Posted on: 13th Apr 2020 1879 Views

Citation and References

References and citations are an important part of the research paper. College students often have Questions that what kind of information they should reference in the section of the research paper.

They face issues in doing citations of sources. In this article, we will provide you with complete guidance on references and citations in the research paper.

Research Citation And References

Let’s first develop an understanding of the meaning and importance of references and citations in the research paper.

References and Citations: Meaning

In all types of research papers you might collect information from different sources therefore, it is very much important to provide the proper sources of data which are known as references.  A citation is a reference to the sources from where you have gathered specific information.

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What is the importance of referencing and Citations?

Referencing sources in a research paper is very much important as it enables you to acknowledge the contribution of other authors. If you are using the information which other researchers have collected then you need to do references and citations.

Referencing is considered to be the best way of giving credit to researchers from whom you have h obtained ideas. By referencing you can acknowledge the work of other researchers and respect their intellectual property rights.

Doing referencing is essential for providing evidence to support arguments and claims.  Referencing is essential as it enables you to demonstrate that you have properly reviewed the literature and systematically performed the research.

By doing the citations you can demonstrate that you know the particular field in which you are performing research. The inclusion of citations in a research paper is considered to be one of the best ways to fill the knowledge gap.

It is citations that help you in navigating the way through the selected research field. Doing citations is considered as persuasive as it enables you to make writing more influential.

You should do referencing accurately. Doing the citation in the right way is crucial to provide the reader with ease in accessing sources from where information has been gathered.

One of the best techniques to ensure that you have appropriately done citations is to maintain a record of all sources for writing a research paper. The inclusion of references and citations will help you in increasing the reliability and validity of the research.

What type of information requires citations?

You need to reference any information such as the idea that you have collected using other sources such as newspapers, magazines, books, journals, brochures, films, websites, documentaries, personal interviews, letters, mail, etcIf you have utilized any examples, diagrams, charts, etc. they also need to do reference and cite the same.

For example : If you are providing a detailed explanation of difference among the chemical structure of carbohydrates, proteins, and fat you need to do citations for the same.

There is no requirement to do reference in the case when you are writing a personal statement, own experience, personal thoughts, or evaluation of personal analysis. You need to utilize common knowledge and real facts or information.

In addition to the above, the majority part of the introduction and discussion section includes performing a study with the support of information that the researcher has gathered. In the research paper, it is very much important to quote the work of others. You can utilize quotes directly from other sources. When the inclusion of referencing and citations you can perceive that reader knows a particular field.

For example: If you are performing research in the psychological field, then you can assume that psychologist have knowledge about Pavlovian conditioning in case you does not need to provide references.

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How do format in-text citations?

There are several techniques that you can most utilize for doing in-text citation of references. MLA, footnote, and APA are three different styles of doing references and in-text citations. Before making the selection of any specific style for doing reference, you should review the guidelines.

It is very much essential for you to be consistent in using an appropriate style of doing in-text citations.  The use of mixing citation styles leads to unclarity in the research paper.

There are (3) major citation styles used in academic writing:

The 3 different styles of doing in-text citations and references in the research paper are:

1. APA style

An American psychological association, such type of in-text citation styles researcher mainly utilizes for performing research in the field of psychology and social science. In this in-text citation style after every paragraph, you need to include the name of the author and the date of writing or publishing.

Example: (Sachet, 2008) after completion of the sentence.

Sachet (2008), perceives that globalization has a great effect on business growth.

By doing such type of in-text citations in research papers you can provide readers ease in finding work and would help them in checking the sources of information. Few academic institutions might want you to include page numbers.

For example:  (Sachet 2009, 19)

In addition to the above, you might face difficulty if there is no name author and the source is written by a specific company. In such a case you can utilize the name of the firm.

For example:

NHS is providing the latest updates on the coronavirus.

2. MLA Style Citations

There are mainly two differences in the MLA citation style these are the name of the author and page number. If you intend to do an in-text citation in modern MLA style then you need to include the name of the author/ year and the page no.

Example: (Flicks 2009, 18)

  • If in case there are more than 2 or more authors then the basic standard is to mention the name of both authors

Example: (Flicks& Kumar, 2009).

  • The reference containing the name of more than 3 authors you can directly use abbreviations.

Example: (Flick et al.)

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3. Footnote style of citation

You need to apply such type of citation when you are utilizing the Chicago referencing style. In case you are utilizing the Chicago referencing style then you need to utilize the Footnote number system.

Sachet 1 or Sachet [1]

You can utilize word processors for doing such types of citations in your research paper.

When to use in-text citations in a research paper?

Citations need to be done if you are using the information or ideas of other authors or researchers. If you are utilizing the thoughts of other people doing in-text citation will enable you to avoid chances of plagiarism.

There are a few cases when you need not do in-text citations. For instance, if you have to write a statement such as Watson and James have introduced the structure of DNA, you need not do citations for such a statement.


It has been concluded from the above that doing in-text citations and references is important for increasing the reliability and validity of the research. Another fact that has been found is that references and citations help in avoiding the chances of plagiarism.

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