Blog

Understanding the Basics of Citation

Citing research papers is a fundamental aspect of academic writing. It refers to acknowledging the sources used in writing a research paper. Citation is essential because it gives credit to the authors whose ideas and research you have used in your work. By citing research papers, you are also demonstrating your knowledge of the subject and providing evidence to support your arguments.

What is Citation?

Citation is a way of acknowledging the sources you have used in your research paper. It involves providing a reference to the author’s name, the year of publication, and the title of the work. Citation may also include page numbers and other publication details, depending on the citation style used. The purpose of citation is to give credit to the authors whose work you have used and to enable readers to locate the sources you have cited.

Why is Citation Important?

Citation is important in academic writing because it shows that you have conducted thorough research and have used credible sources to support your arguments. It also demonstrates your knowledge of the subject and your ability to critically analyze and evaluate information. Proper citation also helps to avoid plagiarism, which is a serious offense in academic writing.

Types of Citation Styles

There are various citation styles used in academic writing, including APA, MLA, Chicago, and Harvard. Each citation style has its own set of rules for formatting citations and referencing sources. It is essential to choose the appropriate citation style for your research paper and to ensure that you follow the guidelines consistently throughout your work.

How to cite different types of sources

When citing research papers, it’s essential to understand the proper way to cite various types of sources. Here are some guidelines to follow when citing academic journals, books, websites, and reports:

Academic Journals

  • Start by citing the author’s name(s), the title of the article, the name of the journal, the volume number, and the page range.
  • Include the DOI (Digital Object Identifier) or URL if available.

Example:

Gauthier, G., & Rice, J. K. (2017). Beyond the hype: Sustainability, corporations and the need for new business models. Journal of Cleaner Production, 140(Part 1), 110-117. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.05.154

Books

  • Start by citing the author’s name(s), the title of the book, the publisher, the date of publication, and the page range.
  • Include the edition and volume number if applicable.
  • Use italics for book titles.

Example:

Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2013). Principles of marketing (15th ed.). Pearson.

Websites

  • Start by citing the author’s name(s), the title of the webpage or article, the name of the website, the URL, and the date of publication or last update.
  • If the webpage or article has no author, start with the title.

Example:

Smith, J. (2019, September 10). How to cite research papers. EasyBib. https://www.easybib.com/guides/citation-guides/how-to-cite-research-papers/

Reports

  • Start by citing the author’s name(s), the title of the report, the name of the publishing organization, the date of publication, and the report number if applicable.
  • Include the URL if available.

Example:

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2016). Renewable energy data book 2016. U.S. Department of Energy. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy17osti/66910.pdf

Conclusion

In conclusion, citing research papers is an essential part of academic writing as it allows readers to verify the information sources used. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure that your citations are accurate and complete, helping you to avoid common mistakes such as plagiarism or inaccurate information. Remember to always use the appropriate citation style for your discipline and to double-check your references before submitting your work. By incorporating proper citation practices, you can strengthen your research paper and demonstrate your expertise and credibility in your field.