Accurate Citing 101: Simple Citation Guide for Students | Copyleaks

How to Accurately Cite Sources in Your Writing

Are you a student and struggling to ensure your papers are plagiarism-free? Fortunately, Copyleaks plagiarism checker for students is here for your rescue! Do you want to know how to cite a source in an essay? Are you stuck with listing the bibliography on your written project? The citation will depend on the type of writing, the material used, and the professor’s requirements. You need to think about the ways to identify the sources and use adequate citations.

Because every style has tiny factors that set them apart, such as capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, it can be very difficult to get it right. The easiest choice would be to use a free citation generator by GradesFixer. The free citation generator can help you cite the sources in whatever style you need, regardless of how complex that style might be.

Students use this free generator to help them generate proper bibliography. It is a fixer that focuses on the simplest things to provide users with the type of citation they need. That’s what makes it one of the most practical services and tools when doing college assignments. If you want to learn the ins and outs of citation, you’ve come to the right place. Here is all you need to know.

When Do You Need to Cite Sources?

According to Yale, although a student can use sources to create ideas and support their argument, there are specific rules they are expected to follow when citing these sources. The citations will help acknowledge the entire project.

Always use citations when:

  • Using a quote from a renowned researcher, writer, or public figure. You must cite and write where you acquired that material from.
  • Introducing facts relevant to the topic.
  • Outlining, rephrasing, or interpreting ideas.
  • Covering something that is not viewed as common knowledge.
  • Borrowing the structure/plan of a bigger section from someone else. For instance, when you write about case studies, research analysis, trials, surveys, or theories.
  • Updating someone else’s method, like from collaborative work.
  • Working with other experts to create new knowledge.

In college, you are always expected to create a clean structure and refine your ideas. Citation can help with that. It will support every idea that you write about and serve as reputable evidence that proves your judgment.

Types of Citation Style

The style you use is mainly dictated by the discipline you are writing. Almost all the time, your college professor will tell you which citation style to focus on. But, as you advance with the academic studies, you can be given the flexibility to pick your own style.

Types of citation style

There are three main styles when doing academic assignments, as explained by the University of Washington. You will use:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) – APA is the oldest citation in the world. It is also a standard for writing scientific research.
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) – This style provides a framework for the sources cited in the project.
  • Chicago – either author-date or notes and bibliography and is particularly important when writing historical research.

Having to cite the sources might seem like a time-consuming step, but it is one of the most important parts of your paper writing process. Properly cited sources can help you get a higher grade and excel in your subject area.

Which Citation Style Makes for an Adequate and Fitting Choice?

The style you use is not just meant to dictate the reference list and in-text citation. It defines the structure and rules of the paper you are writing. Every citation you select has a manual that comes with it. Want to know how to choose the best citation style? Check out the table below.

MLAAPAChicago Author-DateChicago Notes and Bibliography
Best for: arts, humanities, literature, philosophy, history, linguistics, religion, etc.Best for: research paper, engineering, education, social sciences, essay, journal, manuals, etc.Best for: natural, physical, or social scienceBest for: humanities or history
Unique features: This citation focuses on authorship and interpreting the main sources used in the work or project. The name of the author comes first, followed by the publication and title. You list the sources in the “Works Cited” section.Unique features: This one concentrates on the date of the publication or source. It is meant to track the relevancy and time of the information. The date comes right after the name of the author. You list the sources in the “References” section.Unique features: This one uses parenthetical in-text citation. It closely resembles APA. You list the sources in either the “Works Cited” or “References” sections.Unique features: This one emphasizes the use of endnotes and footnotes. You will list sources in the “Bibliography” section.
Examples:– Listed sources: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library, 1995.– In-text citation: (Austen 34) – it uses the page number and last name of the author. If there is no page number, the last name will suffice.Examples:– Listed sources: Austen, Jane. (1995). Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library.– In-text citation: (Austen, 1995, p. 34) – the citation uses the last name, year of publication, and the page number.Examples:– Listed sources:Austin, Jane. 1995. Pride and Prejudice. New York: Modern Library.– In-text citation:(Austen 1995, 34) – there is often no need for additional commas or information inside the brackets.Examples:– Listed sources:Austin, Jane. “Pride and Prejudice.” New York: Modern Library (1995): 34– In-text citation: Jane Austin (1995) – This is a practical example for print journals.

How to Cite a Source in an Essay?

Many students don’t know how to cite a source in an essay. When citing a source in the body of the essay, you would incorporate only the last name of the author without the initials. Then, the year that information was published, like this: (Dodge, 2008). If the source is a key component of your ideas, mentioning the author should be your number one priority. This will ensure that you write plagiarism-free essays and the information is credible.

How to Cite Quotes?

When using a direct quote in your paper or thesis, you must include the page number as well. This is particularly important when trying to prove that the quote you used is a relevant one, like this: (Austin, 1995, p. 56).

How to Cite Google Search MLA?

Have you taken an image from Google and want to cite it in your paper? Then the right way to do it is to use the last and first name of the content creator, followed by the description or title of the image. You can then list their website, the date of when they published the work, and a URL link. This is a correct way on how to cite Google search MLA.

Do You Have to Cite a Fact?

When you talk about a fact in your essay that’s common knowledge, there is no need to cite it. But, if you used a fact that’s not that popular yet still conveys the message, then you must introduce the source. Citing the fact will support your argument and sway the context of your written piece.

How to Cite a Short Story?

A short story citing format in MLA varies depending on the date and location of publication. Let’s say you want to cite a short story from a magazine or newspaper. The citation will look like this: Last name, First name. “Title of the Story.” Name of the Magazine, Day/month/year. Pp. number. When formatting in APSA, you will need a more detailed reference list with an author-date reference style. The generator maker can help with that and ASA referencing as well.

How to Cite a Chapter in a Book?

To know how to cite a chapter in a book, you must pick a citation style first. For instance, you want to cite the book in MLA style. It will look like this: Chapter author. “Title of the chapter.” Book title, editor, publisher, date of publication, page numbers.

Types of citation style

How To Cite Your Own Work?

It can be nearly impossible to write new content when you always focus on the same topic. Since you have to constantly reference the same information, it’s difficult to stay motivated when writing. Luckily for you, there are instances where self-citation is allowed. Learn how to cite your own work by following this detailed guide to ensure that you are doing self-citation the correct way.


As you can see, each citation style has its own requirements and features. Figuring them out can help you get the results you are looking for. All the examples and information listed here can help you get a clear perspective for your next college assignment

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