Pole and mingled with North Pole reindeer. 1 "

Community Q&A

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  • If you used a manual as a source in your research paper, you'll need to learn how to cite the manual also. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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what are citations for research paper

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Cite the WHO in APA

  • ↑ https://askus.library.wwu.edu/faq/116659
  • ↑ https://guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide/intext
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html
  • ↑ https://libanswers.snhu.edu/faq/48009
  • ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide/citation-guide-2.html
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
  • ↑ https://morningside.libguides.com/MLA8/location
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/ama_style/index.html
  • ↑ https://research.library.oakland.edu/sp/subjects/tutorial.php?faq_id=187

About This Article

Gerald Posner

To cite a paper APA style, start with the author's last name and first initial, and the year of publication. Then, list the title of the paper, where you found it, and the date that you accessed it. In a paper, use a parenthetical reference with the last name of the author and the publication year. For an MLA citation, list the author's last name and then first name and the title of the paper in quotations. Include where you accessed the paper and the date you retrieved it. In your paper, use a parenthetical reference with the author's last name and the page number. Keep reading for tips on Chicago and AMA citations and exceptions to the citation rules! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How To Write a Research Paper

  • 1. Understand the Assignment
  • 2. Choose Topic & Write Thesis Statement
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Why are citations important?

Apa citations.

Good research projects combine data from a variety of sources and carefully document the sources of information and ideas. Research documentation usually appears in two parts: short in-text citations occurring within the actual paper and a longer, complete list of works at the end of the paper called a bibliography, reference list, or works cited page. 

Besides giving credit to the source of information or ideas, there are other great reasons to cite in your research project:

  • Persuasiveness - Your writing will be more persuasive if you cite the research on which you based your own conclusions and arguments.
  • Sharing - Citations make it possible for your professor and other readers to examine interesting sources that you found.
  • Communication -  Correct citations helps you communicate effectively with potential peers within a discipline.
  • Skills -  Correct citation demonstrates your research and documentation abilities to your professor.
  • Avoid Plagiarism -  Correct citation use helps protect you from plagiarizing.

Note: a hyperlink or URL included in the text is not the same as a citation. Ex: "Higher gas prices are on the way (cnn.com/specialreport)." URLs in the text, while common on the internet, are not considered a correct form of scholarly citation.

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APA Style (7th ed.): Citation Guide

  • Getting Started with APA

Formatting a Paper in APA

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  • Citing Sources in APA
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  • Paper Formatting
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APA Basic Formatting Rules for Student Papers

The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the  APA Publication Manual  7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first.

  • clearly legible, regular-sized font
  • recommendations: 12pt Times New Roman, 11pt Arial, 11pt Calibri, 10pt Lucida Sans Unicode, 11pt Georgia
  • double spaced throughout all parts of the paper including title, headings, and footnotes
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • Indent the first line of each paragraph by 1/2-inch (tab)
  • left-justified for the body of the paper

Running Head & Page Numbers:

  • not required to include shortened version of the title for student papers- unless requested by your instructor
  • include the page number in the top right corner of all pages

APA Title Page for Student Papers

Page number:.

  • include the page number in the top right margin. (It will be 1 for the Title Page. Continue numbering throughout the paper and References page.)

Heading about a 1/3 of the way down the page:

  • Paper Title : bold, centered
  • Author : your name
  • Institutional Affiliation : Lone Star College- Online
  • Course : your course number and the name of the course (ex. PSYC 2301: General Psychology)
  • Instructor : your instructor's name (ex- Prof. Jane Smith)
  • Due Date:  Month day, year format (ex- January 1, 2024)

APA Headings within the Body of the Paper

Paper title:.

  • include on the first line of the first page of the body of your paper
  • bold and centered

Headings and Sub-headings (use when needed)

  • APA uses a hierarchy of five levels for headings within the paper
  • short paper may not need headings at all

References Page Formatting

The following guidelines are the basic formatting rules outlined in the APA Publication Manual  7th edition. If your instructor sets different requirements, always use your instructor's guidelines first.

  • needs to start on a new page following the end of your paper
  • include the title References centered on the first line of the page
  • everything after the title is left-justified
  • listed in alphabetical order by the first part of the citation (usually the author)
  • double spaced throughout all parts
  • Each citation should have a hanging indent- or it should start at the left margin and then have all lines after it indented by 1/2-inch

Click on the information circles for tips on how to use Microsoft Word to format your paper in APA Style.

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what are citations for research paper

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Research Tips and Infromation

Research Paper Citations: A Step-by-Step Guide

citation

In the labyrinth of academia, where ideas converge and knowledge flourishes, the art of citing research papers serves as the compass guiding scholars through the intellectual landscape. Proper citation not only pays homage to the architects of thought but also fortifies the foundations of academic integrity and trust.

As we embark on this journey, our mission is clear: to demystify the process of citing a research paper, empowering researchers, students, and writers alike to navigate the intricate pathways of attribution. Whether you’re a seasoned academic or a newcomer to the scholarly realm, understanding the nuances of citation styles and mastering the art of acknowledging sources is an indispensable skill.

Research paper citation is the systematic acknowledgment and documentation of sources used in a scholarly work, providing proper attribution to authors and ensuring transparency and integrity in academic writing.

In the following exploration, we will delve into the why, the how, and the what of citing research papers. We will dissect the anatomy of a citation, decipher the hieroglyphics of various citation styles, and equip you with the tools and knowledge needed to traverse this scholarly terrain confidently.

Join us as we unravel the secrets of proper citation, explore the ethical foundations that underpin this academic practice, and discover the myriad resources and tools available to make the journey smoother. Let’s embark on this odyssey together, where the citation is not just a formality but a tribute to the collective pursuit of knowledge.

Welcome to “Demystifying Research Paper Citations: A Step-by-Step Guide.” Together, let’s unlock the code of scholarly acknowledgement and illuminate the path to responsible and ethical research communication.

A. Importance of Proper Citation

B. significance in academic and professional contexts, c. ethical considerations of giving credit to original authors, a. acknowledging intellectual property, b. building credibility and trust, c. facilitating further research and verification, a. overview of common styles (apa, mla, chicago, etc.), b. differences between in-text citations and bibliography/works cited pages, a. author(s), b. title of the paper, c. title of the journal or book, d. publication date, e. page numbers, f. url (if applicable), a. incorporating citations within the text, i. single author, ii. multiple authors, iii. direct quotes, iv. paraphrasing, a. steps to compile a comprehensive list of sources, b. organizing entries based on citation style, i. apa style, ii. mla style, iii. chicago style, a. introduction to citation tools (e.g., zotero, endnote, citation machine), b. how to use these tools for automatic citation generation, a. importance of plagiarism prevention, b. tips on effective paraphrasing, c. using citations to support personal ideas, introduction.

