How to write an essay

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Starting kindergarten, young children will start learning how to read and write simple documents. As they progress, their instructors will introduce them to more complex forms of writing that require them to demonstrate their analytical and literary skills. These essays often utilize citation styles unless specified, and many younger students have no idea how to apply these styles. If you are one of these students, follow this simple guide on the different formatting styles, disciplines that utilize them, and the rules applicable to each. 

What Is A Citation Style?

A citation style refers to a particular format in which one presents the sources used in an academic paper. It provides guidelines on where and how in-text citations and bibliographies are placed, hence can change a paper’s entire aesthetic. 

What Are The Different Citation Styles?

As a student progresses in their studies, they are likely to come across the following citation styles:

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  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago (Turabian)
  • IEEE

They are utilized in different disciplines and have different guidelines. Additionally, they differ based on where and how they list the author’s name, date of publication, title, source, source number, and other identifying factors. 

Why Are Citation Styles Important?

Citations are necessary for most forms of academic writing, especially those that utilize evidence to reinforce the author’s arguments. As such, citation styles help allow the writer to credit scholars and avoid plagiarism. It also helps the writer list sources in a specific format making it easier for readers to identify and find them. 

How To Use Different Citation Styles

1. MLA

Originally published in 1951, the Modern Language Association (MLA) citation style guide is a formatting guide used by students in the humanities, such as cultural studies, literature, English, and other foreign languages. Over time, there have been nine editions released, so you will likely be required to use the MLA 9th edition when citing sources. As such, the following are the key updated structural guidelines to follow when using this citation method:

  • Use times new roman, font size 12, double spaced, with a 1-inch margin on all sides of 8.5x11 inch paper.
  • For a header in the top right-hand side, with your last name and number in Arabic numerals.
  • On the upper left-hand side, list in this order: your name, professor’s name, course, and date (day, month, year).
  • Write your title in a title case and center it.
  • Indent your paragraphs by ½ inch from the left.
  • List your sources under “Works Cited”.

While you can cite several sources, you will likely utilize the following:

Source Type

Works Cited

Intext citation

Website

Komisar, Erica. “NY Daily News - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region.” Nydailynews.com, 14 May 2017, www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717.

(Komisar)

Book

Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. Acclaim Books, 1997.

(Melville)

Scholarly article

Winston, Robert, and Rebecca Chicot. “The Importance of Early Bonding on the Long-Term Mental Health and Resilience of Children.” PubMed Central, PMC, 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330336/ .

(Winston and Chicot)

Video

UCLA Pritzker Center. “Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare.” Www.youtube.com, 22 Sept. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQLGhI5tkSo.

(UCLA Pritzker Center)

Blog post

NCCPR. “When ‘Child Welfare’ Oppressors Demand That the Oppressed Be Nice to Them, It’s Just One More Form of Oppression.” NCCPR Child Welfare Blog, 11 Oct. 2022, www.nccprblog.org/2022/10/when-child-welfare-oppressors-demand.html.

(NCCPR)

 

2.   APA

Originally published in 1929, the American Psychological Association(APA) style targets subjects in the social sciences such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, sociology, communication, and many more. You may be asked to use the 6th or 7th edition depending on the instructor’s preferences.

a. APA 7th Edition

When writing in APA 7, use these structural guidelines:

When required to cite references in APA 7th edition, you can use the guidelines covered in this table:

Source type

Reference

Intext citation

Website

Komisar, E. (2017, May 14). NY Daily News - We are currently unavailable in your region. Nydailynews.com. https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717

(Komisar, 2017)

Book

Melville, H. (1997). Moby Dick. Acclaim Books.

(Melville, 1997)

Scholarly article

Winston, R., & Chicot, R. (2022). The Importance of early bonding on the long-term mental health and resilience of children. PubMed Central; PMC. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330336/

(Winston & Chicot, 2022)

Video

UCLA Pritzker Center. (2021, September 22). Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare. Www.youtube.com. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQLGhI5tkSo

(UCLA Pritzker Center, 2021)

Blog post

NCCPR. (2022, October 11). When “child welfare” oppressors demand that the oppressed be nice to them, it’s just one more form of oppression. NCCPR Child Welfare Blog. https://www.nccprblog.org/2022/10/when-child-welfare-oppressors-demand.html

(NCCPR, 2022)

 

b. APA 6th Edition

Alternatively, your instructor may require you to use the APA 6th edition citing method, which some schools still use. The most notable differences between APA 6th and 7th editions are:

  • The use of a header with a maximum of 50 characters. It should have the title running head: and should be on the left side of the first page.
  • Paginate using Arabic numerals
  • On the first page, place your title, name, and institution in the center. Double-space this and limit it to 12 words.
  • APA 6 also has two spaces after a period.
  • References appear on the last page under the title “References”.
  • While APA 7 lists the first author’s last name only then uses an et al., APA 6 lists the first seven authors or less, followed by et al.
  • Uses the ‘retrieved from’ tag for non-subscription websites.
  • It may include an abstract.

