How to use citations in your essay: Best practices

Now and then we quote someone. Something has been said as explicitly so you will want not only to say ‘touché’ but refer to it during your life. When it comes to a research paper, any citation is a necessary tool that presents the source you’re building your statement on or underlines the overlap of your opinion and some well-respected mind. Also, you can’t envision any essay on some book or author’s biography without them. Considering that essay writing should adhere to the standard formatting regulations it’s essential to quote thoughts and sayings following them. It will as well help your reader to determine quotations and understand their origins, and reasons why you have cited.

Types of quotations

Citations can be categorized by the level of the accuracy and the place where credits for them are mentioned. Locutions can be quoted exactly, paraphrased and slightly referred to. Paraphrasing, or rewording the source can be tricky. Yes, it gives you a possibility to adjust the saying for your purposes. But you should evaluate the words you’re using thoroughly to not to change the original meaning. Skated-over quotes are used for public expressions and facts. The last two types don’t usually require special formatting, but you still obligated to make source references for them.

You can identify origins in the body of your text, add notes at the bottom (footnotes) or the end of the main content (endnotes). You also should list most of them in the bibliography section. Selecting an appropriate place for the allusions, base on the exactness, the need presence of additional notes and the influence significance. For instance, if you cite some book once to prove a minor clause all quote components should be represented straight in the text. You might be still obligated to mention it in the reference chapter. To ascertain that, consult with your instructor to avoid any misunderstandings.

Quotes in texts

There are two ways to cite within writing. Their usage depends on quotation lengths. For short ones you use regular quotation marks (“text”) and place quotes as any other sentence only specifying the origins: who, where, when and why said or wrote the mentioned phrase. You can add more or fewer details at the beginning or the end of the citation including sentence placing them as a part of it or use parentheses.

If you desire to cite the expression not entirely, fill gaps with ellipses. If the short edition cannot be comprehended without some word, add it to the quotation ending in brackets. To quote within quotes use single marks (‘text’).

Long citations should be placed separately as an additional paragraph with different formatting:

  1. Use the smaller font (2 sizes less). If it’s appropriate, use italics version of your font.
  2. Do not employ quotation marks.
  3. Indent two times more than usual from both sides.
  4. Straighten the edges of the quote.
  5. Line-space 1.5 times before and after the citation.

Since the text format is replacing regular quotations marks in this situation, they can be used in occasion of the internal quoting.

End- and footnotes

These quote types allow not interrupting your thought flow. While still the phrase is located in the main body all the origins and notes left aside. If you want you reader to acknowledge them straight away use footnotes. If they are more for credits giving purposes employ endnotes. For both of them, the mark like a number or a small sign is used at the end of the citation and at the start of the note to link them.


Also known as a reference section, it is the most demanded essay chapter. It’s a list of all used sources during the paper preparation. It represents the depth of the completed research and helps to evaluate the level of plagiarism. For each book, you should itemize the author, the title, the place and the year of publishing, and the total volume.

Though it usually covers all the origins you have used to locate your citations it doesn’t make the other types of references redundant. From a readers’ viewpoint, they are more convenient and even appear as an integral part of the statement.

Citations on your essay are suitable instruments to give fundamentals to your affirmations. For the best effect employ the ones only specifically related to the topic of the paper. Do not overuse them. Format quotes appropriately so they will emphasize just your intelligence and not their location.

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