Proper citation is the cornerstone of scholarly communication, serving as a testament to the intellectual lineage of ideas. When you cite a research paper, you are not merely fulfilling a requirement; you are participating in a tradition that honours the contributions of those who have paved the way before you. By acknowledging the sources of information, you contribute to the robustness and credibility of academic discourse.

Example: Imagine building a house without a foundation. Citations provide the foundation for your academic work, supporting your arguments and assertions with the weight of authoritative sources. Without proper citation, your work may lack the essential groundwork needed to stand tall in the academic landscape.

In both academic and professional realms, citing research papers is a universal language that facilitates the exchange of ideas and information. In academia, it is a standard practice that demonstrates a thorough understanding of the existing literature and positions your work within the broader context of scholarly conversations. In the professional world, citing sources adds credibility to your work, demonstrating a commitment to accuracy and reliability.

Example: Think of citations as credentials for your ideas. Just as a professional might list their qualifications on a resume, citing research papers provides the credentials for the information and arguments you present, establishing you as a knowledgeable and trustworthy contributor to the discourse.

Ethical considerations lie at the heart of proper citation. Giving credit to the original authors is not only a matter of academic integrity but also a gesture of respect for the intellectual labor that goes into producing scholarly work. Failure to provide proper attribution can lead to plagiarism, a serious ethical breach that undermines the trust and integrity of the academic community.

Example: Picture a scenario where someone uses your groundbreaking research without acknowledging your contribution. Proper citation is the ethical compass that ensures researchers receive the recognition they deserve, fostering a culture of honesty, collaboration, and mutual respect within the academic community.

In essence, the introduction sets the stage by highlighting the intrinsic value of proper citation, its universal importance, and the ethical responsibilities associated with giving credit to the original architects of knowledge.

Acknowledging intellectual property is a fundamental aspect of ethical scholarship. When you cite a research paper, you are not just using someone else’s words or ideas; you are recognizing their intellectual contribution to the collective body of knowledge. Failure to attribute intellectual property can lead to plagiarism, undermining the principles of academic honesty.

Example: Consider a scenario where you discover a groundbreaking concept in a research paper. Properly citing this paper acknowledges the original author’s intellectual property, ensuring that they receive due credit for their innovative ideas and fostering a culture of fairness and recognition in academia.

I have written several articles on Patents . Please visit the section for more details.

Citing research papers enhances the credibility of your own work. By referencing established research and authoritative sources, you demonstrate a commitment to thorough research and a solid understanding of the subject matter. Building credibility through proper citation is crucial in gaining the trust of your audience, whether they are fellow researchers, professors, or professionals in your field.

Example: Imagine reading a research article with compelling arguments and insightful analyses, only to find no citations supporting the claims. Properly cited sources provide a foundation of trust, allowing readers to verify and build upon the information presented, ultimately strengthening the credibility of the entire scholarly ecosystem.

Citations serve as signposts for future exploration. When you cite a research paper, you provide a roadmap for interested readers to delve deeper into the topic. This not only facilitates the growth of knowledge but also allows others to verify the accuracy and reliability of your claims. It creates a network of interconnected ideas that form the basis for ongoing research.

Example: Think of citations as the breadcrumbs left for fellow researchers in the academic forest. By citing research papers, you guide others to the sources that informed your work, enabling them to replicate, challenge, or expand upon your findings. This interconnected web of citations fosters a culture of collaborative and cumulative knowledge.

In summary, citing research papers is not just a formality; it is a multifaceted practice that acknowledges intellectual property, builds credibility, and facilitates the continuous growth of knowledge within the academic and professional realms.

Understanding Citation Styles

The academic landscape boasts various citation styles, each with its own set of rules and conventions. Understanding these styles is essential for effective communication within specific academic disciplines. Common citation styles include the American Psychological Association (APA) , Modern Language Association (MLA) , Chicago , and more. Each style dictates how to format citations, structure bibliographies, and cite various sources like books, journal articles, or online resources.

Example: If you’re writing a psychology paper, you might adhere to the APA style, which emphasizes clarity and conciseness. On the other hand, an English literature paper might follow the MLA style, known for its focus on authorship and page numbers. Familiarizing yourself with the preferred style in your field ensures your work aligns with disciplinary norms.

Understanding the distinction between in-text citations and bibliography/works cited pages is crucial for crafting comprehensive and accurate citations. In-text citations occur within the body of your text, immediately following a quote or paraphrased content, guiding readers to the complete source information in your bibliography or works cited page. The bibliography or works cited page provides a detailed list of all sources cited in your work, arranged according to the rules of the chosen citation style.

Example: In an APA-style in-text citation, you might write (Author, Year), directing readers to consult the full citation in the reference list. Meanwhile, a Chicago-style citation might include footnotes or endnotes in the text, referencing the corresponding entry in the bibliography. Mastering the art of seamlessly integrating in-text citations with a well-structured bibliography enhances the overall professionalism and clarity of your academic writing.

In summary, understanding citation styles involves navigating the specific rules and conventions of established formats like APA, MLA, or Chicago. This awareness ensures consistency and accuracy in citing sources, contributing to the clarity and professionalism of your scholarly work.

The author’s name is a foundational element in any citation. For a research paper, you might encounter single authors, multiple authors, or even organizational authors. The format for citing authors varies depending on the citation style, and it’s crucial to include all relevant names as per the guidelines.

Example: In APA style, you might cite a single author as (AuthorLastName, Year), for example, (Smith, 2022). For multiple authors, it could be (Author1LastName & Author2LastName, Year), like (Smith & Johnson, 2022).

The title of the paper is another integral part of a citation. It provides context for the reader, indicating the specific work being referenced. It should be styled according to the rules of the chosen citation format.

Example: In MLA style, you would typically italicize the title of the paper, like this: “The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity.”

Depending on the source type, you’ll need to include the title of the journal for articles or the title of the book for book references. This information helps readers locate the complete source for further exploration.

Example: In Chicago style, the title of the journal or book is usually italicized or underlined. For example, “Journal of Environmental Science” or The Great Gatsby .

