Citing a Research Paper in MLA, Chicago and APA Formats: Best Tips

Citing a Research Paper

In academic writing, citing a research paper acknowledges prior literature on the topic from which the thesis in a study is anchored. It is usually done to avoid plagiarism and recognize data sources. There are different citation styles, but the most popular ones include APA, MLA, and Chicago. Our professional academic writers discuss the different research citation, preferred styles based on the course and the difference among them. If you need assistance in citing your research work or working on your research paper, you can delegate it to our resourceful researchers.

Citing a Research Paper Using the APA Format

The APA (American Psychological Association) is common in academic circles, specifically in the social sciences and psychology. It is the standard referencing format using in-text, footnotes, endnotes, and reference pages. There are also general writing guidelines in the APA citation format.

The paper is usually double-spaced, standard-size paper (8.5“ by 11“), and the 1” margins all around. The font should always be highly readable. APA recommendations are the use of 12pt. It uses the Times New Romans font and a page header inserted with page numbers always to the right.

As you type the paper’s title, the header should start to the left using capital letters. The header should summarise your essay’s title and not exceed 50 characters when you include the spacing and punctuation.

Your APA style is made up of four parts:

  1. The page title
  2. Theoretical
  3. body
  4. References

How to Cite Your Research Paper in the APA Format

In APA format, some rules are specific that you need to follow as you reference your academic work. Below are the specifics on citing a research paper

  • Website: name of the writer. The publication year, month, and day. The headline of the article. Source ( URL )

Example: Simmons, B. (2015, January 9). The Tale of Two Flaccos. Retrieved from {link}

  • Newspaper: Author, A.A. (Year, Month, Date of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, pp. xx-xx.

Example: Rosenberg, G. (1997, March 31). Electronic discovery proves an effective legal weapon. The New York Times, p. D5

  • Magazine: Author, A.A… (Year, a month of Publication). Article title. Magazine Title, Volume (Issue), pp.-pp.

Example: Tumulty, K. (2006, April). Should they stay, or should they go? Time, 167(15), 3-40.

Citing yourself is not encouraged.

Citing a Research Paper Using The MLA format

MLA (Modern Language Association) and the format is often used in the Faculty of Arts and related discipline.

  1. Font:

12pt in the Times New Roman

  • Spacing:
  • Double-spaced the whole essay
  • No extra spaces even between the paragraphs
  • Heading:
  • Name of the student Student’s name
  • Instructor/ the name of the Professor
  • The student’s class
  • Lastly, the date DD/MM/YY
  • Margins:
  • An inch all round
  • On each page, provide a number:
  •  On each page’s header, present the last name and the number of each page (top right)
  • Title:
  •  Center placed
  • Essay and the title the fonts to be the same 
  • Indentation
  •  Always in half inch
  • Align:
  • All words are to be evenly aligned to the left side.

How to Cite in MLA Format in a Research Paper

  • Website: The last name followed by 1st name of the author, the headline of the website, the publisher, and lastly, the month, date, and year published.

Example: Smith, John. “Obama Inaugurated as President.” CNN.com. Cable News Network, January 21, 2009. Web. February 1, 2009.

  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published. Medium.

Example: Smith, John. The Sample Book. Pittsburgh: BibMe, 2008. Print.

  • Magazine: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Magazine Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.

Example: Smith, John. “Obama inaugurated as President.” Time January 21, 2009: 21-23. Print.

  • Newspaper: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name Publication Date: Page Numbers. Medium.

Example: Smith, John. “Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette February 2, 2009: 4-6. Print.

Citing a Research Paper Using The Chicago Format

The Chicago format is used in humanities, arts and other related disciplines. Its structure includes footnotes and endnotes, helping the author with the venue so they can express themselves freely. It is also known for accountability, emphasizing the credibility of the research paper. The format is also used in the book bibliography.

How to Cite a Research Paper in Chicago Format

Website:  The author’s last and 1st Name. The headline of the website publisher, the website’s address, and the date, month and year the website was accessed.

Example: Smith, Rowe. “Obama inaugurated as President.” {link} (accessed August 13th, 2009).

  • Book: Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. Publisher City: Publisher Name, Year Published.

Example: Brown, Dan. The DaVinci Code. New York: Scholastic, 2004.

  • Newspaper: Last Name, First Name. “Article Title.” Newspaper Name, Publication Date.

Example: Smith, John. “Steelers win Super Bowl XLIII.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 2, 2009.

  • Magazine: Last Name, First Name. Article title. Magazine Title, Month Date, Year of Publication.

Example: Chan, Dan. The art of pandas. Panda Magazine, Nov 10, 1985.

Citing a Research Paper Using The ASA Format

Sociology students commonly use ASA format in citing their academic university research papers or in sociology articles.

Use of ASA citing format in research paper

  • Website: last and 1st writers name, date when the web was published, the websites headline, MM/DD/YY info was retrieved

Example: Lee, Bruce. 03.09.2004. Birth of a Nation. Retrieved 18.01.2017. {link}

  • Book: Author’s Last and First Name. Year of Publication. Title. Country of Publisher: Publisher.

Example: James, Henry. 2003. The Turn of the Screw. New York: Barns & Noble Books.

  • E-Books: Author’s Last and First Name. Year of Publication. Title. Country of Publisher: Publisher. Retrieved Month Day, Year {link}.

Example: James, Henry. 2003. The Turn of the Screw. New York: Penguin Books Kindle Version. Retrieved January 18, 2017. {link}

  • Journal Article: Author’s Last and First Name. Year of Publication. “Title.” Journal Name issue #: inclusive page numbers.

Example: Feekins, Bo. 2008. “Chasing Tree Frogs.” National Geographic #182. 6-10

  • Magazine Article: Author’s last and first Name. Year of Pub. “Title.” Magazine Name, Month Year, pp. Inclusive page numbers.

Example: Geary, Rachel. 2012. “The Issue with Mastery Learning.” New York Times, April 2002. Pp. 15-23.

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