Knowing how to cite sources and using the formatting rules correctly is useful not only for high school students but also for professional writers who have already taken a path through career. Today, the basic in-text citations rules in an article are based on formatting styles such as MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago. Besides, there are also certain features of citing online sources of data in an essay. The use of clear rules for bibliography, for its part, confirms that the author does not use the essay of other writers and thus additionally provides the reader with knowledge about the sources of the data used. Since citation is an integral part of any essay, it is necessary to clearly understand all the requirements that are put forward to the author in each particular case.

how to cite an essay
How to cite sources and using the formatting rules correctly

The need to use citations and how to cite article examples

If in the framework of writing an essay, you use citation data that is taken from specific bibliography sources, or website then you must include it in the list of references. Most often you can find them in various works as the so-called in-text citation. In other words, this is the case when you directly refer to the author or title of the essay after writing the citations. Also, there are situations when you need to indicate in your essay a cite that uses data from a direct source of general knowledge. To some students, such data along with bibliography rules may seem very difficult to understand.

If you are at a loss to determine whether the web data used is well-known or is related to the essay of a particular author, in any case, you must cite it so as not to end up empty-handed.

On the other hand, if you forget to cite information or title that you used from any research essay, website or author’s work, then this is considered as direct plagiarism and can have quite serious consequences. Let’s try to give an example to understand the situation better. For instance, the data that the war in Vietnam began in 1955 is publicly available. In other words, there is no such author who owns this information.

On the other hand, if for example, you decide to refer to some military strategies (with a copyright), online website maps, web information from memoirs of war participants, as well as data obtained as a result of analysis of data from the US Department of Defense site, this is a vivid example of usage of so-called private paper information. In other words, the source will have a specific author. That is why it is imperative to indicate who specifically wrote a print and place where it can be checked according to privacy policy rules.

Basics of citation: how pages must be cited in academic works

The main requirement for MLA citation in the paper is a direct reference with the appropriate cited link. This is done so that a person who will read the paper when finding citations of interest could learn more information about the title of the task. Since the author’s name and title will be indicated in work, it will be much easier to find the necessary cited data. Besides, thanks to this, it will be possible to track both the title of the source and the page where the information was taken from.

No matter what format you use, there is one parameter that will be unchanged for all options. You will always need to indent all lines following Works Cited citation. This way, you can more clearly demonstrate where one cited sentence ends, and another begins.

If you use the MLA format, you need to use a title register at the beginning of each title. The first word in MLA will be capitalized: ‘The Will and the Patience’. In the case of the usual sentence, it would be written as: ‘The will and the patience’.

how to cite an essay in APA style
how to cite an essay in APA style

Features of how to cite an essay in APA style

APA is a formatting style of essays that are used directly by the American Psychological Association (according to modern language association home). Nevertheless, it is also easy to meet it in works on various social sciences, business topics, and essays on nursing themes. That is why from the very beginning you need to make sure that the essay that you plan to write should be done in this style. If you are in doubt whether the essay should be done in APA or MLA essays style, it is better to clarify this information with your teacher. Since if the format was chosen incorrectly, then your essay will not be allowed even to check.

Types of information that should be included in the article

For example, when using the MLA essay format, you must add the name of the author as well as an indication of the page number in the paper from which the accessed information or title was taken. If it is necessary to use the APA essay format, then to the above-listed information, you also need to add the year in which this information was published (according to all privacy policy issues).

The next feature is that when citing in APA essay format, you can embed the link anywhere. In other words, if in the MLA essays format the citation needs to be placed directly at the end of the sentence order, the APA essay style can have a link to the cite even in the middle of the sentence. Besides, if, within the sentence, you indicated the name of the author of the title immediately after the name, it is necessary to note in parentheses the year when the information was published.

! Never forget that after the cite ends you need to indicate in brackets works cited page number from where it was taken.

Also, there is an option when you do not need to break all three blocks of information order that you need to cite. Thus, you can use the opportunity when, after the quoted sentence in parentheses, you simultaneously add the name of the author, year of writing of the title and the cited page where the information was accessed from.

! Using this option, the information should include the following order:

  • Author of book edition;
  • Year of print;
  • Page numbers.

If we talk about the features of indicating sources of information in the list of references, then when using the APA essays format, the bibliographic page record looks almost entirely similar to the one that is done with the MLA format.

Key Features of Chicago-Style Citation

Often, the terms APA and MLA are used by certain types of disciplines. In turn, a formatting essay style such as Chicago is more widespread among most authors. However, the main specificity of this style is that there is not one but two Chicago style systems, that include:

  • The notes-bibliography cite system. The use of this Chicago formatting style is more inherent in the humanities, among which it is worth noting: English language and literature, history, and art. In this case, a note on the source of literature is indicated at the bottom of the page.
  • The author-date cite system. This Chicago style is used for such sciences as physics, natural science, and some of the social sciences. At the same time, citations in Chicago should be enclosed in parentheses directly in the text and at the same time should include such components as the author of the print, date of writing, and accordingly pages of bibliography.
citing systems

Which of the two citing systems is better to choose?

The notes-bibliography style system is most often used by those writers who are involved in the humanities. In this case, data sources should be quoted accordingly using numbered footnotes or using endnotes. Each note used must correspond to the top number in the articles. It is also necessary to pay attention that when using notes-bibliography system sources must be additionally listed in a separate bibliography list. Moreover, the system itself can accommodate a large number of sources, including those that do not refer to the authors and date of a book publication.

The author-date style system is used preferably by numbers of authors who write materials on social sciences. A feature of this system is that the sources must be briefly quoted in the text. In this case, it is necessary to indicate in parentheses the name of the author and the date of publication of a book edition. Another feature is that each in-text citation should completely coincide with the list of references placed where full bibliographic data is presented.

You may have noticed, in terms specifics of using numbered notes and indicating data in parentheses, the system data is very similar in essays. Therefore, often, authors choose the system that is more convenient for them. Nevertheless, if you are not sure which method is more suitable for you to include in articles, it is better to check it with your professor.