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How to Cite an Academic Paper: APA & MLA Referencing

One of the things you must know when writing an academic paper is how to cite a scholarly article. Citations are compulsory in academic writing, or it isn’t academic writing. One thing that differentiates an academic paper from other essay types is the numerous citations and referencing present.

There are rules to citing an academic paper, and we’ll show you some in this article. You will also learn what citation is in academic writing, the different styles, and how to cite academic paper.

What is Academic Paper Citation?

Academic paper citation refers to a reference to the information sources you used in your work. Citations can appear in-text or at the end of the paper. For example, an in-text citation should follow every direct quote, paraphrase, or summary of any essential element of someone else’s idea. An in-text citation appears within the text of your paper, referring readers to the fuller notation at the end of the paper. The end-of-paper citation includes every necessary detail about the information source.

When quoting sources directly, you are expected to use quotation marks. Direct quotations are typically used when the source best expresses the idea you want to capture.

Why Cite Academic Paper?

Citations are not just for show in academic papers; they have a purpose. Below are important reasons why you should cite your sources:

  • It helps readers verify your information or do their research.
  • A citation adds professionalism to your paper, showing how your work builds on others’ research works. Citations indicate that an idea belongs to someone else.
  • Citations are an important aspect of academic integrity; plagiarism is a serious offense in the academic world.
  • When you diligently refer to or cite the appropriate sources, you’re saved from the consequences of plagiarism. That may include a failing grade or, worse, rustication from college.

How to Cite an Academic Paper

Citing an academic paper involves identifying the information of your sources. Students sometimes cite as they see fit, but citing wrongly will affect your overall grade. Citations are graded on different criteria, including citation format. To properly cite a paper, you must be able to distinguish between the information source types. There will also be situations where your sources require different ways of citing. For instance, sources with a single author, sources without an author, and multiple authors.

To cite your paper, you want to find out the accepted citation style in your field of study. You may ask your professor what citation style to use; your institution has a style, and he will know if you don’t. Moreover, he will be the one to grade you, and he’ll be doing so with these guidelines.

How to Cite an Academic Paper APA

APA format is a popular citation style for academic paper; most schools prefer this format. This format is used to recognize and cite literary sources used. This style has rules that one must follow; they include the following:

  • Book citation: Author’s surname, A.A. (Publication year). Research work title. Paper publisher’s city, state: Publisher name. Example: Gubert, W. (2022). Abortion in Teenagers. New York, New York: New York Times
  • Website Citation: Author surname, A. A. (Publication year, month, and date). Title of article. Retrieved from link. Example: Tumulty J. (1993, April 30). Should they go or stay? Retrieved from (URL).

How to Cite an Academic Paper MLA

The MLA style is mostly used in liberal arts and humanities; it has principles rather than rules. MLA citation typically supplies a documentation process and recommends using Times New Roman font type in size 12. Below are the formats for MLA citation:

  • Book citation: Surname, First name. Title of book. Publisher’s city; Publisher’s name, Year of publication. Publication medium. Example: Gazelle, Grace. Academic Paper Writing. New York: Simmons, 1999. Print.
  • Website Citation: Surname, First name. “Title of page.” Title of website. Institution or Publisher sponsoring website. Date of publication: page numbers used. Publication medium. Example: Smith, Carlos. “Trials in Afghanistan.” Forbes. 15 April, 2015. Web.

In conclusion, there are many more citation styles for academic writing, including CSE and Chicago. The MLA and APA formats happen to be the most common. Furthermore, as you research, you want to decide the information you need and keep a list of each source ready. Keeping track of the sources as you research helps you find them easily at the end of the writing.

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