Academic writing has its guidelines, which must be flowed to the letter. It is most experienced in higher learning institutions where students have to write a different text based on diverse topics, some of which require extensive research, anything used in the text that does not come from the writer ought to be cited and acknowledge accordingly. The student has over time managed to master these styles of making citations. Even though some of them are yet to do it. Citations are mostly associated with research papers, dissertations, theses, academic essays and so on. They are a way to avoid plagiarism, which is very much frowned upon in the world of academia.

With citations in research papers, the paper looks credible and original besides making the writer demonstrate his ability to use the existing knowledge to discuss a given topic. The basic information that is presented in all citation is the same, although the format varies a lot. The way you make citations in research papers using the APA or the MLA styles is different. Other formats of citations for research papersinclude Harvard, Chicago Manual Style, and AMA and so on.

Citations help in different formats

To start the quest of knowing the citations in research paper,we start with the American Psychological Association, popularly known as the APA style for referencing.This is how you make citations in research papersusing the APA format:

  • Start with the name last name of the author and first initial

The citations for research papers done in PA style, you invert the name of the author, meaning that the last name comes first and then initials of the first name. The last name is trailed by a comma then the first initial. If you have names of multiple authors, separate them with commas and use an ampersand (&) before the last name.

For instance, the names of multiple writers look like this: “Kringle, K., & Frost, J.”

  • Provide the year of publishing the paper

If the paper was published in an academic journal, your APA citations in a research paper would include the year in parentheses after the name of the author. If the paper as not published, the year when the paper was written comes in handy.

For instance, it would look like “Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2010).”

  • List the title of the research papers

The citations for research papers can take many forms,but when it comes to, you can use capitalization to write the full research name. Capitalize the first word and any other proper name. Should there be a subtitle, use a colon and capitalize the first word of the subtitle.

For instance, “Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012). Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon amongst North Pole reindeer.”

If you found the paper from a university-maintained database, corporation, or the organization, you can use the index number assigned to the paper in parentheses after the title.

For instance, “Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012). Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon amongst North Pole reindeer. (Report No. 1342)”

  • Include the information  on where you found the paper

When making citations in research papers using the APA format, if the paper that you get was published in an academic journal or magazine, you could usethe same format that you use for any other article. If the article is unpublished, give as much information as you can to direct the audience to the research paper.

For instance, “Kringle, K., & Frost, J. (2012). Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon amongst North Pole reindeer. (Report No. 1342).” Retrieved from the University of Alaska Library Archives, December 13, 2018.”

  • Using parenthetical citations in your paper

The APA citations for research papers demand that you include the last names of the authors when you write a stamen that comes from their work. You also include the publication year or the work.  For instance, “Kringle & Frost, 2012).”

If there was no date on the paper, you could use abbreviation n.d.: for instance, “(Kringle & Frost, n.d).”

Using the MLA style of formatting and citations

 The MLA format or the Modern Language of America has its guidelines of making citations for research papers.  These guidelines include:

  • Starting with the authors of the paper

This format of making citations in research papers inverts the names of the author in that the list starts with the last names fist and subsequently followed by the first names. You spell out the first names and separate multiple authors with commas. For instance, “Kringle, Kris, and Frost, Jack.”

  • Give the title of the research paper

Making citations for research papers in MLA, you enclose the title and subtitle in quotation marks. You then capitalize most words, but not for short articles or conjunctions, not unless they are the first words of the title or the subtitle.

For example, “Kringle, Kris, and Frost, Jack. “Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon Amongst North Pole Reindeer.”

  • Identify the location of the paper

MLA format utilizes the concept of containers. The paper that you are writing is part of a larger whole, which may belong to a part of an even bigger whole.  When making citations in research papers this way, you list the smallest container first, second it with the larger and go up to the largest. For instance, if you found the paper in a collection of papers stashed in university archives, your citations would look like this:

“Kringle, Kris, and Frost, Jack. “Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon Amongst North Pole Reindeer.” Master’s Theses 2000-2010. Alaska University Library Archives. Accessed December 13, 2018.”

  • Using parenthetical references in your work

One way of making citations in research papers using the MLA formats includes placing the names of the authors in parenthesis together with the page number where the information is found. For instance, “(Kringle & Frost, p. 34).”

