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5 Citing Rules You Should Never Forget Writing An Academic Paper

If you have got to the stage where you are writing academic papers you will already be aware of the importance and relevance of citation. You will spend a great deal of time studying the writing of experts in various fields in order to construct your own academic prose. This is an essential activity but so too is your responsibility to tell the reader of your work when you have quoted the work of others.

It's important to know that academic writing in different formats will have different rules as far as the citation of references is concerned. For example if you are writing an essay using the MLA format then there will be a different set of rules, although not greatly different, than the citation rules for somebody writing in the APA format. It's important to know the differences.

The five important rules to remember when undertaking the citation of references are as follows.

  1. When you have to cite.
  2. Where you have to cite.
  3. How you have to cite.
  4. The size of your quotation for citation.
  5. The format for your particular piece of writing.

While on the one hand you do not wish to produce a piece of academic writing which is literally riddled with citations, it's very important that every time you have used information obtained from an identifiable source then you must include that in your references section.

There are two places where you will position the citation. They are during the body of your writing or alternatively in a section for references at the end of your piece of writing. The decision can rest on the format for your piece or alternatively on the size of the quotation.

How you cite is often the area where most students who make a mistake with citation go wrong. The rules are many but easy-to-follow. For example if there are two authors then both must be listed. If there are three or more authors, then the usual practice is to only list one author and follow that by the words et al.

This is not an article about how to go about your writing but if you decide to use a quotation which is expansive, you could be criticized for taking advantage of the work of another person. Thus an important factor in your citation of references is the size of the actual reference. Keep this under control.

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