Do you ever find yourself writing an article for publication and struggling to think of the proper citations for the content? Wondering if you should cite online sources like YouTube videos or blogs, or print sources like books and magazines?
You’re not alone. When writing an academic paper, it’s important to keep the citation style and format uniform throughout your work. But as a non-fiction writer, how should you cite your sources?
The answer is quite simple. Just look at how other professionals in your field write their articles and use the same approach in your own work. Once you’ve done that, you’ll find yourself rolling effortlessly in referencing, and your academic paper will be much easier to write.
The best place to get inspired for writing is by looking at how other writers in your field do it. Books like The Chicago Manual of Style or the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage are full of useful tips and tricks on writing and research. You can also search for articles or look at YouTube videos by famous authors to see how they cite and reference their work.
But perhaps the best way to learn how to cite is from practice. Set a timer for a couple of hours and dive into your research. Look for existing articles on your topic and see how others have cited them. Then, take a look at how you’ve cited your own work and make sure it’s done properly. In the end, you’ll have a good idea of how to properly format and cite your writing.
Find The Best Version
You’ve probably heard the expression “plagiarism is plagiarism,” right? The same goes for citations. In general, it’s a good idea to get the most recent version of a book or article rather than a printed one from the 1950s. This is especially important if you’re citing something from the digital age.
For example, if you’re citing an article or a blog post, make sure you’re reading the most recent version. If you find an old version at the library or on a vintage blog somewhere, it may not match the citation style you’re trying to use. If this happens, you’ll have to find a new source.
When you’re writing academically, it’s always a good idea to use parentheses to set off a term or phrase you’re referring to. This is especially important when you’re using a shortened version of a word, like “Yo” or “tweet.” If you’ve ever watched comedian Jerry Seinfeld, you’ll know what I mean when I say he likes to play with words and uses parentheses often in his comedy. It’s not that he doesn’t know how to use them; he just doesn’t feel the need to use them in his writing. He knows what they are for, so it’s not as though he’s being redundant. For example, Seinfeld usually puts parentheses around the following items:
- Words or phrases that could be misunderstood
- Things that are not quite words
- Matching capitalization
- Internet slang
In the example above, you’ll notice there are a few words and phrases that could be misconstrued if used out of context. For example, “retweets” and “tweet,” which are both used to reference a specific tweet. If you don’t want to give away the tweet’s contents, you should probably put parentheses around it. It’s also a good idea to put parentheses around the abbreviation “T.V.” when it’s used in reference to a television show, like the “T.V.” series or “The Golden Girls.” If you’re using a slang word or phrase that isn’t listed above, you should probably put it in quotes so it doesn’t get misinterpreted.
Use The Template Receptively
When you write academically, you’ll often have to cite other sources in your paper or project. And as much as we all like to think that our writing is perfect and uninfluenced by anyone else, the truth is most of us are influenced by others, consciously or unconsciously. This is why it’s a good idea to use a template for referencing, rather than coming up with a style on your own.
If you’re citing a book, look for a template that has already been compiled from a variety of sources. You can also find similar templates for articles at sites like Wordnik that allow you to insert the relevant information into your own paper without having to do all the research by yourself.
Find The Appropriate Style
If you followed the above advice and found the right citation template for your work, you’ll have no problems with getting your paper published. But if you’re still unsure about the appropriate citation style for your work, look for a faculty member at your school who specializes in your field and has experience in publishing papers.
They can help you find the right approach for your paper and teach you how to properly format it according to the guidelines of your chosen publication. With their help, you’ll be able to write a flawless academic paper that will knock your professor’s socks off.