Powered by ProofFactor - Social Proof Notifications

Research Paper Format: How to Cite a Research Paper in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, ASA Styles

Feb 9, 2024 | 0 comments

blog banner

Feb 9, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Understanding the intricacies of Research Paper Format is crucial for any high school student embarking on the journey of academic writing. Whether you’re asked to write a research paper in APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, or ASA styles, how you cite your sources is pivotal in presenting your work with credibility and precision. This guide delves into the specific requirements of each style, from crafting a title page to mastering in-text citations. Learn formatting nuances, including correctly using headings, indentations, page numbers, and spacing. Unravel the mysteries of the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), Chicago, Harvard, and American Sociological Association (ASA) styles, and empower yourself to navigate the world of research paper citations with confidence and clarity.

People Also Read

How do you style and format a research paper in APA Style

Explanation of APA Citation Format:

  1. Indentation and Spacing: In APA style, the first line of every paragraph is indented by 0.5 inches, promoting a clean and organized look. Double-spacing throughout the document ensures readability, making it easier for readers to follow your ideas.
  2. Running Head and Header: The running head is a concise version of your title that appears at the top of each page, aligned to the left. It helps identify your paper in case pages get separated. The header, including the running head and page number, is in the top right corner. Use a capital “R” for the word “Running,” followed by a colon and a shortened version of your title, all in capital letters.
  3. In-text Citations: When citing within the text, use the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses. For example, (Smith, 2019). If you directly quote, include the page number as well, like this: (Smith, 2019, p. 35).

Examples of How to Cite a Research Paper in APA Style:

  • Author in the Text: If the author’s name is mentioned in the sentence, include only the publication year in parentheses. For instance, “According to Smith (2019), APA style is widely used.”
  • Author Not in the Text: If the author’s name is not part of the sentence, include the author’s last name and publication year. For example, “Research has shown that APA format is effective (Smith, 2019).”
  • Multiple Authors: When citing a work with two authors, include both names every time you cite. If there are three to five authors, list all authors the first time and use “et al.” in subsequent citations. Use “et al.” from the first citation for works with six or more authors.
  • Citing a Book: Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Publisher. Example: Smith, J. A. (2008). The Art of Academic Writing: A Guide for Students. Academic Press.
  • Citing a Magazine Article: Author, A. A. (Year, Month of Publication). Title of article. Title of Magazine, volume number(issue number), page range. Example: Johnson, M. (2015, June). The Impact of Technology on Education. Education Today, 25(6), 42-47.
  • Citing a Website: Author, A. A. (Year, Month, Day of Publication). Title of webpage. Website Name. URL Example: Jones, P. (2020, September 15). Sustainable Living: A Practical Guide. GreenLiving.com. https://www.greenliving.com/sustainable-living-guide
  • Citing a Newspaper Article: Author, A. A. (Year, Month, Day of Publication). Title of article. Title of Newspaper, page range. Example: Brown, R. (2019, August 20). Climate Change and Its Impact on Agriculture. The Daily News, p. A3.
  • Citing a Journal Article: Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of Journal, volume number(issue number), page range. DOI or URL Example: Miller, H. R. (2017). Exploring Cultural Diversity in Educational Settings. International Journal of Education, 12(3), 45-59. https://doi.org/10.1080/12345678.2016.1234567

Common mistakes to avoid when citing in APA style

  1. Neglecting the APA Guidelines: Skimming through the APA style guide is tempting, but overlooking it is a recipe for errors. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the guidelines; this is your paper’s structure roadmap.
  2. Ignoring In-text Citation Basics: Missing or incorrectly formatted in-text citations can derail your paper. Ensure every source is properly cited within the text, and remember the author’s last name and publication year are your trusty companions.
  3. Mismanaging Multiple Authors: Juggling multiple authors? Don’t drop the ball. When citing, list all authors for works with up to five contributors. For six or more, use “et al.” from the get-go.
  4. Forgetting the Italicize Rule: Book titles, journal names, and even the title of your thesis statement need to be italicized in APA format. Italicizing sets these elements apart, enhancing the overall readability.
  5. Overlooking Page Numbers: Don’t let page numbers slip through the cracks in the whirlwind of crafting your paper. Always include them in your citations, especially when quoting directly.
  6. Misplacing Commas and Periods: Commas and periods in your citations have a specific place—after the author’s name, after the publication year, and at the end of the entire citation. Misplacing these can throw off the flow.
  7. Failing to Double-check URLs: If your research led you to online sources, double-check those URLs. Broken links disrupt your reader’s journey and signal a lack of attention to detail.
  8. Overloading Citations at the End: The end of your paper is not the time to surprise your reader with a barrage of citations. Spread them throughout the text, maintaining a smooth flow.
  9. Skipping the Reference Page: This is your paper’s grand finale. Leaving it out or miscalculating entries is like forgetting the icing on the cake. Ensure all sources are listed alphabetically and adhere to APA format.

