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Research Paper Citation: Things You Must Know

Once you reach the post-secondary level, instructors tend to take source citations very seriously. In fact, some instructors may even flunk you if you fail to properly cite your sources. For this reason it is extremely important for students to follow all of the citation rules.

Today, we are going over the most important things to know when citing sources in an MLA style research paper. These include basic-in-text citation, author page citations as well as other types of in paper citation.

The Very Basic In-Text Citation Rules

When writing using the MLA style the works by others used in your paper should be listed in a “parenthetical citation”. A parenthetical citation is the method of placing important source information in a paraphrase within the paper itself using parenthesis

  • The source information should be included between two parentheses like this (this is a parentheses)
  • Any resource info that is used in text should also correspond to the works cited page and be listed there. Specifically, the word or phrase used in the citation parentheses within the paper should be the same on the works cited

How To Cite An Author in Text

In MLA writers are expected to use the author-page method of citing sources. This is done in a specific order. The order goes author’s last name and then the page number. The page number should be the exact page from the text being cited where the source information appears.

Example: Duncan mentioned that the sun was an essential energy source for all living things (Duncan 210).

What the citation does is tell the reader where the information being mentioned can be found and re-affirms who originally wrote it.

Other Types of Citations

So far we have explained the importance of using citations, how citations are listed, and specifically how to cite an author. Additionally, there are many other types of citations for the MLA format that students should know. The best way to find out how to properly cite all types of sources is by picking up an MLA handbook. A comprehensive MLA handbook will go over all of the various citation rules as well as explain when and how to use them in your writing.

Successfully mastering citations is easy when you know what to do. If you don’t want to lose grade points then we highly recommend studying up and double-checking citation procedures whenever you are in doubt.

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