How to Use Citation Styles for Your Term Paper

Citing is an extremely important part of every research paper, because every work contains several quotes. However, you need to understand that it’s essential to not only choose the right words to cite, but also incorporate them into your paper in a correct manner.

In order to avoid mistakes with quotes, you will need to determine what citation style you’ll need to use in your work and learn everything about it. Here is how you do this:

  • Look into various style manuals that offer detailed instructions on writing papers for different disciplines.
  • Consult your professor.

Please note that you must be consistent with the chosen citation style. Switching between various formats will be considered a mistake and will influence your final grade.

Most Common Citation Styles

  • APA (details can be found in The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)
  • This citation format is generally used for papers in Social Sciences. It will require the author to incorporate both in-text quotes and a detailed reference list that contains every citation used in the paper.

  • MLA (for details look into the Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers)
  • The MLA citation format is used in Humanities and Liberal Arts. This citation style requires the authors to add a Works Cited page to their paper.

  • Turabian (named after writers’ manual by Kate Turabian)
  • This style offers two documentation systems. They are: bibliography style and reference list style. Literature, Art and History papers usually utilize bibliography style, which is also known as notes-bibliography format.

    Physics, Natural and Social Sciences use reference format, also called author-date style. It’s more concise and therefore more appropriate for these types of papers.

  • CSE (details at the Council of Science Editors Scientific Style and Format)
  • This style offers three different citation systems and is used in various Science papers.

The most commonly used formats are APA and MLA, but if you aren’t 100% sure which style to use in your work, you should consult your professor. It will be a shame to lose points because of such a small thing.

Nowadays, one can find various citation building programs that will help you format all your quotes in the required style. The vast majority of these programs require payment, but there are a few good quality free ones.

If you intend to use some of these citation builders, you will need to research them thoroughly and study reviews for each of the options you consider. You will also need to double-check the results offered by the program in order to be sure that there are no mistakes.

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