What is a popular documentation style for research paper

Do not ignore another author's work because doing so will lead your readers to believe that you have either borrowed the idea or information without properly referencing it [this is plagiarism] or that you have failed to conduct a thorough review of the literature. You can acknowledge the other research by writing in the text of your paper something like this: [see also Smith, ], then citing the complete source in your list of references.

Use the discovery of prior research as an opportunity to demonstrate the significance of the problem being investigated and, if applicable, as a means of delineating your analysis from those of others [e. What should I do if I want to use an adapted version of someone else's work? You still must cite the original work. For example, maybe you are using a table of statistics from a journal article published in by author Smith, but you have altered or added new data to it.

Reference the revised chart, such as, [adapted from Smith, ], then cite the complete source in your list of references. You can also use other terms in order to specify the exact relationship between the original source and the version you have presented, such as, "based on Smith [] What should I do if several authors have published very similar information or ideas?

You can indicate that the idea or information can be found in the work of others by stating something similar to the following example: "Though in fact many scholars have applied this theory to understanding economic relations among nations [for example, see Smith, ; Jones, ; Johnson, ; Anderson, ], little attention has been given to applying the theory to examining the actions of non-governmental organizations in a globalized economy.

Referencing all relevant authors of prior studies gives your readers a clear idea of the breadth of analysis you conducted in preparing to study the research problem. If there has been a lot of prior studies on the topic, describe the most comprehensive and recent works because they will presumably discuss and reference the older studies; but note, as in the above example, that there has been significant scholarship devoted to the topic so the reader knows that you are aware of this.

What if I find exactly what I want to say in the writing of another researcher?


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In the social sciences, the rationale in duplicating prior research is generally governed by the passage of time, changing circumstances or conditions, or the introduction of new variables that necessitate a new investigation. If someone else has recently conducted a thorough investigation of precisely the same research problem as you, then you likely will have to revise your topic, or at the very least, review the literature to identify something new to say about the problem.

However, if it is someone else's particularly succinct expression, but it fits perfectly with what you are trying to say, then you can quote it directly, referencing the source. Do not see this as a setback or become discouraged if you discover that your brilliant idea or important insight has already been identified by someone else. Identifying an author who has made the same point as you can be an opportunity to add legitimacy to, as well as reinforce the significance of, the research problem you are investigating.

The key is to build on that idea in new and innovative ways. If you are not sure how to do this, consult with a librarian! Should I cite a source even if it was published long ago? Obviously, any resource used in writing your paper should be cited, regardless of when the study was written. However, in building a case for understanding prior research about your topic, it is generally true that you should focus on citing more recently published studies because they presumably have built upon the research of older publications.

When referencing prior studies, use the research problem as your guide when considering what to cite. If a study from forty years ago investigated the same research problem, it probably should be examined and considered in your list of references because the research may have been foundational or groundbreaking even if its findings are no longer relevant to current conditions or reflect current thinking [one way to determine if a study is foundational or groundbreaking is to examine how often it has been cited in recent studies using the "Cited by" feature of Google Scholar ]. However, if an older study only relates to the research problem tangentially or it has not been cited in recent studies, then it may be more appropriate to list it under further readings.

Department of Biology. Bates College; Lunsford, Andrea A. Martin's Handbook. New York: St. Martin's Press, ; Mills, Elizabeth Shown. Purdue University; Using Evidence. Indiana University.


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  4. The following USC Libraries research guide can help you properly cite sources in your research paper:. The following USC Libraries research guide offers basic information on using images and media in research:. Listed below are particularly well-done and comprehensive websites that provide specific examples of how to cite sources under different style guidelines.

    This is a useful guide concerning how to properly cite images in your research paper. This guide provides good information on the act of citation analysis, whereby you count the number of times a published work is cited by other works in order to measure the impact of a publication or author.

    The links below lead to systems where you can type in your information and have a citation compiled for you. Note that these are not foolproof systems so it is important that you verify that the citation is correct and check your spelling, capitalization, etc. However, they can be useful in creating basic types of citations, particularly for online sources. When available, you should utilize these features because they not only generate a citation to the source [e.

    Contact us. Citing Sources Search this Guide Search. Citing Sources This guide provides advice on how to develop and organize a research paper in the social and behavioral sciences. The Conclusion Toggle Dropdown Appendices Definition A citation is a formal reference to a published or unpublished source that you consulted and obtained information from while writing your research paper. For example, if the text of your research paper including any endnotes ends on page 10, the works-cited list begins on page Center the title, Works Cited , an inch from the top of the page fig.

    If the list contains only one entry, make the heading Work Cited. Double-space between the title and the first entry. Begin each entry flush with the left margin; if an entry runs more than one line, indent the subsequent line or lines half an inch from the left margin. This format is sometimes called hanging indention , and you can set your writing program to create it automatically for a group of paragraphs. Hanging indention makes alphabetical lists easier to use.

    Double-space the entire list.

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    How to Write a Good Research Paper Successfully and Fast?

    Continue it on as many pages as necessary. Place tables and illustrations as close as possible to the parts of the text to which they relate. A table is usually labeled Table , given an arabic numeral, and titled. Type both label and title flush left on separate lines above the table, and capitalize them as titles do not use all capital letters.

    Give the source of the table and any notes immediately below the table in a caption. To avoid confusion between notes to the text and notes to the table, designate notes to the table with lowercase letters rather than with numerals. Double-space throughout; use dividing lines as needed fig. Any other type of illustrative visual material—for example, a photograph, map, line drawing, graph, or chart—should be labeled Figure usually abbreviated Fig.

    If the caption of a table or illustration provides complete information about the source and the source is not cited in the text, no entry for the source in the works-cited list is necessary. Musical illustrations are labeled Example usually abbreviated Ex. Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky, Symphony no.

    Formats and styles of Research paper writing

    Use a high-quality printer. Proofread and correct your research paper carefully before submitting it. If you are checking a printout and find a mistake, reopen the document, make the appropriate revisions, and reprint the corrected page or pages. Be sure to save the changed file.


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    Spelling checkers and usage checkers are helpful when used with caution. They do not find all errors and sometimes label correct material as erroneous. Do not use the margins or write a change below the line it affects.

    Research, Writing, and Style Guides - A Research Guide for Students

    If corrections on any page are numerous or substantial, revise your document and reprint the page. Pages of a printed research paper may get misplaced or lost if they are left unattached or merely folded down at a corner. Many prefer that a paper be secured with a simple paper or binder clip, which can be easily removed and restored. Others prefer the use of staples.

    Formats and styles of Research paper writing

    There are at present no commonly accepted standards for the electronic submission of research papers. If you are asked to submit your paper electronically, obtain from your teacher guidelines for formatting, mode of submission e. Designed to be printed out and used in the classroom.