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Academic Paper Citation Styles

In writing any academic essay or paper the writer must usually refer to several articles or papers published by research scholars and academicians. The writer may make use of the opinions and views of these authors as such or he may choose to modify them in his own writing style. In any case citation of the work is important. By citation the writer acknowledges the source from which he derived a particular view point or opinion. This is to advise the readers that the writer has adopted the sentences or phrased from the respective works of different authors mentioned as citation in the completed paper.

The writer must use in-text essay citation when he has added a direct quote of a different author in the essay. The writer must also add in-text citation when he paraphrased an idea from another source. In-text citation is also required when some information is summarized from a single source.

There are several internationally accepted citation systems exist which are being used in the academic essays. One of the most commonly used citation style is the author-page system. The MLA system of citation is the most recognized system of citation. The Modern Language Association (MLA) has prescribed the standards of this style of citation. According to the MLA style of citation, the page number, and author’s name is to be included in a parenthesis. If the author’s name is referred in the essay it is enough the page number is included in the citation.

The MLA system is an in-text method of citing sources and includes just enough information to help the readers find the information in the works cited page

Work cited section is a part of the citation. The work cited section goes into a new page after each essay is completed. As a part of citation, the writer has to mention the phrase ‘Work Cited’ on the top of the page where it is appearing. Generally the work cited should include the name of the author, title of the article, name of the publication or journal, the year and city of publication of all the authors and their works referred in the essay.

The other citation styles are Harvard style of citation, APA (American Psychologists Association) and Chicago Styles. Essays based on legal subjects need a different form of citation and there are standards established for such citation.

The citations may cover, general hints or notes on some of the issues discussed in the essay. The citation may also cover the books, magazines, articles, research papers, speeches reported in newspapers, news items in the newspapers and also websites found in the internet. Different citation methods have been prescribed for citing these different sources in the essay. Citation is an important part of the essay. Unless a proper referencing in any of the recognized methods is done, the essay will be considered as plagiarized denoting that parts of the essay has been stolen from other peoples’ work without acknowledging the fact that such works have been used in the paper.

Usually the requirements for any essay or academic papers should mention which kind of citation need to be adopted for completing the essay or paper. It is important to follow the specific requirements in terms of the citation of the essay, term paper, research paper or dissertation.

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