Formatting and Writing Research Papers in MLA Style

Explanation of MLA Citation Format

  1. Formatting Basics: MLA, or Modern Language Association, has specific guidelines for formatting your research paper. Ensure that your paper is typed on standard-sized white paper (8.5 x 11 inches) and use a legible 12-point font.
  2. Margins and Spacing: Set 1-inch margins on all sides of your paper and double-space throughout. This creates a clean and readable look, which is essential for effectively presenting your research.
  3. Header and Page Numbers: The header, including your last name and the page number, should be aligned to the right in the upper-right corner of each page. This provides a clear organizational structure for your paper.

Examples of How to Cite a Research Paper in MLA Style:

  1. Citing a Book: Author’s Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher, Publication Year. Example: Smith, John. The Art of Academic Writing. Academic Press, 2010.
  2. Citing a Magazine Article: Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Magazine, Day, Month Year, page range. Example: Johnson, Mary. “The Impact of Technology on Education.” Education Today, 15 June 2015, pp. 42-47.
  3. Citing a Website: Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Webpage.” Title of Website, URL. Example: Jones, Peter. “Sustainable Living: A Practical Guide.” GreenLiving.com, https://www.greenliving.com/sustainable-living-guide.
  4. Citing a Newspaper Article: Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Newspaper, Day, Month Year, page range. Example: Brown, Rachel. “Climate Change and Its Impact on Agriculture.” The Daily News, 20 August 2019, p. A3.
  5. Citing a Journal Article: Author’s Last Name, First Name. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal, vol. number, no. Number, Year, page range. Example: Miller, Harold R. “Exploring Cultural Diversity in Educational Settings.” International Journal of Education, 12(3), 2017, pp. 45-59.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Citing in MLA Style:

  1. Misplacing Commas and Periods: Commas and periods in MLA citations have specific placements. Make sure to put them in the right spots, ensuring proper punctuation.
  2. Overlooking Italics and Quotation Marks: Book and journal titles should be italicized, while article and webpage titles should be in quotation marks. Mixing these up can confuse.
  3. Neglecting Page Numbers: For in-text citations, page numbers are crucial. Ensure you include them, especially when quoting directly from a source.
  4. Forgetting the Hanging Indent: The first line of each entry on your Works Cited page should be flush left, with subsequent lines indented. This hanging indent is easy to overlook but essential for proper formatting.
  5. Skipping the DOI or URL: For online sources, don’t forget to include the DOI or URL. This helps your readers locate the exact source you referenced.

Research Paper Format and Citation Guidelines in Chicago Style

Explanation of Chicago Citation Format:

  1. Two Citation Styles: The Chicago style encompasses two citation methods: the Notes and Bibliography system (common in humanities) and the Author-Date system (common in the sciences). For this article, we’ll focus on the Notes and Bibliography system.
  2. Footnotes and Endnotes: Chicago uses footnotes or endnotes to cite sources. A superscript number in the text corresponds to a numbered note at the bottom of the page (footnote) or at the end of the paper (endnote), providing publication details.
  3. Bibliography Page: Create a separate Bibliography page at the end of your paper. List all the sources you cited in your footnotes or endnotes, providing full publication details for each.

Examples of How to Cite a Research Paper in Chicago Style:

  1. Citing a Book: Author’s First Name, Last Name, Book Title (Place of publication: Publisher, Year), page range. Example: John Smith, The Craft of Writing (Chicago: Academic Press, 2015), 78-92.
  2. Citing a Journal Article: Author’s First Name and Last Name, “Title of Article,” Title of Journal volume number (Year): page range. Example: Mary Johnson, “Exploring Linguistic Patterns,” Language Studies 25 (2018): 112-130.
  3. Citing a Website: Author’s First Name, Last Name, “Title of Webpage,” Name of Website, URL. Example: Peter Jones, “Digital Artistry,” Artistic Hub, https://www.artistichub.com/digital-artistry.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Citing in Chicago Style:

  1. Neglecting Footnotes/Endnotes: Chicago relies on footnotes or endnotes, so failing to include them is a fundamental mistake. Every citation in the text must correspond to a note.
  2. Mixing Citation Styles: Chicago has two distinct citation styles. Ensure consistency; if you start with Notes and Bibliography, stick to it throughout the paper.
  3. Incorrectly Formatting the Bibliography: The Bibliography page should list sources alphabetically. Misaligning or omitting details may lead to confusion.
  4. Forgetting Page Numbers: Just like in other citation styles, include page numbers in your citations, especially when quoting directly from a source.
  5. Omitting Important Details: Ensure your citations provide all necessary details, including the author’s full name, publication title, place of publication, and publication year.

