Academic writing means using citations, both within the body of the paper and at the end. Your professors are going to expect you to use citations for the following reasons:
- Citations help you avoid plagiarism. They give credit to the person(s) who originally did the research, wrote the article, or published the material. Writing involves a lot of work, and you want to give credit where it’s due.
- Citations let your readers easily track down the sources you found.
- Citations show respect for your reader, establishing you as someone who takes the time to do things right.
- By using the tools of the trade you are inserting your voice into a scholarly conversation.
No matter the citation style you are using – MLA, APA, or Chicago – there are some elements common across them all:
- Double-spaced text
- Times New Roman 12 pt. font
- Standard one-inch margins
If a source appears in the body of your paper it needs to be represented on a separate References (APA), Works Cited (MLA), or Bibliography (Chicago) page.
- All sources are listed in alphabetical order with a hanging indent.
To create a hanging indent in Microsoft Word, highlight the citation entry >> CTRL “T.”