The publication date is crucial for establishing the currency of the source. Depending on the citation style, you may include the full date, year, or season of publication.

Example: In APA style, the publication date is typically included in the format (Year, Month Day), such as (2022, January 1).

Page numbers are essential for pinpointing the specific location of the information within the source, especially for direct quotes. In some citation styles, you may use abbreviations like “p.” for a single page or “pp.” for multiple pages.

Example: In a Chicago-style citation, page numbers are often formatted as (PageRange), such as (145-159).

For online sources, including a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is crucial. This provides a direct link to the source, allowing readers to access the material online.

Example: In APA style, you would include the full URL, for instance, https://www.example.com/research-paper .

Mastering the inclusion of these components ensures a comprehensive and accurate citation, allowing readers to trace and verify the sources you’ve utilized in your research paper.

Components of a Citation

The author or authors of a work are a fundamental component of a citation. Depending on the number of authors, the format of the author’s name may vary across citation styles. For instance:

  • APA Style: Last name, First Initial(s). E.g., Smith, J.
  • MLA Style: Last name, First Name. E.g., Smith, John.

In some cases, there might be corporate or organizational authors. In such instances, the name of the organization replaces the individual author’s name.

The title of the paper or article is another critical element. It should be presented in a way that allows the reader to identify and locate the specific work. The formatting of the title varies by citation style:

  • APA Style: Sentence case with only the first word and proper nouns capitalized. E.g., “The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity.”
  • MLA Style: Title Case with major words capitalized. E.g., “The Impact of Climate Change on Biodiversity.”

Depending on the source type, the title of the journal or book is included in the citation. The title provides context about the larger work containing the specific paper or article.

  • APA Style: Italicize the title and capitalize major words. E.g., Journal of Environmental Science .
  • MLA Style: Italicize the title and capitalize major words. E.g., The Great Gatsby.

The publication date is crucial for indicating the timeliness of the work. It helps readers assess the currency of the information. Different citation styles have variations in how the publication date is presented:

  • APA Style: Year in parentheses. E.g., (2022).
  • MLA Style: Year followed by a period. E.g., 2022.

Page numbers are particularly important for citing specific sections or quotes within a larger work. The format varies depending on the citation style:

  • APA Style: Page range. E.g., 45-56.
  • MLA Style: Page range. E.g., 45-56.

For online sources, including a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) or DOI (Digital Object Identifier) is necessary to direct readers to the source.

  • APA Style: Include the full URL. E.g., https://www.example.com/research-paper .
  • MLA Style: Optional, but if included, use angle brackets. E.g., < https://www.example.com/research-paper&gt ;.

Remember to follow the specific guidelines of the citation style you are using, as variations exist in formatting rules. Properly structuring each component ensures accuracy and consistency in your citations, contributing to the overall professionalism and integrity of your research.

In-Text Citations

In-text citations are essential for attributing specific information or ideas to their sources directly within the body of your text. The goal is to guide readers to the full citation in your bibliography or works cited page.

B. Examples for Different Scenarios

  • APA Style: In-text: (AuthorLastName, Year) Example: (Smith, 2022) found that…
  • MLA Style: In-text: (AuthorLastName Year) Example: According to recent research, the impact of climate change is profound (Smith 45).
  • APA Style: In-text: (Author1LastName & Author2LastName, Year) Example: (Smith & Johnson, 2022) demonstrated…
  • MLA Style: In-text: (Author1LastName and Author2LastName Year) Example: The study conducted by Smith and Johnson reveals significant trends (45).
  • APA Style: In-text: (AuthorLastName, Year, p. PageNumber) Example: “This is a direct quote” (Smith, 2022, p. 28).
  • MLA Style: In-text: (AuthorLastName PageNumber) Example: According to Smith, “This is a direct quote” (28).
  • APA Style: In-text: (AuthorLastName, Year) Example: Smith (2022) argued that…
  • MLA Style: In-text: (AuthorLastName) Example: The researcher suggests that… (Smith).

Incorporating in-text citations effectively is crucial for providing proper credit to sources and avoiding plagiarism. The format of in-text citations varies across citation styles, so it’s essential to adhere to the guidelines of the chosen style for consistency and accuracy.

Creating a Bibliography or Works Cited Page

Creating a comprehensive bibliography involves systematically listing all the sources you’ve cited in your work. Follow these steps:

  • Gather Information: Collect complete details for each source, including author names, titles, publication dates, page numbers, and URLs.
  • Organize Sources: Group sources by type (e.g., books, journal articles, websites) to facilitate organization.
  • Apply Citation Style Rules: Format each entry according to the rules of your chosen citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.).
  • Alphabetize Entries: Arrange sources alphabetically by the last name of the first author or by the title if no author is provided.

Different citation styles have specific rules for organizing entries on the bibliography or works cited page. Here’s a brief overview:

  • APA Style: Alphabetize entries by the last name of the first author. Include the author’s initials and use an ampersand (&) before the last author’s name.
  • MLA Style: Organize entries alphabetically by the author’s last name. If there’s no author, use the title to alphabetize.
  • Chicago Style: Separate entries into different sections (e.g., books, articles) and organize alphabetically within each section.

C. Examples for Proper Formatting

  • Book: Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of Book. Publisher.
  • Journal Article: Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of Article. Title of Journal, volume number (issue number), page range. DOI or URL
  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year.
  • Journal Article: Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal , vol. number, no. number, Year, page range.
  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year.
  • Journal Article: Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal volume number (Year): page range.

Remember to adjust the formatting based on the specific guidelines of your chosen citation style.

Creating a well-organized bibliography or works cited page ensures that readers can locate and verify the sources you’ve referenced in your work, contributing to the overall professionalism and credibility of your research.

Online Resources and Tools

Citation tools are invaluable aids that can streamline the process of managing and generating citations. They offer features that help researchers collect, organize, and format citations according to specific citation styles. Here are a few popular citation tools:

  • Zotero: A free, open-source citation management tool that allows users to collect, organize, cite, and share their research materials. It integrates with browsers to capture citation information from web pages.
  • EndNote: A commercial citation management tool that helps researchers organize their references and generate citations. It is widely used in academic and professional settings for its robust features.
  • Citation Machine: An online tool that generates citations for various sources. Users input the necessary details, and the tool produces a formatted citation according to the selected style.

Visit my articles on EndNote for more information on this citation tool.

