Your Handy Guide to Research Paper Citation

March 30th, 2021

Reading time about 13 min

One of the most common academic dishonesty that has become a concern to educational institutions is plagiarism. As per the data, the plagiarism cases are increasing, which has become a threat to the schools and other educational institutions as it harms their reputation.

They have strict educational policies to deal with the students who have committed plagiarism. The students need to be careful with plagiarism as allegations of plagiarism can adversely affect their careers.

Research paper, Reference

The only way a student can stay away from plagiarism is by adequately crediting the source. Therefore, while writing a paper, doing a proper research paper citation is very important. Suppose a student fails to properly cite an article that can be an instance of plagiarism. The researchers can also check research papers for plagiarism.

What Is Citation?

When a researcher or student is composing a paper, they may feel that they need to support their argument. To do so, they can use parts from their reference material or pre-existing articles. Though they cannot copy-paste the whole essay and pass under their name, the student can take one of two related lines to strengthen their argument.

When the student uses those lines, they need to make sure that they are using proper quotation marks. After using the quotation marks, the students must also check content by mentioning the author’s name and the work in the citation.

For research paper citation, the researcher also needs to provide other related information like page number, publisher, date of publication, and other facts and information. They can do an in-page citation, which must have a complete citation at the end of the work.

Know the Necessity of Citing Sources

If a student uses parts of another writer’s writing without crediting the source that can be violation. Since plagiarism is a form of stealing, hence it is unethical. The institution can give a failing grade if they find the student has committed an act of plagiarism.

Besides this, the student may face some severe consequences like legal actions. The authors value their works, and hence an act of plagiarism can hurt them, or they may feel threatened.

Research paper, Copyright

All the countries have strict copyright laws. If an author feels that their right is violated, they can seek legal help. If the allegations turn out to be accurate, the student or researcher may have to pay monetary compensation or other penalties.

Some Common Citation Mistakes

  • There are some misconceptions that students have about research paper citations, which can lead to plagiarism. While quoting and paraphrasing, the students must know how to do proper and full-length citation.
  • Many of them confuse the idea of bibliography with citation. A student needs to mention the works they have used in their work in the citation, while the bibliography must contain the names of the books or articles they have read before producing the paper.
  • Many students ignore the full-length citation while doing only the in-page citation. They must keep in mind that in-page citations must have their full-length version on the citation page.
  • Many students think that online articles do not require citation, which is a misconception. The researcher must cite online articles while mentioning the URL and last date of accessing the web page.
  • Simultaneously, the students need to cite the paraphrased parts they have used in their work. Sometimes, a student uses their works without citation, which is self-plagiarism. They need to do proper citation even if they are referring to their work.
  • On occasions, the student may use different styles for research paper citation. There are various citation formats like APA format, MLA format, Chicago format, and other formats. The student can choose one as per their choice.

But they need to make sure they are using a single style instead of using several different styles for a research paper citation. Some students may also make spelling mistakes or fail to provide all the relevant information in the research paper citation. It leads to plagiarism on occasion.

How to Do Proper Citation:

The students must mention all the works they have quoted on their paper while doing the research paper citation. To do so, they can keep a list of the source ready beforehand to avoid spelling mistakes.

They must put those lines within proper quotation marks and do in-page citations. If a student is repeatedly using a particular resource several times on a single page, they need to do the in-page citation once.

They must also do a proper citation at the end of the work. The researcher can use a particular citation style that fits their research paper citation. The researcher needs to arrange the works’ names based on the authors’ last names in the citation case. They need to mention the name of the work, URL, publication house, publication date, and other such things.

Mostly, the researchers use MLA style for the research paper citation done on the full citation. Many of them use APA style for the reference page. There are individual other citation styles that the students can choose. But they need to maintain consistency and not use multiple citation styles for a single research paper citation.

Styles of Citations:

There are different citation styles available, and the researcher can choose any of them. In the full-length citations, the researchers must include the name of the author, publication, page number, and other valid information. The two most commonly used citation styles are MLA format and APA format.

MLA format- The word MLA stands for Modern Language Association. It is a typical research paper citation style for arts and humanities.

AMA format- AMA is the abbreviation of the American Medical Association, and the researchers who deal with medicine and biology-related topics use this writing style.

APA format- APA, or the style recommended by American Psychology Association, is a prevalent style for research paper citations for psychology and other social studies-related topics.

How Do Plagiarism Checkers Help in the Citation?

Though a student is well-aware of the plagiarism, it may also happen that they accidentally end up with plagiarism. Accidental or intentional, both are equally harmful to a student’s career. Hence, the writer must use a plagiarism checker tool to check for plagiarism before submitting their research paper.

The student or researcher can upload the paper on the plagiarism checker tool & thoroughly scan the content that has plagiarised parts. The plagiarism detector produces a detailed report and quickly mentions the plagiarised lines’ source to include them in the research paper citation page.

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