While working on the paper, each student must quote different authors. It happens for several reasons. Firstly, each study relies on some data and conclusions made earlier and further confirms or refutes them. Secondly, so many works, books, and studies have already been written today that it is challenging not to repeat someone’s thoughts. Thus, to avoid getting accusations of plagiarism, it is necessary to quote the source.
In this article, you will learn the basic citation requirements and determine how to choose a writing style for a research paper.
What Is a Writing Style, and Which Formats Could You Use?
As a writer of academic papers, every student must document any source of information they use in their research papers, articles, presentations, and any kind of scientific project. If you properly document the original works of other authors on which you base your ideas, it allows the readers to see and consult the resources used. Accurate and proper quoting will help avoid plagiarism, considered a serious breach of academic conduct.
There are 3 different writing formats for including other writers’ work in your paper. They are called citing or quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing.
- Citing. The purpose of the citing/quoting is that it should repeat the original text word-for-word and include a reference to the original writer of the source document. You should decide which approach to use when incorporating another author’s ideas into your text. You should use direct quotations during research when the exact wording of a passage is important to ensure you have reproduced the original accurately. You might also use citations if the original statement is well-formulated and you feel it will enrich your writing.
- Paraphrasing in research is basically retelling a passage of the original text using your own words and sentence structures. The original author must also be referenced. Paraphrasing is widely used in research papers and argumentative essays, showing your supervisors you understand a source text and may reformulate it and find and emphasize its main points. It also helps change the stylistic characteristics of your source, adapting it to the readers (e.g., if you use it for a presentation of some scientific topic before your class) and omitting unnecessary details.
- Summarizing in research means reproducing only the source’s most important ideas and main points in your own words. It usually summarizes a larger statement in the form of a shorter explanation. However, the original source must be referenced, too. The purpose of a summary is similar to that of a paraphrasing. Still, it helps to shorten a long text, explaining a lengthy chapter, article, or book in a brief essay or even a single paragraph.
Why Do You Need to Choose the Right Research Paper Style?
Each university has its own citation rules. Moreover, they may differ depending on the teacher or subject. Therefore, before writing each work, you must check with your teacher the citation type for a given paper. Each has its paper formatting styles and standards; you will see them in more detail later.
The main thing to remember is that if you use some source, either quote or paraphrase, indicate the author. Otherwise, these thoughts can be assessed as plagiarism.
In total, there are several types of writing formats:
- APA format;
- MLA format;
- CGOS format;
- CBE format;
- Harvard format;
- Chicago Manual of Style/Turabian format;
- ASA format;
- AMA format.
APA Style (American Psychological Association)
A particular research paper writing style can simplify the editors’ work because authors adhere to the same citation format. It also makes it easier for the audience to follow the author’s ideas because they are organized according to a familiar structure. Demonstrating that you know and follow the research style requirements of your field will also make your work more credible and trusted.
APA Style is often used for citation, research, and formatting in social sciences (Psychology, Sociology, Linguistics, Economics, Criminology, Business, and Nursing). It also deals with the overall research paper styles, content organization, and preparation of a paper for publication.
Thus, we recommend having a look at their manual as well as other online sources.
- Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association – Get a quick orientation to APA, Create APA parenthetical citations, Create an APA reference list, Format a paper using APA guidelines, Format APA headings for a research paper, Review APA usage and research paper writing styles guidelines, and Locate other APA resources on the Web.
- The Basics of APA Style – From APA Online, American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. A useful tutorial following the 6th Edition of APA’s Publication Manual, 2009. There are also some useful FAQs.
- Understanding Electronic Sources from American Psychological Association (APA) – Excerpted from the new 6th edition of the APA Publication Manual.
MLA Style (Modern Language Association)
MLA Style of citation and research formatting is widely used in Art, Liberal Arts, and Humanities.
Its approach is to give a writer a universal formatting tool that can be applied to various kinds of sources (citing different kinds of sources, like research papers, articles, essays, government publications, newspapers, manuscripts, maps, charts, spoken interviews, sound recordings, web sites, films and illustrations and more). With the development of the Internet, texts may be found online in any college writing formats, and new designs and presentation forms are invented. That is why MLA format offers a writer several general principles, finding them more important than a rigid set of rules for every particular source.
Again, there are research manuals you can use:
- The Modern Language Association has the authority on research and writing while documenting sources.
- Citing Film and Video in a slightly adapted version of MLA style of research with examples.
- Citing TV and Radio with research examples by Gary Handman, Media Resources Center, Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
We have also prepared articles on particular subjects available on the AResearchGuide website:
These examples show the correct writing format styles for citing online sources in Modern Language Association (MLA) style:
- MLA Online – University of Houston Libraries
- MLA Parenthetical Documentation – LEO: Literacy Education Online, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN. How to correctly document different types of sources using MLA Parenthetical Documentation: Author(s) name, Multivolume works, Classic literary works, Special cases.
- Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format The Purdue University Online Writing Lab, West Lafayette, IN. Using APA format, Formatting in Sociology, Handling quotations in text, Works Cited list, Footnotes, and Endnotes.
CGOS Citation Style – Columbia Guide to Online Writing Style in Research
A specialized research writing style guide for citing format and creating electronic sources. It is a manual that addresses the complications and peculiarities associated with online publishing and offers the rules of online citation to students, researchers, and the wide public.
CBE Style of Research – Council of Biology Editors
Used mostly to write research papers and cite sources within the Biology domain. Such works must always adhere to Scientific Style and Format requirements, following the rules of Scientific Writing.
Writing Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. Use the citation-sequence system, Create a CBE citation-sequence reference list, Use the name-year system, and Create a CBE name-year reference list.
Online Media Resources Research and Citation (websites, online media files, etc.)
Adapted from the Columbia Guide to Online Style by Janice R. Walker and Todd Taylor. The citation styles described are Humanities Style. With styles of writing examples by Gary Handman, Media Resources Center, Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA.
- The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, aka “Harvard Citator,” published by Harvard Law Review Association in conjunction with Columbia Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and Yale Law Journal 2019 edition
- Interactive Citation Workbook for The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation and ALWD Citation Manual by Tracy L. McGaugh (Book)
- Reference Styles & Essay Writing Guide King’s College, London. Essay Writing, Locating Information – Effective Reading, Selecting Information – Note Taking, Bibliographies, Examples of Bibliographic Entries, Points to Remember, and Textual References or Citations (including Parenthetical Reference examples).
Chicago Manual of Style/Turabian Style
Chicago Style and Turabian research formats are also similar. They are designed to be used, first of all, in history and economics. Turabian Style is basically a modification of the Chicago Style for student needs. It is used in history, literature, arts, scientific field, and natural and social sciences. The Turabian format guide includes the notes, bibliography style, and author-date research format.
The recent edition of Kate L. Turabian A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is aligned with the newest Chicago Manual of Style to match its format’s requirements.
- The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. This edition has been prepared with an eye toward how we find, create, and cite research information that readers are as likely to access from their pockets as from a bookshelf. It offers updated guidelines on electronic workflows and publication of different format of research paper, tools for PDF annotation and citation management, web accessibility standards, and effective use of metadata, abstracts, and keywords.
- Chicago Manual of Style Citation Guide From the Chicago Manual of Style Online. Provides examples of format for writing footnotes, in-text citations, reference list entries, and bibliographical citations for both print and electronic sources using Chicago Style.
- Chicago/Turabian Documentation – Writing Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. Get a quick orientation to note systems, Create Chicago/Turabian first references, Create Chicago/Turabian subsequent format references, and Create a Chicago/Turabian Works Cited page.
AMA citation style was first introduced in the AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors and is the cornerstone of the writing format for the American Medical Association. The manual lays the foundation for writing and citation styles used by the medical and research communities. The most recent edition was updated and includes additions such as the correct citation format of online blogs, quizzes, and regular tips from the editors.
AMA Manual of Style: A Guide for Authors and Editors 11th Edition
This book is a must-have resource for anyone involved in medical, health, and scientific publishing. An expert committee of JAMA editors wrote it and addresses issues that authors, editors, and publishers face in the digital age.
AMA Style – OWL – Purdue University
This resource discusses references page formatting for AMA style sheets, including templates and research style example.
American Sociological Association (ASA) is often found in works created by those who research, study, or work in Sociology. ASA writing format was created for those who author manuscripts to be published in ASA journals. Similar to other citation styles, ASA format citation changes depending on the originating source material.
- American Sociological Association Style Guide 2019 The sixth edition of the ASA Style Guide is the authoritative reference for writing, submitting, editing, and copyediting manuscripts for ASA journals and other publications following ASA’s unique format.
- Quick Tips for ASA Style by American Sociological Association This source is provided to assist students in studying sociology, properly citing format, and referencing their essays.
- ASA Style and Format – American Sociological Association Style and Format Guide.
Resumé Writing Format and Cover Letters
Preparing a good resume and cover letter is important for anyone seeking a job because if these documents are well-written, they help to create a good impression and get the desired position. A job applicant should be careful about the content and form of their CV and cover letter. They should use a particular wording and follow a specific structure and formatting requirements.
An efficient resume means a properly written one demonstrating your expertise and credentials and shall help you get an interview from a company. While a resume highlights your experience and skills, a good cover letter intends to demonstrate how your knowledge and experience match the position format you are currently applying for. Therefore, it has to be specific and targeted.
The provided information, structure, language, tone, and other details of a CV and cover letter should be carefully chosen to help you reach your goal. You might make use of the efficient resume samples and templates found below.
- Developing Resumes: Selecting a Resume Style from TTG Consultants.
- How to Write Resume in English from About.com – English as 2nd Language (ESL).
- How to Write a Resume.org. Resume Writing Tips, Resume Writing & Distribution Services.
- Writing Cover Letters: Sample Cover Letters from Monster Career Center.
