How To Cite Sources In Essay

Posted: February 08, 2017 To: Study


Writing essays can sometimes be deemed as a bit of a challenge. With formulating topics, determining and answering problems, and the importance of citing sources, we are sometimes blinded by the reality that essay writing is actually easy, especially if we are enthusiastic to start and actually finish them.

But one of the common mistakes writers commit when making essays is improperly citing sources. However, even if we try so hard to avoid them, citations are important, especially in academic essays. Because of this, we avoid plagiarism which can ruin your career. Thankfully, with the write guides, making them is actually easy. But first we have to determine what are they and its purpose.

A citation is simply a quotation from a source or references from books, excerpts, journals, authors, notably from scholarly works.

1. Quoting

This refers to taking or borrowing exact words from the original source. It can be a sentence or a whole paragraph, which usually supports your premises. Meanwhile, there are instances when writers paraphrase or summarize excerpts from a source to support their claims. However, when you do such, it is still worth noting to still cite them, because they are still ideas from your source, after all. Furthermore, it is advisable to analyze the text you cited to strengthen your study.

2. References

As writers or researchers, it is vital to keep track of your citations. Make a list whenever you use them and add them to your references – they are also called bibliography where you list down all the sources you used while doing your research paper. This includes the author’s names the title of the work, the locations, and dates of publications, publishers, and number of pages used. Furthermore, there are different types of citations to choose from, such as MLA, APA, and others.

In some cases, writers use an annotated bibliography. This is the same as the usual bibliography, but with brief descriptions of the quality, content, and usefulness of your source.

There’s also the footnote. This refers to the citation located at the bottom page of your paper. These are important details of the sources from references or comments on a specific text above the page where the footnote is located.

3. Citing sources

In this section, we will provide example of how to cite sources in a text. Citing sources varies depending on the format you are using. Each format has a specific way of citing sources. Furthermore, citations also depend on your source – there’s a different way of citing sources from books to web content to journals and periodicals.

When quoting text from a book, insert the source at the end of the quotation. The citation must include the name and they year of the publication. Here’s an example:

“The cat chased the mouse inside the house (Name 2017).”

Furthermore, in your references or bibliography section, simply follow this format:

Last name, F. N. (Year of publication). Title of work:  Capitalize letter for the subtitle. Publication

Location: Publisher.

This type of citation follows the APA format. Meanwhile, there are more different types of citing sources. Ensure you are equipped with the proper way of using them to avoid mistakes. In addition, always remember that such citation varies when you are using different resources such as journals, books with multiple authors, blogs, periodicals, encyclopedia, web content, and other resources.

Lastly, it is safe to note for writers, especially for beginners, to always remember to cite your sources to avoid having trouble with your professors as well as the legal authorities, because plagiarism is punishable by law.