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How to Cite a Research Paper

How to Cite a Research Paper

Dissertations, thesis papers, and all kinds of academic papers will require to be cited in APA, MLA, and Chicago Style, as these three formats are well-known and widely accepted. Citing academic papers properly are done to counteract plagiarism. These citing formats are used to recognize related literary pieces and to mention references used. Research paper formats should also be studied really well before making scholastic essays or any other academic writing. In this article, we will be tackling how to format research papers as well as how to properly reference academic papers.

How to Cite a Research Paper


Table Of Contents

APA Research Paper Format

APA (American Psychological Association) research paper format is usually used with studies relating to social sciences. In this citation, there is a general format in referencing through endnotes/footnotes, in-text, and reference pages. Academic papers in APA citation has general writing guidelines. Papers should be typed, double-spaced on standard-sized paper (8.5" x 11") with 1" margins on all sides. You should use a clear font that is highly readable. APA recommends using 12 pt. Times New Roman font. Include a page header at the top of every page. To create a page header, insert page numbers flush right. Then type the title of your paper in the header flush left using all capital letters. The page header is a shortened version of your paper's title and cannot exceed 50 characters including spacing and punctuation.
Your APA paper should have four major sections:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Main Body
  • References

How to Cite a Research Paper in APA

There are specific rules to follow when citing a research paper in APA. The following are the specific formats to follow:

  • Book: Author, A.A.. (Year of Publication). The Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.
  • Example: Finney, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
  • Magazine: Author, A.A.. (Year, a month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume(Issue), pp.-pp.
  • Example: Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay or should they go? Time, 167(15), 3-40.
  • Newspaper: Author, A.A.. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.
    Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). An electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon.The New York Times, p. D5.
  • Website: Author, A.A.. (Year, Month Date of Publication). Article title. Retrieved from URL
  • Example: Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The tale of two Flaccos. Retrieved from {link}

MLA Research Paper Format

MLA (Modern Language Association) format is commonly used in liberal arts and humanities. This format has principles rather than a set of specific rules to be followed. Papers in MLA format provides a process of documentation.

MLA VS APA

How to Cite a Research Paper in MLA Format

The following are formats to follow in citing research paper in MLA format:

  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published. Medium.
  • Example: Smith, John. The Sample Book. Pittsburgh: BibMe, 2008. Print.
  • Magazine: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
  • Example: Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” Time 21 Jan. 2009: 21-23. Print.
  • Newspaper: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
  • Example: Smith, John. “Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 2 Feb. 2009: 4-6. Print.
  • Website: Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title.Sponsoring Institution/Publisher. Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.
  • Example: Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. Cable News Network, 21 Jan. 2009. Web. 1 Feb. 2009.

Read more about How To Cite A Research Paper Using MLA Format

How to Cite a Research Paper in Chicago Style

The Chicago style of citation is commonly used in humanities and helps writers cite sources in endnotes or footnotes. This citation provides author an avenue to express accountability and credibility to related literature or references used in written material. It also helps a writer cite a quote in a research paper and is commonly used for book bibliographies. The following are Chicago style formats to follow:

  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published.
  • Example: Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code. New York: Scholastic, 2004.
  • Magazine: Last Name, First Name. Article title. Magazine Title, Month Date, Year of publication.
  • Example: Chan, Dan. The art of pandas. Panda Magazine, Nov 10, 1985.
  • Newspaper: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name, Publication Date.
  • Example: Smith, John. “Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 2, 2009.
  • Website: Last Name, First Name. “Page Title.” Website Title. Web Address (retrieved Date Accessed).
  • Example: Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” {link} (accessed February 1, 2009).

Essay Writing Advice From Our Professional Team

This guide is very comprehensive on citation rules of many different formats. The article sufficiently describes the three most common citation types. However, it omits two also frequently-occurring citation styles in the research field: the ASA format and the Chicago/Turabian format. The ASA format is mainly used for sociology papers, and the Chicago format is applicable for citing if your professor demands notes and bibliography or an author-date citation. If you’re a writing guru or you are getting into writing professionally, I would definitely recommend checking those out. If you’re writing for a class, then always make sure to clarify which citation style your professor prefers you cite your essay in. Otherwise, you might end up in a load of trouble! In my knowledge, there are many citation generators on the web. However, I recommend that you cite things manually. This would ensure that you have more control over citations.

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Citing references and related literature in a dissection, thesis paper, etc. is truly an important part. As a student or a professional, you should be able to show written pieces which helped you synthesize ideas and formulate conclusions. If you are having trouble referencing your gathered information, head on over to EssayPro and you will get help with your research paper!

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