The process of using citation tools for automatic citation generation generally involves the following steps:

  • Create an Account: Register for an account on the chosen citation tool’s website.
  • Install Browser Extension (if applicable): Some tools, like Zotero, offer browser extensions that allow users to save citation information directly from web pages. Install the extension in your preferred browser.
  • Import Citations: Manually input citation details or import them from databases, library catalogs, or web pages.
  • Organize Citations: Organize your citations into folders or categories for easy retrieval.
  • Generate Citations: When writing a paper, use the citation tool to insert in-text citations and generate a bibliography or works cited page automatically.
  • Select Citation Style: Choose the desired citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) for your document.
  • Insert Citations into Your Document: Most citation tools integrate with word processing software (e.g., Microsoft Word) and allow you to insert citations directly into your document.
  • Format the Document: Let the citation tool automatically format your document according to the selected citation style.
  • Review and Edit: After automatic generation, review the citations and bibliography to ensure accuracy and make any necessary manual adjustments.

Using citation tools not only saves time but also helps eliminate errors in citation formatting. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the specific features and capabilities of the chosen tool to make the most of its benefits.

In summary, citation tools simplify the citation process by automating the generation and formatting of citations, allowing researchers to focus more on their content and less on the intricacies of citation styles.

Tips for Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism, the act of presenting someone else’s ideas, words, or work as your own without proper attribution, is a serious ethical breach in academia and can have severe consequences. Understanding the importance of plagiarism prevention is crucial for maintaining academic integrity and upholding ethical standards. It ensures that your work is a genuine contribution to the scholarly conversation, giving credit where it’s due, and fostering an environment of trust within the academic community.

Visit my article on ” How to Avoid Plagiarism and the Consequences of Plagiarism” for the importance of citations in research papers.

Paraphrasing is a valuable skill that allows you to incorporate the ideas of others into your work while maintaining your unique voice. Here are some tips for effective paraphrasing:

  • Understand the Source: Before attempting to paraphrase, thoroughly understand the source material. This ensures that you capture the original meaning accurately.
  • Use Synonyms and Reword: Change the structure and wording of the original text. Substitute synonyms for key terms, rephrase sentences and alter the sentence structure while preserving the essential ideas.
  • Maintain Original Meaning: While rephrasing, ensure that the core meaning of the original text is retained. Your paraphrased version should convey the same ideas but in your own words.
  • Cite the Source: Even when paraphrasing, it’s crucial to provide proper attribution. Include an in-text citation to acknowledge the source of the ideas.

Citations play a dual role in academic writing—they give credit to the original authors and strengthen your arguments. Here’s how you can effectively use citations to support your personal ideas:

  • Integrate Citations Seamlessly: Integrate citations into your text in a way that they flow naturally with your own ideas. Avoid abrupt transitions between your thoughts and cited material.
  • Choose Appropriate Sources: Select reputable and relevant sources that support or enhance your own ideas. This strengthens the credibility of your arguments.
  • Provide Context: Before or after a citation, offer context or analysis that explains how the cited material supports or relates to your own ideas. This demonstrates a thoughtful engagement with the source.
  • Balance Originality and Citation: While using citations to bolster your arguments, ensure that the majority of your work represents your original thoughts and analysis. Citations should complement, not overshadow, your personal ideas.

Incorporating these tips into your writing practices not only helps you avoid plagiarism but also enhances the quality of your work, demonstrating a respectful engagement with the ideas of others while showcasing your own contributions to the academic conversation.

Navigating the intricate world of research paper citations is akin to mastering the art of scholarly communication. In this guide, we have unravelled the essential components of proper citation, emphasizing its paramount importance in academic and professional contexts. By acknowledging the intellectual property of others through meticulous citation practices, we contribute to the integrity and credibility of the vast tapestry of knowledge.

Understanding various citation styles and mastering the art of in-text citations ensures that our work aligns seamlessly with the norms of our respective disciplines. The comprehensive overview of citation components, coupled with practical examples, empowers us to construct bibliographies or works cited pages that serve as testaments to the thoroughness of our research.

Moreover, the introduction of online resources and citation tools such as Zotero, EndNote, and Citation Machine provides a technological edge, simplifying the once-daunting task of citation management. These tools not only enhance efficiency but also mitigate the risk of citation errors, ensuring the accuracy and professionalism of our scholarly contributions.

Lastly, as responsible scholars, we explored tips for avoiding plagiarism and recognizing its ethical implications. By mastering the art of effective paraphrasing and strategically using citations to augment our personal ideas, we strike a delicate balance between acknowledging the intellectual contributions of others and asserting our own unique perspectives.

In conclusion, the journey through the intricacies of research paper citations is not merely a set of rules to follow but a fundamental aspect of scholarly responsibility. By embracing these practices, we contribute to the enrichment of academic discourse, fostering an environment of respect, trust, and collaborative knowledge creation. As we continue on our scholarly endeavours, let the principles of proper citation serve as our guiding light, ensuring that our contributions stand firmly on the shoulders of the intellectual giants who came before us.

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Additional MLA Resources

Citations in ebsco, mla style manual, in-text citations without page numbers.

  • Books & ebooks

Always refer to the print style manual for complete citation formatting and punctuation guidelines. Follow your professor's recommendations.

Note: Although an "index" database, Such as Christian Periodical Index or Literary Index, may identify where to get the full text, do not include a citation for an "index" database in the Works Cited, as it does not include full text.

For additional format styles, see the library guide opens new window Citing Sources.

MLA Style Center (Modern Language Association)

To organize key elements in your citation, use the opens new window MLA Interactive Practice Template from MLA Handbook (8th ed.), PDF, by the Modern Language Association (style.mla.org),

- opens new window How to cite an online video? - opens new window Using MLA Format - opens new window Works Cited: A Quick guide - FAQs, MLA Style Center

  • MLA Citation Style 8th edition HD (Hayden Memorial Library)
  • opens new window Citation Help for MLA, 8th Edition (College of St. Scholastica)
  • opens new window MLA Documentation Guide (The Writing Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • opens new window Scribbr - Provides interactive MLA citation generator

For a single citation in an EBSCO database , click the article title to access the detailed record. Click the "cite" button in the right toolbar then choose the recommended style. (The "Tools" menu is only available on the detailed item record; it is not on the results page.) Copy, paste, and edit the citation to match the required citation style and your professor's requirements.

