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Home Blog research paper guide How to Cite a Research Paper with the Help of Examples

How to Cite a Research Paper with the Help of Examples

How to Cite a Research Paper with the Help of Examples

Citations are a key component of academic writing. Citations allow the reader to trace where your information came from. In addition, they provide documentation for your research or paper to be cited properly for future work.

When you write a paper for the research project, it's important to cite your sources so that they can be properly credited. The basic information in citations will stay consistent across all styles; however, how it is presented depends on your educational institute guidelines.

Citations are a vital part of any researcher’s work. They are the backbone of your research paper. They provide an author's credibility and help readers trust their work, but it can be tedious to write them correctly.

Unfortunately, many students get confused about different citation styles. In this blog post, you will learn how to cite your research paper in various formats.

What is a Citation Style?

Citing sources is an important academic skill. Whenever you refer to someone else's work, it must be properly cited so that your papers do not contain any plagiarized content. And can earn credit for using information from other writers' published documents or ideas without crediting them directly in the text of your paper itself.

The citation style is important because it helps students or researchers format their papers in a specific way.

Citations should demonstrate what was read, where this material came from originally, and when exactly these words were spoken/uttered by various people mentioned within its papers.

Citations are used for many purposes, including enabling better verification of your work and giving proper credit to the authors. They also help writers avoid committing plagiarism by making them more trustworthy on paper.

The right citation style depends on the discipline in which you will write your research paper. Therefore, it is important to consult your professor about the citation style for research papers. In most cases, they assign one and if not, then choose wisely.

Moreover, citations are a way to ensure accuracy, and they'll help you avoid losing credit for others’ work. Here's what citations should include:

  • Name of the author
  • The year of publication
  • Name of the book, article, or other resources
  • The place of publication
  • Page numbers
  • The name of the website

When using citations, it's important to keep in mind the information they contain. The order of the citation may change depending on your style.

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What are the Different Referencing Styles for Citations?

When you write a research paper, it's necessary to cite your sources. For academic papers, there are six main citation styles:

  • APA (American Psychological Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago citation style
  • Harvard citation style
  • ASA (American Sociological Association)
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

The information is the same in all citation styles. However, only formatting your citations depends on which style to use, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, and any citation style.

How to Cite a Research Paper in APA Format?

The APA research paper format is mainly used in the field of psychology and social sciences. But it isn't just for those disciplines - this type can apply to any scientific study where clarity, organization, and an orderly documentation process are necessary. This citation style is a little simpler than most, and students usually use this for their papers.

The following are a few formatting rules to help you write your research paper in APA citation format.

  • Use double spacing throughout the paper.
  • The title should be between 10-12 words.
  • The title page, references, and abstract should be on their own pages.
  • Use 12 pt font size.
  • An abstract is not more than 120 words.
  • Table of content is not compulsory but recommended for lengthy papers.

Also, in APA format, the research paper should include:

  • Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Main body
  • References

There are many different APA formats for sources, depending on what you're looking to cite. Below you'll go over some of the most common ones that you cite in your paper.

Source Format
Website Author, (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from URL
Magazine Author, (Year, a month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp
News Paper Author, (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx
Book Author, (Year of Publication). The Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher
Journal Last name, Initials. (Year). Article title. Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page range. DOI or URL

Here is a document that helps you to cite your research paper in APA format.

pdf icon
How to Cite a Research Paper in APA 7th Edition

APA In-Text Citation

In-text citations help users know which ideas come from whom and when. APA style has two major elements for in-text citation: the author and date (2019). It comes with both parenthetical reference format and narrative; choose whichever is more appropriate based on your needs.

In parenthetical citation, you write like this (Brown, 2002), but in a narrative, write the citation in this format Brown (2002).

How to Cite a Research Paper in MLA Format?

The MLA citation is a common style used in the humanities and liberal arts for formatting research papers. This particular format can be applied by scholars, researchers, or students writing assignments on these subjects.

In MLA style, use the title “Works-Cited List” for your reference list. This will help readers look at the bibliography and want more information on each source you cited in order of their importance so they can find it easily when writing their papers.

The following are some formatting rules that should be followed when drafting a research paper in MLA format.

  • Use double spacing throughout the paper.
  • Set 1’’ margins on all sides of the document.
  • Font size should be 12 pt.
  • Include endnotes on a separate page before the Work Cited page.
  • Indent first word in every paragraph.
  • Use Times New Roman font.

The following are the most common MLA formats for different types of sources:

Source Format
Website Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Sponsoring Institution/Publisher. Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
Magazine Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
Book Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published. Medium.
Blog Posts Last name, Middle name, Surname. “Title of the blog post.” Blog Title, Publisher, date posted, URL.
Instagram Last name, first name. “Description” Website Title, date, URL.
News Paper Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
Twitter @twitterhandel. “Description.” Twitter, date, time. URL.

Take a look at this document and know how to cite a research paper in MLA format.

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How to Cite a Research Paper MLA 8

MLA In-Text Citation

Citations are a way to credit the source of your information. If the author is known, cite web pages in text. Likewise, use a title as an in-text citation when referencing if the author is not known.

For Example:

An entire website with the author:

In-text citation

When children are being bullied, parents can play a major role in assisting them to learn techniques for coping. (Kaiser).

Reference entry

Kaiser, Alexa. Safe Child. Coalition for Children, 2008, www.safechild.org.

Web page with no author:

In-text citation

The term Nittany Lion was coined by Penn State football player Joe Mason in 2001 ("All Things Nittany").