With regard to references, here is how you should format the references you find:

Source type

References

Intext citation

Website

Komisar, E. (2017, May 14). NY Daily News - We are currently unavailable in your region. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from Nydailynews.com website: https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717

(Komisar, 2017)

Book

Melville, H. (1997). Moby Dick. New York, NY: Acclaim Books.

(Melville, 1997)

Scholarly article

Winston, R., & Chicot, R. (2022). The Importance of early bonding on the long-term mental health and resilience of children. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from PubMed Central website: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330336/

(Winston & Chicot, 2022)

Video

UCLA Pritzker Center. (2021, September 22). Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from www.youtube.com website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQLGhI5tkSo

(UCLA Pritzker Center, 2021)

Blog post

NCCPR. (2022, October 11). When “child welfare” oppressors demand that the oppressed be nice to them, it’s just one more form of oppression. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from NCCPR Child Welfare Blog website: https://www.nccprblog.org/2022/10/when-child-welfare-oppressors-demand.html

(NCCPR, 2022)

 

3. Harvard

Commonly used in UK colleges, the Harvard citation style is used in social sciences such as business, economics, anthropology, and social policy. It uses the author-date system and has the following structure:

  • Place your capitalized title halfway down the page, followed by the author’s name, then move four lines down and write the name of the class, instructor, school, school location, and date.
  • On the top right side, write a short version of the title in the title case and paginate it in Arabic numbers.
  • Center the title on the second page before writing and put this in the title case.
  • Place your sources on the last page under “References”.

Below is a guide on how to cite major reference types:

Source type

Works Cited

Intext citation

Website

Komisar, Erica. “NY Daily News - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region.” Nydailynews.com, 14 May 2017, www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717.

(Komisar)

Book

Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. Acclaim Books, 1997.

(Melville)

Scholarly article

Winston, Robert, and Rebecca Chicot. “The Importance of Early Bonding on the Long-Term Mental Health and Resilience of Children.” PubMed Central, PMC, 2022, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330336/.

(Winston and Chicot)

Video

UCLA Pritzker Center. “Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare.” Www.youtube.com, 22 Sept. 2021, www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQLGhI5tkSo.

(UCLA Pritzker Center)

Blog post

NCCPR. “When ‘Child Welfare’ Oppressors Demand That the Oppressed Be Nice to Them, It’s Just One More Form of Oppression.” NCCPR Child Welfare Blog, 11 Oct. 2022, www.nccprblog.org/2022/10/when-child-welfare-oppressors-demand.html.

(NCCPR)

For more information on how to cite less common sources, there are guides that offer precise instructions.

 

4. Chicago (Turabian)

Published by the Chicago University Press in 1906, the Chicago/Turabian style this format style is used for business, history, humanities, social sciences, literature, arts, and science assignments. However, you may be requested to use one of two unique methods: notes and bibliography or author-date.

The general page structure employed in the Chicago/Turabian method is:

  • Center the title in full capitals a third of the way through the page
  • Several lines after the title, center your name, course title, professor, and date. This section should be aligned to the lowest possible part of the first page and should be in the title case.
  • Do not paginate the first page or include a header. Begin numbering from the second page at 1.
  • List sources under the title “Bibliography”.

a. Chicago Method: Notes And Bibliography

The notes and bibliography method is mostly used by students in arts, literature, and history. It contains footnotes/endnotes and a bibliography. Intext citations do not name the author or work but rather use the superscript function to denote them too. The footnotes are located at the end of each page in which the referenced content is cited, while the bibliography lists all the sources at the end of the paper. 

Below is a demonstration of how to cite major types of sources in Chicago using the footnote method. For more comprehensive coverage of more niche sources, please refer to the Chicago Manual of Style.

Source type

Bibliography

Footnote

Website

Komisar, Erica. “NY Daily News - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region.” Nydailynews.com, May 14, 2017. https://tinyurl.com/3tv5fb22.

 

 

Erica Komisar, “NY Daily News - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region,” Nydailynews.com, May 14, 2017, https://tinyurl.com/3tv5fb22.