NOTE: When editing an MLA citation, change EBSCOhost to the database name, such as Academic Search Complete or Gale in Context: Biography.

EBSCO cite tool

The EBSCO Folder is a personal information management tool to save articles, save searches, create citations lists, write notes, and more. Create a folder then sign in to your folder. Note: Items added to the default folder are NOT saved.

For multiple citations use the EBSCO folder :

  • After you add the articles to the folder, click Folder has items at the top of the page. In the folder:
  • Click checkboxes to mark items to be cited.
  • Click the Print icon (in the right toolbar). In the Print Manager window:
  • Uncheck HTML Full Text and Search History boxes, if showing and checked.
  • Choose a Citation Format .
  • Click Print (items are reformatted for printing). Cancel the print, then save or copy/paste/edit the citations.

MLA Handbook

When page numbers are not fixed (the number are not the same in all formats) or not available , use a label identifying abbreviation for the number reference. Use a comma to separate the author from a reference that is not a page number .

Examples: (Smith 27) page number 27 (Smith, par. 6) paragraph 6 (Smith, pars. 6-7) paragraphs 6 and 7 (Smith, ch. 4) chapter 4

See: MLA Handbook , 8th edition (pp. 36, 123-127) - Call number opens new window LB2369.G53 2016 The Little, Brown Handbook , 13th edition (pp. 638-640) - Call number opens new window PE1112.F644 2016 .

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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

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MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

Guidelines for referring to the works of others in your text using MLA style are covered throughout the  MLA Handbook  and in chapter 7 of the  MLA Style Manual . Both books provide extensive examples, so it's a good idea to consult them if you want to become even more familiar with MLA guidelines or if you have a particular reference question.

Basic in-text citation rules

In MLA Style, referring to the works of others in your text is done using parenthetical citations . This method involves providing relevant source information in parentheses whenever a sentence uses a quotation or paraphrase. Usually, the simplest way to do this is to put all of the source information in parentheses at the end of the sentence (i.e., just before the period). However, as the examples below will illustrate, there are situations where it makes sense to put the parenthetical elsewhere in the sentence, or even to leave information out.

General Guidelines

  • The source information required in a parenthetical citation depends (1) upon the source medium (e.g. print, web, DVD) and (2) upon the source’s entry on the Works Cited page.
  • Any source information that you provide in-text must correspond to the source information on the Works Cited page. More specifically, whatever signal word or phrase you provide to your readers in the text must be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of the corresponding entry on the Works Cited page.

In-text citations: Author-page style

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text, and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page. The author's name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, not in the text of your sentence. For example:

Both citations in the examples above, (263) and (Wordsworth 263), tell readers that the information in the sentence can be located on page 263 of a work by an author named Wordsworth. If readers want more information about this source, they can turn to the Works Cited page, where, under the name of Wordsworth, they would find the following information:

Wordsworth, William. Lyrical Ballads . Oxford UP, 1967.

In-text citations for print sources with known author

For print sources like books, magazines, scholarly journal articles, and newspapers, provide a signal word or phrase (usually the author’s last name) and a page number. If you provide the signal word/phrase in the sentence, you do not need to include it in the parenthetical citation.

These examples must correspond to an entry that begins with Burke, which will be the first thing that appears on the left-hand margin of an entry on the Works Cited page:

Burke, Kenneth. Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method . University of California Press, 1966.

In-text citations for print sources by a corporate author

When a source has a corporate author, it is acceptable to use the name of the corporation followed by the page number for the in-text citation. You should also use abbreviations (e.g., nat'l for national) where appropriate, so as to avoid interrupting the flow of reading with overly long parenthetical citations.

In-text citations for sources with non-standard labeling systems

If a source uses a labeling or numbering system other than page numbers, such as a script or poetry, precede the citation with said label. When citing a poem, for instance, the parenthetical would begin with the word “line”, and then the line number or range. For example, the examination of William Blake’s poem “The Tyger” would be cited as such:

The speaker makes an ardent call for the exploration of the connection between the violence of nature and the divinity of creation. “In what distant deeps or skies. / Burnt the fire of thine eyes," they ask in reference to the tiger as they attempt to reconcile their intimidation with their relationship to creationism (lines 5-6).

Longer labels, such as chapters (ch.) and scenes (sc.), should be abbreviated.

In-text citations for print sources with no known author

When a source has no known author, use a shortened title of the work instead of an author name, following these guidelines.

Place the title in quotation marks if it's a short work (such as an article) or italicize it if it's a longer work (e.g. plays, books, television shows, entire Web sites) and provide a page number if it is available.

Titles longer than a standard noun phrase should be shortened into a noun phrase by excluding articles. For example, To the Lighthouse would be shortened to Lighthouse .

If the title cannot be easily shortened into a noun phrase, the title should be cut after the first clause, phrase, or punctuation:

In this example, since the reader does not know the author of the article, an abbreviated title appears in the parenthetical citation, and the full title of the article appears first at the left-hand margin of its respective entry on the Works Cited page. Thus, the writer includes the title in quotation marks as the signal phrase in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader directly to the source on the Works Cited page. The Works Cited entry appears as follows:

"The Impact of Global Warming in North America." Global Warming: Early Signs . 1999. www.climatehotmap.org/. Accessed 23 Mar. 2009.

If the title of the work begins with a quotation mark, such as a title that refers to another work, that quote or quoted title can be used as the shortened title. The single quotation marks must be included in the parenthetical, rather than the double quotation.

Parenthetical citations and Works Cited pages, used in conjunction, allow readers to know which sources you consulted in writing your essay, so that they can either verify your interpretation of the sources or use them in their own scholarly work.

Author-page citation for classic and literary works with multiple editions

Page numbers are always required, but additional citation information can help literary scholars, who may have a different edition of a classic work, like Marx and Engels's  The Communist Manifesto . In such cases, give the page number of your edition (making sure the edition is listed in your Works Cited page, of course) followed by a semicolon, and then the appropriate abbreviations for volume (vol.), book (bk.), part (pt.), chapter (ch.), section (sec.), or paragraph (par.). For example:

Author-page citation for works in an anthology, periodical, or collection

When you cite a work that appears inside a larger source (for instance, an article in a periodical or an essay in a collection), cite the author of the  internal source (i.e., the article or essay). For example, to cite Albert Einstein's article "A Brief Outline of the Theory of Relativity," which was published in  Nature  in 1921, you might write something like this:

See also our page on documenting periodicals in the Works Cited .

