8 Useful Tips On How To Write Research Paper References


Including references in your research paper is absolutely essential. Not only does it help to back up any points that you may have made, but it ensures that you do not get penalised for plagiarism. If you do not include any references when you include samples of other people’s content in your work then there is a good chance that this will be noticed by the plagiarism detectors that schools and universities use, which could lead to serious problems for you.

  1. Include the author’s name in the correct order
  2. Depending upon the style of paper that you’re writing, you will need to include the authors name in the correct order. For example, it may be that you need to include the author’s surname first or last. Equally, the position of the authors name in the overall order of the reference can be important too. Check with the style guide (e.g. APA or MLA) for your essay to see what order you should use.

  3. Order the reference in the correct order
  4. Another thing that should be aware of is how to order all of the references that you include. If you are including them in a specific section, then you may need to order them alphabetically according to set criteria. Again, as with the author’s name, you need to check with the specific style guide that you need to use when writing your work.

  5. Capitalize words correctly
  6. You need to check to see whether you need to capitalise any words that you may not otherwise normally do. To put it another way, it may be that you need to use standard capitalisation techniques or, alternatively, it may be that you capitalise every word, or none at all.

  7. Use indentations correctly
  8. Occasionally you will need to use indentations when including references, so double-check to see whether this is applicable with the essay that you are writing.

  9. Include page numbers where appropriate
  10. If your reference refers to a book or publication then you may need to include page number from which it came.

  11. Separate multiple citations with semi-colons
  12. If you are using more than one citation within the body of your text then it can be a good idea to separate them with semi-colons, for extra clarity.

  13. Include the date where necessary
  14. You will almost certainly need to include the date of when the work that you are referencing was published.

  15. Proofread and check the references
  16. Finally, check over any references that you have included - both to ensure that the details are accurate, as well as to ensure that they are spelt correctly.