How To Cite Your Sources In A Research Paper: Basic Tips


When you write your research paper you are bound to take help from various resources. Almost all information has to come from somewhere. It is very critical that you cite the source of all your information so that there are no copyright infringements. Without the proper citation your work is liable to plagiarism and can jeopardize your entire paper. The writings will not be authentic if you do not mention the source properly and hence may get the whole paper canceled.

Some basic tips to follow for proper citation


  • Use footnotes. Going back and collecting all the parts that have been gathered from a resource and the again finding those resources can be very time consuming. When you are trying to finish a project within deadline it simply does not make any sense wasting so much time like this. What you can do instead is write foot notes at the bottom of every page. Most writing software used these days has provisions for including footnotes. You should use it to make citation work easier.

  • Once you have completed the writing compile all information from the footnotes into the bibliography. Make sure you do not miss out any information and citation. Missing out one is as bad as missing out all of them so keep an eye out and thoroughly check before submission.

  • There are free plagiarism tools available online. You can use the tool to check your own article for plagiarism. Then you can cross check each of the contents with the citation to make sure you have mentioned the source of all the information you gathered from online web portal. This process however works only for online content and not for information that you may have got off a book or newspaper.

  • Follow strict guidelines on how to cite your sources. You will have to write down the name of the book, author and publication house. The citation should also include the page number and the year of the copyright. For a web site you will have to mention the full URL while for a news paper write down the name of the paper, the name of the reporter or agency that supplied the news and also the date along with the page number and the edition. If you got the information from an encyclopedia you must cite the name, page number and volume of the book.