Citing authors with same last names

Sometimes more information is necessary to identify the source from which a quotation is taken. For instance, if two or more authors have the same last name, provide both authors' first initials (or even the authors' full name if different authors share initials) in your citation. For example:

Citing a work by multiple authors

For a source with two authors, list the authors’ last names in the text or in the parenthetical citation:

Corresponding Works Cited entry:

Best, David, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations , vol. 108, no. 1, Fall 2009, pp. 1-21. JSTOR, doi:10.1525/rep.2009.108.1.1

For a source with three or more authors, list only the first author’s last name, and replace the additional names with et al.

Franck, Caroline, et al. “Agricultural Subsidies and the American Obesity Epidemic.” American Journal of Preventative Medicine , vol. 45, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 327-333.

Citing multiple works by the same author

If you cite more than one work by an author, include a shortened title for the particular work from which you are quoting to distinguish it from the others. Put short titles of books in italics and short titles of articles in quotation marks.

Citing two articles by the same author :

Citing two books by the same author :

Additionally, if the author's name is not mentioned in the sentence, format your citation with the author's name followed by a comma, followed by a shortened title of the work, and, when appropriate, the page number(s):

Citing multivolume works

If you cite from different volumes of a multivolume work, always include the volume number followed by a colon. Put a space after the colon, then provide the page number(s). (If you only cite from one volume, provide only the page number in parentheses.)

Citing the Bible

In your first parenthetical citation, you want to make clear which Bible you're using (and underline or italicize the title), as each version varies in its translation, followed by book (do not italicize or underline), chapter, and verse. For example:

If future references employ the same edition of the Bible you’re using, list only the book, chapter, and verse in the parenthetical citation:

John of Patmos echoes this passage when describing his vision (Rev. 4.6-8).

Citing indirect sources

Sometimes you may have to use an indirect source. An indirect source is a source cited within another source. For such indirect quotations, use "qtd. in" to indicate the source you actually consulted. For example:

Note that, in most cases, a responsible researcher will attempt to find the original source, rather than citing an indirect source.

Citing transcripts, plays, or screenplays

Sources that take the form of a dialogue involving two or more participants have special guidelines for their quotation and citation. Each line of dialogue should begin with the speaker's name written in all capitals and indented half an inch. A period follows the name (e.g., JAMES.) . After the period, write the dialogue. Each successive line after the first should receive an additional indentation. When another person begins speaking, start a new line with that person's name indented only half an inch. Repeat this pattern each time the speaker changes. You can include stage directions in the quote if they appear in the original source.

Conclude with a parenthetical that explains where to find the excerpt in the source. Usually, the author and title of the source can be given in a signal phrase before quoting the excerpt, so the concluding parenthetical will often just contain location information like page numbers or act/scene indicators.

Here is an example from O'Neill's  The Iceman Cometh.

WILLIE. (Pleadingly) Give me a drink, Rocky. Harry said it was all right. God, I need a drink.

ROCKY. Den grab it. It's right under your nose.

WILLIE. (Avidly) Thanks. (He takes the bottle with both twitching hands and tilts it to his lips and gulps down the whiskey in big swallows.) (1.1)

Citing non-print or sources from the Internet

With more and more scholarly work published on the Internet, you may have to cite sources you found in digital environments. While many sources on the Internet should not be used for scholarly work (reference the OWL's  Evaluating Sources of Information  resource), some Web sources are perfectly acceptable for research. When creating in-text citations for electronic, film, or Internet sources, remember that your citation must reference the source on your Works Cited page.

Sometimes writers are confused with how to craft parenthetical citations for electronic sources because of the absence of page numbers. However, these sorts of entries often do not require a page number in the parenthetical citation. For electronic and Internet sources, follow the following guidelines:

  • Include in the text the first item that appears in the Work Cited entry that corresponds to the citation (e.g. author name, article name, website name, film name).
  • Do not provide paragraph numbers or page numbers based on your Web browser’s print preview function.
  • Unless you must list the Web site name in the signal phrase in order to get the reader to the appropriate entry, do not include URLs in-text. Only provide partial URLs such as when the name of the site includes, for example, a domain name, like  CNN.com  or  Forbes.com,  as opposed to writing out http://www.cnn.com or http://www.forbes.com.

Miscellaneous non-print sources

Two types of non-print sources you may encounter are films and lectures/presentations:

In the two examples above “Herzog” (a film’s director) and “Yates” (a presentor) lead the reader to the first item in each citation’s respective entry on the Works Cited page:

Herzog, Werner, dir. Fitzcarraldo . Perf. Klaus Kinski. Filmverlag der Autoren, 1982.

Yates, Jane. "Invention in Rhetoric and Composition." Gaps Addressed: Future Work in Rhetoric and Composition, CCCC, Palmer House Hilton, 2002. Address.

Electronic sources

Electronic sources may include web pages and online news or magazine articles:

In the first example (an online magazine article), the writer has chosen not to include the author name in-text; however, two entries from the same author appear in the Works Cited. Thus, the writer includes both the author’s last name and the article title in the parenthetical citation in order to lead the reader to the appropriate entry on the Works Cited page (see below).

In the second example (a web page), a parenthetical citation is not necessary because the page does not list an author, and the title of the article, “MLA Formatting and Style Guide,” is used as a signal phrase within the sentence. If the title of the article was not named in the sentence, an abbreviated version would appear in a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence. Both corresponding Works Cited entries are as follows:

Taylor, Rumsey. "Fitzcarraldo." Slant , 13 Jun. 2003, www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/fitzcarraldo/. Accessed 29 Sep. 2009. 

"MLA Formatting and Style Guide." The Purdue OWL , 2 Aug. 2016, owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/. Accessed 2 April 2018.

Multiple citations

To cite multiple sources in the same parenthetical reference, separate the citations by a semi-colon:

Time-based media sources

When creating in-text citations for media that has a runtime, such as a movie or podcast, include the range of hours, minutes and seconds you plan to reference. For example: (00:02:15-00:02:35).

When a citation is not needed

Common sense and ethics should determine your need for documenting sources. You do not need to give sources for familiar proverbs, well-known quotations, or common knowledge (For example, it is expected that U.S. citizens know that George Washington was the first President.). Remember that citing sources is a rhetorical task, and, as such, can vary based on your audience. If you’re writing for an expert audience of a scholarly journal, for example, you may need to deal with expectations of what constitutes “common knowledge” that differ from common norms.

