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A Comprehensive Guide to Formatting Research Paper Citations

A research paper that contains interesting and relevant citations looks much stronger than the one that doesn’t. If you decide to add citations to your project, you need to know how to format them correctly.

Research Paper Citing Rules

  1. Periods and commas.
  2. If you write a project about one single work, you don’t need to render its name or the name of the author after the quote in brackets. In such a case, all the commas and periods are located inside the quotation marks. If the quote is parenthetic, commas and periods are located after the citation in brackets, at the end of the entire quote.

  3. Exclamation and question marks.
  4. If they are a part of the phrase you are quoting, they go inside the quotation marks. In case you use them to underline the importance of the quote or turn to your readers with a question, they must be located outside the quotation marks.

  5. Ellipses.
  6. Ellipses are used to show that a part of the original phrase you’re quoting has been deleted. An ellipse can be located in the middle of the phrase to determine that you have cut out something insignificant for your project. There can be no ellipses at both the beginning and the end of the quote. Use only one ellipse if it’s necessary.

  7. Brackets.
  8. Insert brackets if you need to add something that makes it clear for your readers why you have chosen this or that quotation. As a rule, the information you render in such brackets consists of a couple of words that are essential for the understanding.

  9. Colons and semicolons.
  10. They are always located outside the quotation marks unless they are a part of the original phrase you’re quoting.

  11. Preciseness.
  12. Copy the phrases you’re quoting word after word even if there’s a mistake. To denote the mistake and show that it’s not yours, insert [sic] immediately after the error.

    Research Paper Formatting

    Depending on the academic writing style you have chosen for your project, it will be formatted in accordance with different rules. These rules affect the formatting of citations greatly. As soon as the academic styles change their requirements every several years, make sure that you have the latest edition of the manual.

Ask the right questions

There are times when you don’t understand exactly what you have to do, and this is completely ok as long as you to find out what is the answer to the problem.

The best person to help you is your professor, so every time there is something you don’t know, ask him.

Many students avoid doing this, but it will help you more than you think and you will actually develop your skills.

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