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Research paper citations

Research papers contain citations, which are notes that identify the source of quotes used or a paraphrase from the research. The style sheet a writer follows to create a research document will determine the specific method of identifying or noting a citation. College professors generally use APA and MLA style sheets and it is important to understand the differences in style sheets.

Research paper references or sources are often confused with research paper citations

Research paper citations are also referred to as in-text citations. An in-text citation refers to the existence of the citation within the composition. Research paper document references in lists of resources that have been cited in, in-text citations. These resource lists are located at the end of the document, paper, or report and are identified as "Works Cited" References, or "Bibliography". Every research report must contain research paper citations and a list containing research paper references.

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When a paper is written using APA style the research paper citations are usually in the form of parenthetical notes. Notes in parentheses are parenthetical notes, and are commonly found at the end of the sentence. When APA style is used citations always include the authors name that originated the research and the year the research was initially published. When quoted text is cited and not paraphrased text, the citation must contain the page the quote is taken from. An example of APA style research would be:

A writer has identified "correct citation style must be perfect" (Prince, 2005 p.10).

If Prince were mentioned by name in the paper, the citation would look like this: Prince (2005) said that "Correct citation style must be perfect" (p.10). The year the document was published must immediately follow the name of the author (s), even if the name is not in the sentence or documented in parentheses.

When writers are using MLA style, parenthetical notes may also be used in research paper citations. The basic difference is with MLA, the publication year is not identified and the resource page is always included. With both styles if the name of the author (s) is identified in the text it is not used in the citation. The citation would take this form:

Prince stated, "Correct citation style must be perfect" (10).

If the name of the author (s ) is not identified in the text, the citation would follow this format:

A researcher said that, "correct citation style must be perfect" (Prince, 10)

Note that when using MLA style, the page number is identified without using the "p." which is used with APA style.

Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Psychological Association (APA) respective citation manuals outline the styles in great detail. Each manual identifies an unambiguous citation format for research papers, and should be reviewed frequently when writing reports that are investigation-based.

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