How to Cite Source or Reference

Posted by Splice, Essay Tips Chief Writer

How to Cite Sources or References. In writing an essay or a paper in general, how do you cite? Citing a source can be done in two ways: (1) through in-text citation, or (2) through a works cited list, references page, or a bibliography. The citation style will vary depending on the prescribed referencing method. Some of the commonly used citation styles include APA 5th, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian. Knowing how to cite your sources of information does not only give credibility to your arguments and your paper in general. More importantly, it prevents you from becoming guilty of plagiarism. The proper citing of sources is academically appropriate and ethical, since the lack of proper attribution amounts to stealing somebody else's ideas.

In terms of in-text citation, you cite your source by putting the parenthetical citation at the end of your direct or indirect quote. A direct quote is a text that is copied as is from your source or reference. It is indicated by the quotation marks (“ ”). On the other hand, an indirect quote is a text that is a paraphrase of an idea taken from your source or reference. To cite both of them, you need to write the parenthetical citation precisely after the borrowed text. For example:

[APA 5th] Research shows that “there is no direct correlation between gun ownership and the propensity to commit a felony involving firearms” (Austin, 2003, p. 77).

[MLA] While students may learn from constant reading, it is argued that “students may learn more if their parents assist their children during their reading sessions” (Smith, p. 109).

In terms of works cited list, reference page, or a bibliography, you cite your source or reference by providing the required information. This will vary depending on which citation or referencing style you will use. It will also depend on the type of source that you will use, such as a book, a journal article, a website, and a film just to name a few.

In APA 5th, what is required is a reference page. MLA format requires a works cited page while Chicago/Turabian requires a bibliography. Each format has its own set of guidelines in citing a source according to its type. Common sources include journals, books, and newspaper articles.

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