Citing, Quoting and Referencing like a Valedictorian (And It’s Quite Easy)

Writing Tips

So, you’ve already researched your topic. You’ve also mastered a ground-shaking thesis statement and even produced, let’s say, ten pages of engaging and relevant content. Then, you’ve placed a cherry on a pie of quality of your work by doing some brilliant proofreading too.

Now, there’s a question to be asked:

Did you use any quotes and citations?

Since every great research features topic-related quotations and excerpts from books, magazines or speeches, chances are you embedded them in your body copy as well. This fact leads us to the final and most crucial question to make:

Did you reference your research paper?

Today citing an essay or article is a real nightmare for students. First, few know how to do it right. Second, after a couple of evenings in a row spent writing, students are too exhausted to format the quotes right. And, in order to be among those students who get fine grades, here’s a quick guide for you to follow regarding the two styles you’ll be using most of the time: APA and MLA. No boring theory and extracts from the history of referencing. Practical how-to only.

APA – For Your Paper in Psychology and Social Sciences

APA implies brief citations in the main copy with a nod to a reference list at the end of your work featuring the full quote. E.g.:

Svanum and Aigner (2011) found “students who did well were prone to view the course more positively” (p. 676).

“Students who did well were prone to view the course more positively” (Svanum & Aigner, 2011, p.676)

In the list of references, use the following structuring rule of thumb: Author, A. A. (Year). Title of the book. Location: Publisher. E.g.:

Grenfell, W. T. (1919). A Labrador doctor: The autobiography of Wilfred Thomason Grenfell. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

If it’s an article you’re citing, the following key is required: Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the journal, volume number (issue number), pages. E.g.:

Kozma, A., & Stones, M. J. (1983). Re-validation of the Memorial University of Newfoundland scale of happiness. Canadian Journal on Aging, 2(1), 27-29.

MLA – For Your Paper in Liberal Arts and Humanities

MLA implies you to give a reference immediately to the Works Cited page right after a quote. E.g.:

Pythagoras invented the monochord (Smith 182).

Smith believed that Pythagoras invented the monochord (182).

The most characteristic feature of the style is it requires you to specify the “medium” of the work you cite like Print, Web, CD, DVD, E-mail, etc. If there is none or if the medium is unknown, you must use special abbreviations (n.p. – no publisher, n.d. – no publication date, n.pag. – no page number, etc.)

Speaking about referencing of sources, the following structure is required: Author’s last name, first name. Title of the book. Place of publication: Publisher, Year. Medium.

NOTE: If a book has more than one author, the second goes in the first name – last name key. E.g.:

Grenfell, Wilfred Thomason. Adrift on an Ice Pan. St. John’s: Creative, 1992. Print.

Katona, Steven K., Valerie Rough, and David T. Richardson. A Field Guide to the Whales, Porpoises, and Seals from Cape Cod to Newfoundland. 4th ed. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993. Print.

Are you quoting an article? Here is the rule of thumb to follow: Author’s last name, first name. “Title of the article.” Name of journal volume. Issue (Year): Pages. Medium. E.g.:

Cox, Gordon. “A Newfoundland Christmas Caroling Tradition.” Folk Music Journal 3.3 (1977): 242-60. Print.

Just in case referencing is not your cup of tea, professional essay and term paper writers could help you put a finger on citation styles including not only APA and MLA, but Chicago and Turabian as well.

Previous post:

Next post: