Methods of Citation in Research: An overview


A citation is a reference to a source. Additionally, exactly, a citation is an abbreviated alphabetical expression embedded within the body of an intellectual work that denotes an entry within the bibliographical references section of the work for the purpose of acknowledging the connectedness of the works of others to the subject of discussion at the spot wherever the citation appears.

The citation may be a reference to the source of data utilized in your research. Any time you directly quote, paraphrase, or summarize the essential components of someone else’s idea in your work, an in-text citation ought to follow. An in-text citation may be a brief notation among the text of your paper or presentation that refers the reader to a fuller notation, or an end-of-paper citation that gives all necessary details of this source of data.

Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and also the bibliographical entry constitutes what’s normally thought of as a citation (whereas bibliographical entries by themselves are not). References to single, machine-readable assertions in electronic scientific articles are called nanopublications, a form of micro attribution. Citations have many necessary purposes: to uphold intellectual honesty (or avoiding plagiarism), to attribute prior or unoriginal work and concepts to the right sources, to permit the reader to see severally whether or not the documented material supports the author’s argument within the claimed way, and to assist the reader to gauge the strength and validity of the material the author has used.

The forms of citations usually subscribe to one among the commonly accepted citations systems, like the Oxford, Harvard, MLA, American sociological Association (ASA), American Psychological Association (APA), and alternative citations systems, as a result of their syntactical conventions, are widely known and simply taken by readers. Every of those citation systems has its advantages and disadvantages. Editors typically specify the citation system to use.

Bibliographies, and alternative list-like compilations of references, are usually not considered citations as a result of they are doing not fulfill actuality spirit of the term: deliberate acknowledgment by alternative authors of the priority of one’s ideas.

APA Style

APA style provides a foundation for effective scholarly communication as a result of it helps writers present their ideas in a clear, concise, and inclusive manner. When style works best, ideas flow logically, sources are credited befittingly, and papers are organized predictably. individuals have described exploitation language that affirms their worth and dignity. Authors arrange for ethical compliance and report crucial details of their research protocol to allow readers to evaluate findings and alternative researchers to potentially replicate the studies. Tables and figures present data in an engaging, clear manner.

 MLA Style

MLA (Modern Language Association) style for documentation is wide utilized in the humanities, particularly in writing on language and literature. MLA style features brief parenthetical citations within the text keyed to an alphabetical list of works cited that appears at the end of the work. 

Core elements

Each entry within the list of works cited consists of facts common to most works—the MLA core elements. they’re assembled in a very specific order.


The concept of containers is crucial to MLA style. once the source being documented forms a part of a larger whole, the larger whole may be thought of as a container that holds the source. for instance, a brief story could also be contained in a collection. The story is that the source, and therefore the collection is the container.


The Modern Language Association, the authority on research and writing, takes a fresh look at documenting sources within the eighth edition of the MLA handbook. Works are printed nowadays in a very dizzying vary of formats. A book, for instance, could also be browsed in print, online, or as AN e-book–or maybe listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are frequently invented, combined, and changed.

With MLA style, you need to include a Works Cited page at the tip of your paper. A Works Cited page is an alphabetical listing of the resources cited in your paper. Below are some samples of MLA-style citations. 

Chicago style

Chicago could be a documentation style that has been printed by the Chicago University Press since 1906. This citation style incorporates rules of grammar and punctuation common in American English. Typically, the Chicago style presents 2 basic documentation systems: (1) notes and list and (2) author-date. Selecting between the 2 usually depends on the subject matter and therefore the nature of sources cited, as every system is favored by totally different teams of scholars.

The notes and list style is most popular by several within the humanities, as well as those in literature, history, and therefore the arts. This style presents bibliographical data in notes and, often, a list. 

The author-date style has long been used by those in the physical, natural, and social sciences. In this system, sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by the author’s last name and date of publication. The short citations are amplified in a list of references, where full bibliographic information is provided.

  IEEE Style

The Institute for Electrical and electronics Engineers (IEEE) may be an organization supporting several branches of engineering, computer science, and information technology. additionally, to publishing journals, magazines, and conference proceedings, IEEE also makes several standards for a large style of industries.

IEEE citation style includes in-text citations, numbered in square brackets, that confer with the complete citation listed within the reference list at the top of the paper. The reference list is organized numerically, not alphabetically.

 The Basics:

In-text citing it’s not necessary to say a writer’s name; pages used, or date of publication within the in-text citation. Instead, confer with the source with a number in a square bracket, e.g. [1], which will then correspond to the complete citation in your reference list.

• Place bracketed citations within the road of text, before any punctuation, with space before the primary bracket.

• Number your sources as you cite them within the paper. Once you’ve got referred to a source and given it a number, still use that range as you cite that source throughout the paper.

• When citing multiple sources directly, the preferred technique is to list every number separately, in its own brackets, employing a comma or dash between numbers, as such: [1], [3], [5], or [1] – [5].

The below examples are from Murdoch University’s IEEE style Lib Guide.

Examples of in-text citations:

“…end of the road for my research [13].”

“This theory was 1st put forward in 1987 [1].”

“Scholtz [2] has argued that…”

“Several recent studies [3], [4], [15], [16] have advised that….”

Creating a Reference List The Reference List appears at the top of your paper and provides the complete citations for all the references you’ve got used.  List all references numerically within the order they have been cited within the paper, and embrace the bracketed range at the beginning of every reference.

• Title your list as References either targeted or aligned left at the highest of the page.

• Create a hanging indent for every reference with the bracketed numbers flush with the left aspect of the page. The hanging indent highlights the numerical sequence of your references.

• The author’s name is listed as 1st initial, last name. Example: Adel Al Muhairy would be cited as A. Al Muhairy (NOT Al Muhairy, Adel).

• The title of an article is listed in quotation marks.

• The title of a journal or book is listed in italics.


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