Essential Things To Know About Research Paper Citation Methods


When the time comes to write a research paper, it is very crucial for the students to document all the sources. Citations play a very crucial role in a paper as it gives the required authority and credibility to the paper by displaying the proof of the research. Moreover, with the help of references the readers can easily understand how the author actually comes to the conclusions and how they support the ideas and concepts. Citing resources professionally also prevent plagiarism by crediting those who have offered the research used to create a paper.

When to Cite a Source and When Not to

It is important for the writer to include citation whenever required and they can. The students must reference and cite whenever required, especially when they quote directly from any source, paraphrase or summarize another writer’s concepts, opinions or ideas, anywhere they find facts, information and data used in the paper. Moreover, you must also use citation for graphs, visuals and images and charts.

You should avoid citing the sources if the data or information you used is common knowledge.

The Main Types of Sources

There are actually three different types of sources – primary, secondary and peer-reviewed. The primary source can be in their original form or it can be in reprinted, digitized and reproduced form. The secondary sources are actually written about the primary sources and it is one step ahead than its original source. Peer-reviewed sources are basically published as articles in professional or medical publications and they undergo several critiques by top scholars and reviewers in particular field. They are authoritative information of superior quality that scholarly students can provide.

How to Cite

Remember, you need to know all the research paper citation methods. It can be cited both in-text as well as at end of the paper. In-text citation is quite easier method where you need to give the last name of the author parenthetically along with the year of the publication. However, the exact way to cite will greatly depend on specific type of style guide the author follows. In some cases, the citation methods depend on the professor, so it is necessary to consult your professor before starting the paper to know which style to use while citing.

If you are using citation software, then ensure to check the style before publishing as the citation created with software is likely to have errors.