Writing Styles Guide
When writing on any assignment, it is critical to avoid grammar, stylistics, format, spelling, and other mistakes and write properly and accurately. A text with errors will create a poor impression, no matter how important and profound ideas it provides.
It is wise to start improving your paper styles and formats by consulting the classic book by William Strunk first.
- The Elements of Style Fourth Edition by William Strunk, Jr. This classic book by William Strunk, Jr. on the Elements of Style includes Elementary Rules of Usage, Elementary Principles of Composition, Words & Expressions Commonly Misused, An Approach to Style with a List of Reminders: Place yourself in the background, Revise and rewrite, Avoid fancy words, Be clear, Do not inject opinion, Do not take shortcuts at the cost of clarity, and much more.
- Common Errors in English Usage: Third Edition by Paul Brians. Mixed-up, mangled expressions; foreign-language faux pas; confused and confusing terms; commonly mispronounced words – they’re all explained in this useful guide. Common Errors in English By Dr. Paul Brians, Professor of English, Washington State University, Pullman, WA. Based on Common Errors in English Usage
- The Grammar Zone provides information about adjectives and adverbs, articles, comparatives and superlatives, clauses, conditionals, confusing words, nouns, numbers, prepositions and conjunctions, pronouns, and questions. The site includes Verbs, Idioms, Paragraph Writing, and more.
- Online English Grammar By Anthony Hughes Free but copyrighted material. Sound files to learn to pronounce the alphabet. Table of contents. Alphabetical subject index. Grammar clinic. English language practice pages.
Advice for Writing and Formatting
When it comes to writing and learning how to do a research paper, there are no quick fixes or fill-in-the-blank templates that will allow you to complete your paper without investing a little time and effort. The key to any research style is learning to manage your time and effectively organize your source material. In the preceding paragraphs, you will find helpful information on how to write a good research paper. If you are looking for more detailed guidelines on writing a research paper, consult the books and manuals recommended further down in the article.
Do not procrastinate;
The key to any successful research paper is remembering to start as early as possible. If you are told early in the semester about a research essay deadline – don’t wait until the last moment to start. Take advantage of every day available to pick your topic (if one is not assigned), conduct your research, and develop your research paper outline format. If you are unsure how to start a research paper, ask for guidance or research ideas online. Remember, if you decide to wait until the paper is due to get started, you might have difficulty finding research material, or you may find that other students have already picked your preferred topic. Not to mention that a looming deadline and a lack of finished paper will ultimately result in unneeded stress.
Choose an interesting topic;
Next, you should select your topic and paper format unless the teacher has provided one. The best choice is to select a topic that interests you, even if it seems complex or difficult. By choosing to work with a topic you have even a small interest in, you are more likely to continue to be motivated to delve deeper into your research and will be able to engage more with your readers. That is difficult to do when the subject matter is dry or mediocre. It will help add genuine value to your paper. Your readers may often feel if the topic was interesting to you. If it was, that may make the readers more interested and expecting to find something valuable in your paper and thus continue reading. Remember that there will be times when you will be assigned to unfamiliar topics. In such types of format in research, it is helpful to read up on the topic. Journals, encyclopedias, guidebooks, and libraries are all excellent resources for finding background material on almost every topic.
Do preliminary research;
One of the most important things when learning how to write a paper is how to research for your paper. Despite the widespread access to information, largely attributed to easy Internet accessibility, there are just as many non-credible sources as credible ones. The trick is learning how to differentiate between the two. One way is to use only verified sources like trade publications, scholarly articles, journals, or books from the local library.
Create an outline;
After you have concluded and organized your research, it’s time to create an outline and style of writing research report. The best way to start your outline is to draft your thesis statement.
The thesis is often a single-sentence opener and the most important part of the entire paper. The thesis should present the main idea of your paper. It lays the groundwork for everything that follows and presents your argument to the reader. You should ensure it’s clear and concise. Next, you’ll group your research notes into sections that correlate with the various aspects of your topic or argument. You might rearrange these several times until you find a format that seems the most logical.
Prepare a draft;
After you’ve concluded your outline for your research paper, you begin to write your paper. The first draft is simply an opportunity to get your ideas out there, so don’t worry too much about grammar or syntax format – just focus on getting the words on the paper. You will proofread, edit and rewrite later. Your only concern is ensuring you have found the most logical progression for your argument and the corresponding supporting material. Once you’ve finished your rough draft, read it to ensure it reads as you would like. If you are satisfied, begin to correct any grammatical, format, spelling, or punctuation errors you find and add text as needed. It might also be helpful to have someone else read your paper just to give it a fresh perspective.
Edit, proofread, and format;
If satisfied, open your word processor to a blank page and type up your final version. You will want to be mindful of any specific spacing or formatting rules in the assignment details and make certain you are creating any supplementary pages that might be necessary. For example, a cover page. Even if it has not been specifically requested to use different formats of writing, it is in good practice to always include a Works Cited or Reference page. This is where you list every source you’ve used in your research or cited in your paper to credit the originating author and satisfy anti-plagiarism policies and guidelines. This is the point where it is better to be safe than sorry.