Other Sources

The MLA Handbook describes how to cite many different kinds of authors and content creators. However, you may occasionally encounter a source or author category that the handbook does not describe, making the best way to proceed can be unclear.

In these cases, it's typically acceptable to apply the general principles of MLA citation to the new kind of source in a way that's consistent and sensible. A good way to do this is to simply use the standard MLA directions for a type of source that resembles the source you want to cite.

You may also want to investigate whether a third-party organization has provided directions for how to cite this kind of source. For example, Norquest College provides guidelines for citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers⁠ —an author category that does not appear in the MLA Handbook . In cases like this, however, it's a good idea to ask your instructor or supervisor whether using third-party citation guidelines might present problems.

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Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence

Title: an interactive agent foundation model.

Abstract: The development of artificial intelligence systems is transitioning from creating static, task-specific models to dynamic, agent-based systems capable of performing well in a wide range of applications. We propose an Interactive Agent Foundation Model that uses a novel multi-task agent training paradigm for training AI agents across a wide range of domains, datasets, and tasks. Our training paradigm unifies diverse pre-training strategies, including visual masked auto-encoders, language modeling, and next-action prediction, enabling a versatile and adaptable AI framework. We demonstrate the performance of our framework across three separate domains -- Robotics, Gaming AI, and Healthcare. Our model demonstrates its ability to generate meaningful and contextually relevant outputs in each area. The strength of our approach lies in its generality, leveraging a variety of data sources such as robotics sequences, gameplay data, large-scale video datasets, and textual information for effective multimodal and multi-task learning. Our approach provides a promising avenue for developing generalist, action-taking, multimodal systems.

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  • Introduction
  • Finding sources

Evaluating sources

  • Integrating sources

Citing sources

Tools and resources, a quick guide to working with sources.

Working with sources is an important skill that you’ll need throughout your academic career.

It includes knowing how to find relevant sources, assessing their authority and credibility, and understanding how to integrate sources into your work with proper referencing.

This quick guide will help you get started!

Finding relevant sources

Sources commonly used in academic writing include academic journals, scholarly books, websites, newspapers, and encyclopedias. There are three main places to look for such sources:

  • Research databases: Databases can be general or subject-specific. To get started, check out this list of databases by academic discipline . Another good starting point is Google Scholar .
  • Your institution’s library: Use your library’s database to narrow down your search using keywords to find relevant articles, books, and newspapers matching your topic.
  • Other online resources: Consult popular online sources like websites, blogs, or Wikipedia to find background information. Be sure to carefully evaluate the credibility of those online sources.

When using academic databases or search engines, you can use Boolean operators to refine your results.

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In academic writing, your sources should be credible, up to date, and relevant to your research topic. Useful approaches to evaluating sources include the CRAAP test and lateral reading.

CRAAP is an abbreviation that reminds you of a set of questions to ask yourself when evaluating information.

  • Currency: Does the source reflect recent research?
  • Relevance: Is the source related to your research topic?
  • Authority: Is it a respected publication? Is the author an expert in their field?
  • Accuracy: Does the source support its arguments and conclusions with evidence?
  • Purpose: What is the author’s intention?

Lateral reading

Lateral reading means comparing your source to other sources. This allows you to:

  • Verify evidence
  • Contextualize information
  • Find potential weaknesses

If a source is using methods or drawing conclusions that are incompatible with other research in its field, it may not be reliable.

Integrating sources into your work

Once you have found information that you want to include in your paper, signal phrases can help you to introduce it. Here are a few examples:

Following the signal phrase, you can choose to quote, paraphrase or summarize the source.

  • Quoting : This means including the exact words of another source in your paper. The quoted text must be enclosed in quotation marks or (for longer quotes) presented as a block quote . Quote a source when the meaning is difficult to convey in different words or when you want to analyze the language itself.
  • Paraphrasing : This means putting another person’s ideas into your own words. It allows you to integrate sources more smoothly into your text, maintaining a consistent voice. It also shows that you have understood the meaning of the source.
  • Summarizing : This means giving an overview of the essential points of a source. Summaries should be much shorter than the original text. You should describe the key points in your own words and not quote from the original text.

Whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source, you must include a citation crediting the original author.

Citing your sources is important because it:

  • Allows you to avoid plagiarism
  • Establishes the credentials of your sources
  • Backs up your arguments with evidence
  • Allows your reader to verify the legitimacy of your conclusions

The most common citation styles are APA, MLA, and Chicago style. Each citation style has specific rules for formatting citations.

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Scribbr offers tons of tools and resources to make working with sources easier and faster. Take a look at our top picks:

  • Citation Generator: Automatically generate accurate references and in-text citations using Scribbr’s APA Citation Generator, MLA Citation Generator , Harvard Referencing Generator , and Chicago Citation Generator .
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  • Knowledge Base : Explore hundreds of articles, bite-sized videos, time-saving templates, and handy checklists that guide you through the process of research, writing, and citation.

IMAGES

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  2. APA Citation Style

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  4. How To Cite A Research Paper In Apa Format

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  6. APA Citing Help

    what are citations for research paper

VIDEO

  1. How to write References, Citations & Bibliography in Thesis/Dissertation

  2. How to create citation using Microsoft Word #citation #bibliography #referencing (Vlog #105)

  3. What is Citation?

  4. Research Citations Tools Session

  5. Word Project 2 Part 2

  6. How to Get More Citations to Your Research

COMMENTS

  1. Citing Sources: What are citations and why should I use them?

    Citations are a way of giving credit when certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again-- it provides an important roadmap to your research process.

  2. How To Cite a Research Paper in 2024: Citation Styles Guide

    JAN 2, 2024 How To Cite a Research Paper in 2024: Citation Styles Guide by Imed Bouchrika, Phd Co-Founder and Chief Data Scientist Share If you are looking for the best advice on how to write a research paper, the first thing you would find is to cite your sources. In academic research, it is standardized by many institutions.

  3. In-Text Citations: The Basics

    APA Citation Basics When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, like, for example, (Jones, 1998). One complete reference for each source should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  4. How to Cite Sources

    The most commonly used citation styles are APA and MLA. The free Scribbr Citation Generator is the quickest way to cite sources in these styles. Simply enter the URL, DOI, or title, and we'll generate an accurate, correctly formatted citation. Generate accurate citations with Scribbr Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

  5. Citation Styles Guide

    A citation style is a set of guidelines on how to cite sources in your academic writing. You always need a citation whenever you quote, paraphrase, or summarize a source to avoid plagiarism. How you present these citations depends on the style you follow. Scribbr's citation generator can help!

