How To Compose A Research Paper Reference List In A Proper Way


Plagiarism is not only unethical, but it can also land you in a whole world of trouble at school or university. Properly referencing your sources is a vital part of avoiding plagiarism. So, if you need to compose a proper reference list for your research paper, read the following useful guide on the topic.

Find out which formatting style you need to use

There are numerous formatting styles you can use for your paper, such as the APA style or the MLA style. Each of these formatting styles has it’s own set of rules and guidelines about how you should acknowledge the sources you use in your paper. So, before you can create a proper list of references you need to find out which one of these styles you need to use. The best way to find out is to ask your lecturer or advisor about which formatting style to use.

Learn about the formatting style

Once you know exactly which formatting style you’re expected to use, you can learn about the style. You need to focus on exactly how to compose a list of references according to the style’s rules and guidelines. Make sure that you’re very clear about all the rules, including the seemingly irrelevant ones, like when to use italics or certain punctuation marks. This is important because every last detail counts, and you don’t want to get a poor grade because of punctuation marks! You can learn about the applicable style online or in a textbook about academic writing.

Write your reference list according to the formatting style

Now you can actually write your list of references according to the rules and guidelines set out in the appropriate formatting style.

Ensure that all the small details are correct

Next, read through your work to ensure that all the small details are correct. Look out for things like italics, punctuation, spaces, and indentations. People normally make mistakes in these small things. And, as mentioned above, you really don’t want to jeopardise your grades because you forgot something silly like an extra space.

Ask someone else to proofread your list of references

Finally, ask someone who is familiar with the applicable formatting style to proofread your work. When you’ve been working on something for a while, it’s quite easy to miss small mistakes, and someone else may be able to find these so that you can correct them before you submit your work.