How To Use Citations In A Research Paper

posted by Andy Preisler 02 Feb 2022
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Learning how to cite a research paper is an essential aspect of academia. Students learn this the first time they step foot in college. Similarly, they continue to use quotations in all of their work. There are several citation methods to choose from. The one you use depends on a number of factors.

In general, there are more than a dozen examples of citations in a research paper. Each referencing system helps to encourage crediting authors and discourage plagiarism. Over time, several citation formats have evolved to become what they are today. Therefore, from this article, you can learn 5 types of citations, as well as find out about in-text references, citation types, and how to properly cite a research paper.

Research Papers Citation Elements

Several elements make up research papers. These elements are presented in different configurations to develop a citation type. Below are the components of any citation type.

  • Title
  • Author or Authors
  • Name of publication or conference
  • City/country of publication or conference
  • Editor and publisher
  • Edition and volume
  • Publication date
  • Page numbers
  • URL, where applicable
  • DOI (digital object identifier)

Some or all of these elements can constitute a citation type. You can find similar components as you buy from providers that write my essay for me. Additionally, you are sure of getting quality output from this service.

Citing a Research Paper APA Style

APA stands for American Psychological Association. Social science and psychology researchers, including psychology essay writers, mostly use this citation style. Also, there is a consistent format to follow when using APA for referencing. Similarly, you need to adhere to other general guidelines when using APA citation in an academic paper. Below are some guidelines for an APA research paper citation.

Step 1

Use author's first and last name in this one. However, you should write the last name then the initial of the first name. You also need to put a comma after the last name before the first name initial. If you have multiple authors, separate each using a comma. Put an ampersand right before the last author’s name. APA citation in the research paper example using authors Steven King and Daniel John is shown below.

“King, S., & John, D.”

Step 2

Next, include date of publication. Write year of publication after authors' names. Use the year work was written for an unpublished document. If a date is missing, use a term n.d. Using the same example of research papers citations from step 1, you can cite the date 2020 like this:

“King, S., & John, D. (2020)”

The reference will be different if there was no date of publication or writing.

“King, S., & John, D. (n.d.)”

Step 3

At this point, include your title when you cite a research paper. You should write a title using sentence capitalization. If there is a subtitle, separate it from a title using a colon. Include an index number of an organization in parentheses where applicable. From an earlier APA citation research paper example, the work is titled, "Life Lessons: The challenge of a lifetime." Also, the index number is 4563. Therefore, cite  as follows:

“King, S., & John, D. (2020). Life Lessons: The challenge of a lifetime. (Report No. 4563)”

Step 4

Include where you sourced a paper from by stating the journal, publication, or report it was published in. Provide whatever information is at your disposal for unpublished work. An example of how you can cite is thus:

“King, S., & John, D. (2020). Life Lessons: The challenge of a lifetime. (Report No. 4563). University of Brussels Journal of Social Science. Retrieved from university archives on October 30, 2021.”

Step 5

Like with all references, include a quotation within your writing. Therefore, reference any statement or research you have used. You can do an APA citation as follows.

“(King, & John, 2020).” or “(King, & John, n.d.).” as required.

MLA Citation

MLA means Modern Language Association. This cite a research paper format is popular in faculties of humanities and arts. Unlike writing an APA paper, any MLA citation for research paper follows a set of principles. Therefore, a quotation appears as a form of documentation. You also have a format for in-text, footnote, and reference page for MLA citation type. We are going to use authors Becky Andrew and Rebecca Adam to demonstrate. For more information, check out MLA guidelines for research paper and cite accordingly. These guidelines are comprehensive, so they include all the details you may need to learn how to cite in MLA style.

Step 1

Like with APA citation, you should flip the names. However, write the first name in full, and separate last and first names using a comma. See an example of how to cite below.

“Andrew, Becky, and Adam, Rebecca.”

Step 2

Include a research paper title and subtitle where applicable. Similarly, you will use sentence capitalization format when citing a research paper.

“Andrew, Becky, and Adam, Rebecca. “Toxic Personality: Its Effects and How to Minimize it in the Working Environment.”

Step 3

Specify where you got a paper from. If it is an extract from a collection or thesis, you will need to state it. Provide a source of information in sequential order. You can cite as follows.

“Andrew, Becky, and Adam, Rebecca. “Toxic Personality: Its Effects and How to Minimize it in the Working Environment.” Department of Humanities Journal, 2012. Dartmouth College Department Archives. Accessed June 23, 2015.”

Step 4

You may also need to provide a reference within a body of your research writing. It must be done when using information from another author. Therefore, you will provide citations in paratheses. However, you will exclude authors’ first names. You will include a page number when you cite a research paper, like so.

Example: (Andrew & Adam, p. 2)

Chicago Citation

Another commonly used citation format for research paper in humanities is Chicago. Use footnotes and endnotes when making citations. In particular, it ensures the credibility of research and referencing in academia. Chicago also has a system referencing within the text and referencing page. Write my annotated bibliography when developing quality research articles is a good option when developing research content. This way, you can see how professionals cite properly in such cases.