General Guidelines For Writing And Formatting Research Papers in Harvard Style

Explanation of Harvard Citation Format:

  1. In-text Citations: Harvard style primarily uses in-text citations, where the author’s last name and the year of publication are included in parentheses within the text.
  2. Reference List: All sources cited in the text must be listed in a separate reference list at the end of the paper. This list provides detailed information about each source, facilitating easy retrieval.
  3. Author-Date System: Harvard style follows the author-date system, emphasizing the importance of the author’s name and the publication date in citations for clarity and academic integrity.

Examples of How to Cite a Research Paper in Harvard Style:

  1. Citing a Book: Author’s Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year) Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher. Example: Smith, J. A. (2012) The Craft of Writing. Academic Press: Chicago.
  2. Citing a Journal Article: Author’s Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year) ‘Title of Article,’ Title of Journal, Volume number (Issue number), Page range. Example: Johnson, M. (2015) ‘Exploring Linguistic Patterns,’ Language Studies, 25(4), 112-130.
  3. Citing a Website: Author’s Last Name, First Initial(s). (Year) ‘Title of Webpage,’ Name of Website. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year). Example: Jones, P. (2020) ‘Digital Artistry,’ Artistic Hub. Available at: https://www.artistichub.com/digital-artistry (Accessed: 15 September 2023).

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Citing in Harvard Style:

  1. Incomplete In-text Citations: Failing to include the author’s last name and the publication year in parentheses within the text can lead to incomplete or incorrect citations.
  2. Mismatched Information in the Reference List: Ensure consistency between in-text citations and the reference list. Details like author names, publication years, and titles should match.
  3. Neglecting URL Details: Include the full URL in the reference list when citing online sources. Failing to do so might make it difficult for readers to locate the source.
  4. Forgetting Page Numbers: Including page numbers is crucial, especially when quoting directly from a source. This adds specificity to your citations.
  5. Ignoring Access Dates for Online Sources: For webpages that may change over time, always include the date you accessed the information. This is particularly important for maintaining the integrity of your citations.

General Formatting Guidelines in ASA Style

Explanation of ASA Citation Format:

  1. Author-Date System: ASA (American Sociological Association) citation style follows the author-date system. In-text citations include the author’s last name and the publication year.
  2. Reference List: All sources cited in the text should be listed in a separate reference list. This list provides detailed information about each source, facilitating proper citation verification.
  3. Use of Italics: In ASA style, italics are used for book and journal titles in in-text citations and the reference list. This formatting helps distinguish titles from the rest of the text.

Examples of How to Cite a Research Paper in ASA Style:

  1. Citing a Book: Author’s Last Name, First Initial(s). Year. Title of Book. Place of publication: Publisher. Example: Smith, J. A. 2012. The Craft of Writing. Chicago: Academic Press.
  2. Citing a Journal Article: Author’s Last Name, First Initial(s). Year. “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume number(Issue number): Page range. Example: Johnson, M. 2015. “Exploring Linguistic Patterns.” Language Studies 25(4): 112-130.
  3. Citing a Website: Author’s Last Name, First Initial(s). Year. “Title of Webpage.” Name of Website. URL (Accessed: Day Month Year). Example: Jones, P. 2020. “Digital Artistry.” Artistic Hub. https://www.artistichub.com/digital-artistry (Accessed: 15 September 2023).

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Citing in ASA Style:

  1. Incorrect Order of Information: Ensure that the information order in your citations follows the ASA style. The author’s last name should come first, followed by initials, publication year, title, etc.
  2. Missing Italics for Titles: Book and journal titles should be italicized in ASA style. Missing this formatting can make it challenging for readers to identify titles within your paper.
  3. Incomplete URL Information: If you cite a webpage, provide the full URL. This helps readers access the source directly. Include the date you accessed the information, especially for dynamic web content.
  4. Inconsistent Capitalization: Keep consistency in capitalization throughout your citations. In ASA style, titles should be in sentence case, where only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized.
  5. Omitting Page Numbers: Include page numbers for articles and specific content within a larger work. This precision adds clarity and context to your citations.

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Paper Formatting

What is the significance of proper citation in a research paper?

Proper citation in a research paper is crucial for acknowledging and giving credit to the sources of information, demonstrating academic integrity, and avoiding plagiarism.

How do I cite a book in APA style?

In APA style, a book citation includes the author’s last name, first initial(s), publication year, title, and publisher. For example: Smith, J. A. (2010). The Art of Academic Writing. Academic Press.

Why is it important to italicize titles in Chicago style?

Italicizing titles in Chicago style, whether for books, journals, or other sources, helps distinguish them from the rest of the text, ensuring clarity and adherence to formatting guidelines.

What is the main difference between MLA and APA citation styles?

While MLA and APA styles use in-text citations, the main difference lies in the format. MLA uses the author’s last name and page number, while APA includes the author’s last name and publication year in parentheses.

5/5 - (11 votes)
Table of Contents