  6. Research Guides: APA Citation Style: Citation Examples

    Works Included in a Reference List. The reference list provides a reliable way for readers to identify and locate the works cited in a paper. APA Style papers generally include reference lists, not bibliographies. In general, each work cited in the text must appear in the reference list, and each work in the reference list must be cited in the ...

  7. APA Formatting and Citation (7th Ed.)

    Throughout your paper, you need to apply the following APA format guidelines: Set page margins to 1 inch on all sides. Double-space all text, including headings. Indent the first line of every paragraph 0.5 inches. Use an accessible font (e.g., Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.).

  8. APA

    Fundamentals of APA American Psychological Association (APA) style includes parenthetical in-text citations and a reference list. APA uses parenthetical citations as its form of in-text citation. Provide a parenthetical citation before the period directly following the information you are citing.

  9. How to Cite Sources

    Citation Generator Source Type Search Here is a complete list for how to cite sources. Most of these guides present citation guidance and examples in MLA, APA, and Chicago. If you're looking for general information on MLA or APA citations, the EasyBib Writing Center was designed for you!

  10. Library Guides: Start Your Research: Cite Your Sources

    A citation identifies for the reader the original source for an idea, information, or image that is referred to in a work. In the body of a paper, the in-text citation acknowledges the source of information used.; At the end of a paper, the citations are compiled on a References or Works Cited list.A basic citation includes the author, title, and publication information of the source.

  11. How to Cite Research Paper

    "Title of Article." Title of Journal, vol. Volume Number, no. Issue Number, Year of Publication, pp. Page Numbers. Example: Johnson, Emma. "The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture." Environmental Science Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, 2019, pp. 45-59. Research Paper Last Name, First Name. "Title of Paper."

  12. 5 Ways to Cite a Research Paper

    When writing a paper for a research project, you may need to cite a research paper you used as a reference. The basic information included in your citation will be the same across all styles.

  13. APA: Citing Within Your Paper

    An in-text citation is a citation within your writing that shows where you found your information, facts, quotes, and research. All APA in-text citations require the same basic information: Year of publication (or "n.d." if there is "no date": (LastName, n.d., p.#)) Page number, paragraph number, chapter, section, or time stamp where ...

  14. How To Cite a Research Paper (With APA Citation Examples)

    Here are the general rules to follow when citing a research paper in an APA style format: Book: Last Name, First Initial. (Year of Publication). Title of the work. Publisher. Example: Thompson, S. (1982). The Year of the Wolf. Preston and Buchanan. Magazine: Last Name, First Initial. (Year, Month of Publication). Article title.

  15. How to Cite in APA Format (7th edition)

    The basics In-text citations are brief references in the running text that direct readers to the reference entry at the end of the paper. You include them every time you quote or paraphrase someone else's ideas or words to avoid plagiarism.

  16. Research and Citation Resources

    Cite your source automatically in MLA or APA format Cite Using citation machines responsibly Powered by APA Style (7th Edition) These OWL resources will help you learn how to use the American Psychological Association (APA) citation and format style.

  17. LibGuides: How To Write a Research Paper: Citations

    Good research projects combine data from a variety of sources and carefully document the sources of information and ideas. Research documentation usually appears in two parts: short in-text citations occurring within the actual paper and a longer, complete list of works at the end of the paper called a bibliography, reference list, or works cited page.

  18. Formatting a Paper in APA

    Paper Title: include on the first line of the first page of the body of your paper; bold and centered; Headings and Sub-headings (use when needed) APA uses a hierarchy of five levels for headings within the paper; use only the number of headings needed short paper may not need headings at all

  19. Research Paper Citations: A Step-by-Step Guide in 2024

    Research paper citation is the systematic acknowledgment and documentation of sources used in a scholarly work, providing proper attribution to authors and ensuring transparency and integrity in academic writing. In the following exploration, we will delve into the why, the how, and the what of citing research papers.

  20. In-Text Citations: The Basics

    APA citation basics When using APA format, follow the author-date method of in-text citation. This means that the author's last name and the year of publication for the source should appear in the text, for example, (Jones, 1998), and a complete reference should appear in the reference list at the end of the paper.

  21. Library Guides: ENG-498 English Sr. Paper Research: Citations

    Click the "cite" button in the right toolbar then choose the recommended style. (The "Tools" menu is only available on the detailed item record; it is not on the results page.) Copy, paste, and edit the citation to match the required citation style and your professor's requirements.

  22. MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

    MLA (Modern Language Association) style is most commonly used to write papers and cite sources within the liberal arts and humanities. This resource, updated to reflect the MLA Handbook (9 th ed.), offers examples for the general format of MLA research papers, in-text citations, endnotes/footnotes, and the Works Cited page.

  23. The Basics of In-Text Citation

    Table of contents What are in-text citations for? When do you need an in-text citation? Types of in-text citation Frequently asked questions about in-text citations What are in-text citations for? The point of an in-text citation is to show your reader where your information comes from. Including citations:

  24. Mental Health Social Work Practitioner Research: A Narrative Review of

    Purpose: This narrative review explores papers published in peer-reviewed journals reporting research from a practice research module of a qualifying program to examine their potential contribution to knowledge in mental health social work.Methods: A narrative review was undertaken according to the PRISMA extension for scoping reviews of papers published by the first three cohorts of a ...

  25. Citation Examples

    The most common citation styles are APA and MLA. To cite a source in these styles, you need a brief in-text citation and a full reference. Use the interactive tool to understand how a citation is structured and see examples for common source types.

  26. [2402.05929] An Interactive Agent Foundation Model

    The development of artificial intelligence systems is transitioning from creating static, task-specific models to dynamic, agent-based systems capable of performing well in a wide range of applications. We propose an Interactive Agent Foundation Model that uses a novel multi-task agent training paradigm for training AI agents across a wide range of domains, datasets, and tasks. Our training ...

  27. Free Citation Generator

    It's free! Perfectly formatted references every time Inaccurate citations can cost you points on your assignments, so our seasoned citation experts have invested countless hours in perfecting Scribbr's citation generator algorithms. We're proud to be recommended by teachers and universities worldwide. Enjoy a citation generator without flashy ads