Kiswahili Institute

Effective Tips on How to Make Citations in Your Research Paper: Read Carefully

Research paper writing may be challenging, but you need to complete an assignment if you want to obtain a desired degree. One of the most important things that most students do not pay attention to is making citations. It is better to learn how you should cite and quote the material from outside sources before you start working on your paper. You can use several effective techniques. They are:

  1. Use paraphrasing.

    You can provide ideas represented in your sources in your own words. However, you must still cite the sources. It is easy to introduce supportive ideas and those that are different from your position using citations in parentheses; you make your thoughts flow this way.

  2. Avoid summarizing.

    Sometimes, students have to quote several sentences taken from outside sources. In such a case, you should not interrupt your own argumentation and write a summary of the quoted material. It is a bad idea to add summaries of ideas developed by others. You should synthesize, analyze, and evaluate your ideas; or at least compare them to other approaches.

  3. Select quotes carefully.

    It is better to avoid long quotes and use them only when necessary. Your quote should launch a discussion, not put it down. A text with many quotations looks overloaded, and the reader has troubles trying to follow the main idea. When you quote something, you should remember all the rules involved and format the quotes correctly.

You can find many guidelines on how to cite properly in your library, academic writing center, and online. It makes sense to search for good examples of citations within and at the end of paragraphs. Some important aspects are described below:

  • When you provide a quote, you should remember that the ending punctuation marks appear within the parentheses.
  • You must cite the sources after each sentence where they appear. You cannot cite them at the end of a paragraph. It also does not make sense to provide a citation at the beginning of a paragraph.
  • When you provide a full-text citation, you are not allowed to use the ampersand; it can only appear in parenthetical citations.
  • The number of a quotation page should be placed after the quotation.

It is better to select a variety of sources from the last five years, unless you are doing your research from a historical prospective. You should not cite too often; make sure that you begin and end each paragraph in your own voice and write commentaries on the materials you cited.

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