How to Properly Source and Cite for School Papers
If you’re feeling the crunch of deadlines for school papers, you can breathe easy knowing you’re not alone. With multiple papers assigned for different classes (and even the same one) the last thing you want to worry about after working hours on a paper, is if the citations are correct. Read through our steps before submitting your final paper and saying hello to holiday break.
Format of Citation and Paper
Two of the most common forms of citations in both high school and college are MLA and Chicago. Teachers and professors alike favor a particular style depending on the type of course and writing. Be sure you understand which citation is preferred and that each piece is in the right place, ie author name, page number, published work, date, etc.
Another point to keep in mind besides citation style, is the formatting of the paper itself. It’s always a good idea to check if the paper should be double-spaced, use a specific font, and have a certain margin type. While these may seem like non-essential points, many teachers expect the papers in an exact format and you don’t want a grade lowered for any reason you can prevent.
Number of Quotes
When writing most papers, sources are a necessary requirement to make your paper well-rounded and support your claims. To cut down on redundant information and superfluous content, many teachers put a cap on the amount of quotes that can be used or how many lines.
Choose only the most important quotes that give the idea of what you are writing about. In some cases, truncating a quote will also suffice, as long as it supports the rest of the writing.
Scan for Plagiarism
The final step before submitting your paper is to check that all of your sources have been cited. One of the easiest ways to do this is check your paper for plagiarism with an easy scan. Copyleaks allows you to see all of the sources that are included in your paper, along with the percentage of similarity to each source. This is helpful for when you forget to include quotes and the source (and even better for making sure you’re not accused of plagiarism!)
Writing a paper is only half the work, but knowing how to cite and source can make all the difference. Be sure to know where all of your sources come from with Copyleaks.