Understanding the research paper citing specifications
Citing the sources appropriately in a research paper is very important. Research can never be done without the help of sources. Sources are used for many purposes, in a research paper, including that of supporting the thesis and adding authority to your argument. Sources guide you through your research to your conclusion. Considering these aspects, it is appropriate that you cite your sources, without fail, in all your research papers. The research paper citing requirements are mostly dependent on the style of documentation used for that project.
The various formats used for research paper citing purposes
You will be dealing with various documentation formats, depending on the subjects you have chosen, during your academic period. The method used for citing the sources differ along with the documentation style used. The citation methods particular to some of the commonly used styles are listed below.
1. The APA style: The APA style is commonly used for the documentation of social sciences and psychology. For citing the sources, this style employs the use of:
• In-text citations: (surname of the author, date) Ex: (Gladwell, 2008)
• Bibliography section: A separate section. To be given the heading of ‘References’. To be organized in alphabetical order as per the surnames of the authors. The entries to be formatted as per the latest edition of the manual of APA style.
2. The MLA style: Preferred by literature and humanities, the MLA style is also preferred by many other subjects due to its simple and flexible formatting rules. For research paper citing purposes, it uses:
• In-text citations: Known as parenthetical references, these are to be entered in the format of ‘(surname of the author, page)’. Ex: (Gladwell, 224)
• Bibliography section: To be started on a separate page. Heading would be ‘Works Cited’. The list to be alphabetically arranged as per the surnames of the authors.
3. The Chicago style: Is mostly in use for the documentation of research data in History. It offers:
• In text citations: Formatted as (surname of the author and date, page number(s)) Ex: (Gladwell 2003, 92 – 116)
• Footnotes or end notes: The notes must be linked to the cited information using numerals, preferably, or characters. The notes must be formatted as – the linking number, the author’s name (not to be reversed), the title (Place of publishing, date of publishing), page numbers.
• Bibliography section: Titled ‘bibliography’ itself. The surnames of the authors must be inverted. Format depends on the type of source. To be ascertained from the latest edition of Chicago style manual.
Irrespective of whether you are writing a persuasive research paper, argumentative paper or an analytical paper, it is extremely important that you cite your sources appropriately.
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