Reference entry

"All Things Nittany." About Penn State. Penn State University, 2016, www.psu.edu/ur/about/nittanymascot.html.

How to Cite a Research Paper in Harvard Style?

Harvard style is a popular formatting style used in academic papers, along with APA and MLA. It contains rules about formatting the margins of your paper and which fonts should be used not to disrupt readability.

Moreover, this citation style is commonly used in humanities, behavioral sciences, and philosophy.

There are several guidelines to follow when formatting a paper in Harvard style.

  • Use 1-inch margins on all sides of the page.
  • The tile is placed in the center of the page.
  • Use double-space between the lines.
  • Arrange reference list alphabetically.

The following table shows different kinds of sources and their Harvard-style format for your research paper.

Source Format
Book Author A and Author B (year) Book Title. Place: Publisher name.
Thesis or Dissertation Author Surname, Initial. (Year). Title. Designation (Level, e.g., MSc, PhD.), Institution.
Journal Articles Author Surname, Initial. (Year) Title of article. Title of journal, Vol. no. (Part no./Issue/Month), Pages, use p. or pp.
Report Author Surname, Initial(s) or Corporate Author., (Year of publication). Title of report. Paper number [if applicable]. Place of Publication: Publisher.

How to Cite a Research Paper in Chicago Style?

This citation style is mainly used in the humanities and book bibliographies. It allows researchers to cite sources with endnotes or footnotes and demonstrate acceptability for related references they may use within their content.

Here are Chicago-style formatting rules every student and researcher should follow.

  • Use 1-inch margins.
  • Indent every new paragraph by ½ inch.
  • The title page is not required in Chicago style.
  • All headings should be capitalized.
  • The page numbers should place at the top-right or bottom center of the page.

Here is a table that shows the Chicago-style citation for different types of sources.

Source Format
Website Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).
Magazine Last Name, First Name. Article title. Magazine Title, Month Date, Year of publication.
Article Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Journal Name Volume Number (Year Published): Page Numbers.
Youtube Video Last name, First name, “Title of Video.” YouTube video, length. Date published. URL.
News Paper Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name, Publication Date.
Blog Posts First name Last Name, “Title of Blog Post,” Blog Title (blog), Month Date, Year of Post, URL.
Book Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published.
Twitter Last name, First name. Twitter Post. Month Day, Year, Time. Tweet URL.
Instagram Author(s) of the post (@handle). "Text of the Instagram post." Instagram, Date of posting. URL.

How to Cite a Research Paper in an Essay?

Citing a research paper in an essay is not difficult. You can use any citation format that matches your academic needs, but when you choose the one for citing, it's important to consult with and get approval from your professor.

Creating a reference section will help you and avoid plagiarism in your work. When you are making a case for something, citing evidence and data correctly can help your credibility.

How to Cite a Research Paper in ASA Format?

The Sociological Association created this citation style, and it is normally used in psychology and social sciences papers. The ASA Citation Style is a simple format for writing research papers.

The following are some formatting rules that you should follow when writing a paper in ASA format.

  • All text must be double-spaced.
  • All margins should be 1-inch.
  • Periodical titles should be italic.
  • Use Times New Roman font.

Below are the main elements of the ASA paper are:

  • Title Page
  • Citation and In-Text Citation
  • Heading
  • References

The following table show some specific ASA formats for different kinds of sources:

Source Source
Website Author’s Last, First Name. Date of Publishing. Title. Publisher. Retrieved Month Day, Year (link).
Magazine Article Author’s Last, First Name. Year of Pub. "Title." Magazine Name, Month Year, pp. Inclusive page numbers.
Book Author’s Last, First Name. Year of Publication. Title. Country of publisher: Publisher.
Newspaper Article Author Last name, First name. Year of publication. "Title of Article." Title of Newspaper (italicized), Month date, pp. Numbers.

How to Cite a Research Paper in IEEE Format?

In electronics, computer science, and engineering, the IEEE style is commonly used. This citation style is an official style of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The below table shows how to cite different sources in IEEE format.

Source Format
Handbooks Name of Manual/Handbook, x ed., Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, year, pp. xxx-xxx.
Conference Paper J. K. Author, “Title of paper,” presented at the Abbreviated Name of Conf., City of Conf., Abbrev. State, Country, Month and day(s), year, Paper number.
Periodicals J. K. Author, “Name of paper,” Abbrev. Title of Periodical, vol. x, no. x, pp. xxx-xxx, Abbrev. Month, year.
Lectures J. K. Author. (Year). Title of lecture [Type of Medium]. Available: URL
Website First Name Initial(s) Last Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).
Books J. K. Author, “Title of chapter in the book,” in Title of His Published Book, xth ed. City of Publisher, (only U.S. State), Country: Abbrev. of Publisher, year, ch. x, sec. x, pp. xxx–xxx.
Thesis and Dissertation J. K. Author, “Title of thesis,” M.S. thesis, Abbrev. Dept., Abbrev. Univ., City of Univ., Abbrev. State, year.
Reports J. K. Author, “Title of report,” Abbrev. Name of Co., City of Co., Abbrev. State, Country, Rep. xxx, year.

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Excellent Tips for Citing a Research Paper

Here are some expert tips that you should follow when citing a research paper.

  • Understand your teacher’s guidelines.
  • Follow proper citation format.
  • Use quotation marks where needed.
  • Cross-check citing references.
  • Remember that in Harvard style, the body of your paper contains in-text citations.
  • Separate the multiple author names with a comma.

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