The authors Kamala Dunn and Matt Daniel will be used as a Chicago citation in research paper example.

Step 1

Firstly, flip the authors’ names. You will present authors’ last names, followed by first names, spelled in full. Additionally, you will include an initial of a middle name if an author uses one when you cite it.

“Dunn, Kamala, and Daniel, Matt.”

Step 2

Include a paper’s title. Make sure you write it using a title case. Similarly, you will want to include a type of work or article. See an example of how to cite this below.

“Dunn, Kamala, and Daniel, Matt. “The New Century Challenge: Protecting Culture from the Brutal Post Modernity Movement.” Thesis.”

Step 3

Using Chicago citation requires you to include a year and location of publication. Use a year when paper was written for an unpublished paper when you cite.

Example: “Dunn, Kamala, and Daniel, Matt. “The New Century Challenge: Protecting Culture from the Brutal Post Modernity Movement.” Thesis. University of California, 2013.”

Step 4

Make a process of finding a paper easy. Therefore, you should include a URL that will lead readers to the specific writing. Alternatively, you can provide DOI assigned to writing. Here is an example of such citing in a research paper.

“Dunn, Kamala, and Daniel, Matt. “The New Century Challenge: Protecting Culture from the Brutal Post Modernity Movement.” Thesis. University of California, 2013. DOI39576AS”

Step 5

For in-text citation, you can use parenthetical or footnote citation. Parenthetical citation will appear as follows.

“(Dunn and Daniel 2013).”

While footnote version is similar to full quotation, you do not interchange first and last names.

ASA Citation

The full meaning of ASA is American Sociological Association. This citation was created by this association. Therefore, all ASA journals use this quotation format. As a result, researchers and students in sociology use it when writing research papers. You may decide to purchase research papers. This service can give you quality writing, using citations for a research paper of your choice. Authors Peter Kelly and Rain Bug will be used to demonstrate how one should cite in ASA style.

Step 1

The first step involves writing the authors’ names as you cite. This step follows a familiar step of swapping the first and last names in full.

“Kelly, Peter, and Bug, Rain.”

Step 2

Here you should include paper’s title. However, you also need to include the date of publication before the title.

Example: “Kelly, Peter, and Bug, Rain. 2008. “The Relationship Between Crime and Cognition.”

Step 3

To use the ASA citation style, you must include the publication name and page number. According to our how to cite in a research paper guide, you should also include a journal identifier as you cite, where applicable.

“Kelly, Peter, and Bug, Rain. 2008. “The Relationship Between Crime and Cognition.” National Journal of Sociology Volume 45. 67-74.”

Step 4

You also need to develop quotations within the main text of all articles. You can use the last name of the authors as follows.

“Kelly and Bug (2008).”

Turabian Citation

The Turabian quotation system is an extract of the Chicago citations for research paper. It is also used for endnotes or footnotes. However, the major difference between the two styles is that Turabian contains less information. Therefore, it is mostly used for papers that remain unpublished. Also, the numbering scheme for each citation is different.

The author information used in the Chicago citation example may be used when demonstrating how one may cite in Turabian. If this seems too complicated for you, you can turn to professional research paper writers — a platform that knows how to cite using any quotation style and can do a proper citation format for a research paper.

Step 1

Write the name of the authors with the first and last names interchanged. Similarly, each first name should be written fully.

“Dunn, Kamala, and Daniel, Matt.”

Step 2

Write the title of the paper using title case and format.

“Dunn, Kamala, and Daniel, Matt. “The New Century Challenge: Protecting Culture from the Brutal Post Modernity Movement.” Thesis.”

In-text References

As the name implies, you use it within a text. It allows you to recognize the ideas and research of others. You can include an in-text reference next to a quotation or paraphrased statement. Doing this helps when citing research papers. In-text references are used in a research paper, a book, and other publications. Similarly, any quotation format usually has an in-text reference style. Each citation type has a different rule for short quotations, long quotations, paraphrase, citing authors, and sources.

Useful information: If you have no time for writing by yourself, you can consider hiring a research proposal writer


Learning how to cite research paper is an essential aspect of studying in college. It allows a writer to prevent plagiarism by attributing knowledge to the information’s author. In general, there are several ways to cite. Each citation system has its particular rules for referencing research within the text and in the bibliography. Therefore, you must strictly adhere to each method within any research paper as you cite sources.


Andy Preisler

Blog writer for GrabMyEssay

Andy Preisler


Hey there!

I’m Andy Preisler, and I’m super happy to be joining the blog team at!

While I hail from Fayetteville, Arkansas (I know, not the most progressive state!), I left the Southern life behind me many years ago when I went to college for my first degree. I’ve received it in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and I’m really proud of this. Since then, I have studied in the U.S., and later on, continued my education in Loughborough University, UK, where I actually my second Bachelor’s Degree along the way.

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