Using the AMA format

This format utilizes the following guidelines when making citations for research papers. When making these citations:

  • Start with the last name of the author followed by the first initial

Any citations in research papersmade in AMA ought to start with the names of the authors or the editors of the paper. There should be no punctuation apart from a comma between names. If the authors are more than six, list the three and the follow them by “et al.”

  • Put the title in sentence case

This means that you only capitalize the first letter of the first word in that title. However, an exception is made to any proper noun that may appear in the title of the article. Should there be a subtitle, let it appear after a semicolon with an initial capital at the beginning of the subtitle. For instance: “Kringle K, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon among the North Pole reindeer.”

  • If the paper was published, including the journal information

Any research paper published in an academic journal ought to be treated like any other journal article. As such, when making citations in research papers using this format include the abbreviated title of the journal in italics, followed by the publication year, issue number, and the pages where the journal appears.

  • Location information should be provided if the paper is unpublished

If the paper was just a conference presentation, you could include the formation entertaining to the conference in which it was presented.  If the paper was found online, give a direct link and the date of access in your citations for research papers. For instance, “Kringle, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing phenomenon North Pole reindeer. Oral presentation at University of Alaska, December 12, 2018, Nome, Alaska.”

When making citations for research papers,you read online; thecitation would look like this:

“Kringle K, Frost J. Red noses, warm hearts: The glowing portent North Pole reindeer. (Followed by the URL)

  • Using superscript and subscript in your paper

In-text citations in AMA include the super script number after the details for which you need a citation.  It helps in building up your bibliography when writing your paper. The citations are listed in the order in which they appear in your text. For instance: According to Kringle and Frost, the red nose shows a subspecies of reindeer that is native to Alaska and Canada having migrated to the North Pole and interacted with the North Pole reindeer.

The Chicago Manual Style

Chicago Manual Style is another popularly used style of formatting. The rules of making citations for research papers in this format include:

  • Starting with the author’s name

It takes the inverted format of writing the authors name where his last names appear first. The names of other authors are supposed to appear in regular order. When writing citations in research papers, the first names ought to be spelled out. If there is middle initial provided, use it on the research paper.

  • List the title of the research paper

Write the title of the research paper in title case. This implies that all nouns, adjectives, and verbs are capitalized. However, this rule does not apply to articles and conjunctions. The titles have to appear in quotation marks followed by the type of paper after the title. For instance:

“Kringle, Kris, and Jack Frost. “Red Noses, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon amongst North Pole Reindeer.” Master’s thesis.”

  • The place and the year of publication

When making citations for research papersusing the Chicago Manual Style and the paper you are using is unpublished, the date used will be the year of publication. If the paper were published, you would stick to the guidelines for making article citations in a research paper in Chicago style.

  • Any additional information necessary for locating the paper ought to be included

If you got the paper from the internet, add a direct URL to help the audience go directly where you found the paper. If the paper has a database number, it can also be useful in locating it easily.

“Kringle, Kris, and Jack Frost. “Red Nose, Warm Hearts: The Glowing Phenomenon among North Pole Reindeer.” Master’s thesis. Alaska University, 2011. Accessed at http://give the URL…”

  • Stick to your instructor’s guidance pertaining to in-text citations

When making citations in research papers using the Chicago Manual Style, it is advisable to follow the guidelines that is provided by your instructor. Chicago and Turabiancan use parenthetical citations for research papers or footnotes to make references within the body of you text. Footnotes account for full citations, although it inverts the first and last name of the author. When it regards parenthetical citations, the Chicago manual style uses the Author-Date format, for instance, “(Kringle and Frost 2012).”

Importance of citations

When writing research papers, some people may wonder why citations are important. For starters, citations in research papers enhance the credibility of the writer and the work he is doing. It bypasses the risk of plagiarism, which in the academic world is a serious crime.

More so, citations for research papers inculcate originality in the work that is being done. The writer demonstrates that he is authentic with his ideas and pays attention to whatever the other writers share about the topic. The idea is to responsibly include the existing knowledge to show how his paper or the discussion of the topic fits in the larger picture of the scholarly knowledge.

It shows the audience that you have done adequate research by listing all the sources you have used in your paper.  The audience can track down all the sources you have used in your citations for research papers.

When writing your research paper, you can use any of the above formats of making citations. However, that is subject to your instructor’s preference. Sometimes it also the preference of the institution of higher learning in which you enrolled. Either way, it is crucial to ensure you have made the correct citations in research papers to avoid your paper getting rejected.