How to Cite a Research Paper Right | APA, MLA, Chicago, & ASA Formats

How to cite a research paper: APA, MLA, Chicago & ASA formats

Citing your sources is like doing your laundry; you don't want to mix your whites and colors. But unlike laundry, messing up your research paper citation can lead to more than just social faux pas – it could mean academic penalties, too. So, let's break down the citation mystery.

We're diving into four major styles: APA, MLA, Chicago, and ASA. Trust us, once you get the hang of it, citing will become second nature. Say goodbye to the head-spinning confusion and hello to flawless referencing. Get ready to become the Da Vinci of citing, and let's make those professors proud!

How to cite a research paper in APA format

Alright, let's kick things off with APA format, the darling of social sciences and psychology papers. APA stands for American Psychological Association, but don't let that name intimidate you. The APA citation format is a lot easier than it sounds. So, how exactly does citing a research paper in APA work? Let's get into it.

Before we dig in, you've got to remember that APA loves its "Author-Date" system. That means, when writing your paper, you'll want to mention the author's last name and the publication year within the text. Think of it like tagging someone in a Facebook post. Only here, you do it within parentheses.

Here's a quick example. Let's say you're pulling some genius insights from a paper by Jane Doe published in 2020. In the middle of your argument, you'll drop it like this:

  • " Doe (2020) pointed out."

Now, don't forget the grand finale – the reference page. It's the VIP lounge where all your cited authors hang out. Start a new page at the end of your document and title it "References." Not "Reference List," or "My Awesome Sources." Just "References," plain and simple.

Here's how to craft a full citation for the reference page:

  • Author's Last name, First initial. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, volume(issue), page range. DOI

Here's what that would look like for our fictional Jane Doe paper:

  • Doe, J. (2020). The psychology of citation. Journal of Proper Referencing, 12(3), 45-60.

That's it! You're officially an APA citation pro. Keep these tips up your sleeve, and you'll never break a sweat over citing again. Besides, here is how to make a title page for research paper assignments like a pro!

How to cite a research paper in MLA format

Alright, the next stop on our citation rollercoaster is MLA format. Loved by English majors and humanities buffs, MLA is short for Modern Language Association. But don't get it twisted – MLA citation is a straight shooter and keeps things neat and simple. If APA is the business suit of citation styles, then MLA is casual Friday.

In MLA, the in-text citation goes hand in hand with your sentence, like milk and cookies. So, if you're quoting or paraphrasing something by Emily Smith, published in 2019, your sentence would look something like this:

  • "Blah blah insightful point" (Smith 25).

The number 25 represents the page where you found your golden nugget of information.

At the end of your paper, you'll need to include a "Works Cited" page. Nope, it's not called "References" or "Bibliography" in MLA land – it's "Works Cited," and it's as crucial as the climax in a thriller movie. Let's dig into the formula for listing a journal article. You'll go:

Author's Last name, First name. "Title of the Article." Title of the Journal, Volume, Issue, Year, pages. Here's an example:

  • Smith, Emily. "The Art of Quotation." Literary Review, vol. 5, no. 2, 2019, pp. 24-36.

Notice that MLA is pretty chill about punctuation. You've got periods and commas dancing to keep each piece of information separate and easy to find. With this guide, you can take the MLA world by storm! Besides, with us, you can always say, "Rate my essay online!"

Analyzing the Chicago style of citing

Buckle up because now we're diving into the Chicago style of citing. If MLA is the laid-back pal and APA is the buttoned-up intellectual, then Chicago is that sophisticated, worldly friend who knows how to throw a dinner party.

This style is widely used in history, art, and other fields in the humanities. Let's get into what makes it unique, shall we? Let's say you've got a book by Charles Williams, written in 2020, and you're citing something from page 102. Your footnote or endnote would look like this:

  • Charles Williams, The History of Citing (New York: PublishCo, 2020), 102.

The full citation only appears the first time you cite that source. For any additional citations from the same source, you can shorten it:

  • Williams, History of Citing, 145.

Chicago also requires a bibliography at the end of your paper, which compiles every source you used, not just the ones you cited directly. It is your research playground made visible to your readers. The format looks very similar to the full footnote but with some tiny yet critical differences. For instance, you'll swap out commas for periods and reorder the author's name. Here's how that book by Charles Williams would appear:

  • Williams, Charles. The History of Citing. New York: PublishCo, 2020.

Mastering the Chicago style of citing isn't just academic flair; it's a signal that you know how to engage with your sources in a deep, respectful way. Trust us, it's a skill that's more than worth learning. And you can always delegate your tricky papers to us. Just say, "Write my term paper!"

How to cite a research paper in ASA format

Last but certainly not least, let's talk about the ASA format. Now, you might wonder, "What on earth is ASA?" It's the go-to style for sociology, standing for the American Sociological Association. So, if you're diving into the social fabric of humanity, ASA citation is your trusty toolbox.

ASA plays it cool, almost like APA. You'll use an "Author-Year" format for in-text citations. So, if Sarah Connor published a groundbreaking paper in 2021, and you want to tip your hat to her findings, your in-text citation will look something like this:

  • "... as indicated by previous studies (Connor 2021)."

But hold your horses; we're not done yet. Any good magician needs a reveal, and in ASA, the Reference page is where the magic happens. Here, you'll list every source with a guest appearance in your paper. Here's the formula for a journal article:

Author's Last name, First name. Year. "Title of Article." Title of Journal Volume(Issue): page range. Looks like this:

  • Connor, Sarah. 2021. "Time Travel and Social Norms." Journal of Futuristic Sociology 30(4):310-325.

And what if it's an online source with a DOI? Just add it at the end, like so:

  • Connor, Sarah. 2021. "Time Travel and Social Norms." Journal of Futuristic Sociology 30(4):310-325. DOI:10.1177/xxxxxxx.

See, ASA citation rules and research paper citation secrets in this format aren't intimidating once you get the hang of it. Knowing how to cite your sources properly is like being fluent in another language; it might be tricky at first, but soon it'll become second nature. So, keep this guide handy, and you'll be an ASA fan in no time! By the way, if you need a paper helper, then we are here to assist!

Polishing the citing process

There you have it – the ultimate guide to mastering the art of research paper citation in APA, MLA, Chicago, and ASA formats. Each style has its quirks and perks, but they all share one goal: giving credit where credit is due. This is because the research process is a collaborative endeavor. So, keep this guide by your side, and you'll elevate your work from good to can't-put-it-down great!