A Guide To Referencing In College Research Papers

Knowing when to reference sources in college research papers

Research papers, by their very definition, require external sources to help you write an effective essay. In order to back up your arguments, it can be important to reference other essays or publications. Knowing when to reference sources in college research papers is therefore essential.

There are a wide range of sources that you may have to reference in a college paper. For example, any quotes or passages that you may have used from books, other essays, publications, or any other source, may need to be referenced.

The dangers of not referencing properly

There are two main reasons as to why you should reference work properly. By not including references in your research paper, you can devalue the quality of the work that you have written. Referencing other sources can help to back up your arguments and create a stronger essay overall.

As well as helping to create a better quality of essay, references are essential to ensure that you don’t risk plagiarism within your essay. If you have work from another source, it is important you reference that work. If the reference is relevant and you have cited it properly, then you should be out to avoid the dangers of plagiarism. However, it appears that you’re simply copied someone else’s work without referencing it, you could potentially fail the essay, or face even more severe consequences.

The methods used for referencing in different essays

There are various different formatting styles which essays use, including APA style, MLA style, and Chicago style. It is important that you understand what is required for each of these formatting styles, including any differences relating to how you reference sources. Different essay formats may require you to include any references citations in different sections of your essay.

Equally, as well as knowing where to include references and citations, it is important to know how you write the citation. Some citations may require you to write the authors name in different ways, as well as including the date in different formats, as well as a wide range of other aspects to bear in mind.

What to include in a citation

Before writing any citations, it is vital that you check how they should be formatted. Most citations and references can include some, or all, of the following information:

  • Name of the author
  • Title of the essay
  • The page range from the essay
  • The date of the work
  • Information about the publishers
  • Information about the editors
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