Book

Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. New York, NY: Acclaim Books, 1997.

Herman Melville, Moby Dick (New York, NY: Acclaim Books, 1997).

Scholarly article

Winston, Robert, and Rebecca Chicot. “The Importance of Early Bonding on the Long-Term Mental Health and Resilience of Children.” London Journal of Primary Care 8, no. 1 (2016): 12–14. https://tinyurl.com/yc82wkfb.

Robert Winston and Rebecca Chicot, “The Importance of Early Bonding on the Long-Term Mental Health and Resilience of Children,” London Journal of Primary Care 8, no. 1 (2016): 12–14, https://tinyurl.com/33sk5tm4

Video

UCLA Pritzker Center. “Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare.” www.youtube.com, September 22, 2021. https://tinyurl.com/y2n4e7ve.

 

UCLA Pritzker Center, “Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare,” www.youtube.com, September 22, 2021, https://tinyurl.com/y2n4e7ve.

Blog post

NCCPR, “When ‘Child Welfare’ Oppressors Demand That the Oppressed Be Nice to Them, It’s Just One More Form of Oppression,” NCCPR (blog), October 11, 2022, https://tinyurl.com/3tv5fb22.

NCCPR, “When ‘Child Welfare’ Oppressors Demand That the Oppressed Be Nice to Them, It’s Just One More Form of Oppression,” NCCPR (blog), October 11, 2022, https://tinyurl.com/3tv5fb22.

 

b. Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date

On the other hand, we have the author-date method, which is mainly used in natural, social, and physical sciences and hence is known as the social science style. Unlike the footnote method, this style uses in-text quotations with parentheses that show the author’s last name and publication date.  The following demonstrates how to reference and cite according to the author-date method for the most widely used reference sources.

Source type

Bibliography

Intext citations

Website

Komisar, Erica. 2017. “NY Daily News - We Are Currently Unavailable in Your Region.” Nydailynews.com. May 14, 2017. https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717.

(Komisar 2017)

Book

Melville, Herman. 1997. Moby Dick. New York, NY: Acclaim Books.

(Melville 1997)

Scholarly article

Winston, Robert, and Rebecca Chicot. 2016. “The Importance of Early Bonding on the Long-Term Mental Health and Resilience of Children.” London Journal of Primary Care 8 (1): 12–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/17571472.2015.1133012.

(Winston and Chicot 2016)

Video

UCLA Pritzker Center. 2021. “Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare.” Www.youtube.com. September 22, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQLGhI5tkSo.

(UCLA Pritzker Center 2021)

Blog post

NCCPR. 2022. “When ‘Child Welfare’ Oppressors Demand That the Oppressed Be Nice to Them, It’s Just One More Form of Oppression.” NCCPR (blog). October 11, 2022. https://www.nccprblog.org/2022/10/when-child-welfare-oppressors-demand.html.

(NCCPR 2022)

 

5. IEEE

The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers is a professional organization that offers standards on how professionals within its field should style its references.

The general structure of an IEEE-style paper includes the following formatting guides:

The following are some common source materials used and how to cite them in IEEE style.

Source type

  1. Bibliography

Intext citation

Website

[1]E. Komisar, “NY Daily News - We are currently unavailable in your region,” Nydailynews.com, May 14, 2017. https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717 (accessed Oct. 18, 2022).

[1]

Book

[2]H. Melville, Moby Dick. New York, NY: Acclaim Books, 1997.

[2]

Scholarly article

[3]R. Winston and R. Chicot, “The Importance of early bonding on the long-term mental health and resilience of children,” PubMed Central, 2022. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330336/ (accessed Oct. 18, 2022).

[3]

Video

[4]UCLA Pritzker Center, “Session 1: Introduction to Child Welfare,” www.youtube.com, Sep. 22, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQLGhI5tkSo (accessed Oct. 18, 2022).

[4]

Blog post

[5]NCCPR, “When ‘child welfare’ oppressors demand that the oppressed be nice to them, it’s just one more form of oppression,” NCCPR Child Welfare Blog, Oct. 11, 2022. https://www.nccprblog.org/2022/10/when-child-welfare-oppressors-demand.html (accessed Oct. 18, 2022).

[5]

 

How To Avoid Errors When Citing References

As you may have noticed, there are several rules for each citation style. Students often have trouble learning how to use each of them, especially if their instructors utilize several of them. As a result, you can use citation machines to assist you.

There are many free online citation machine programs that allow you to input the link, title, or ISBN of your source, then click search to crawl the site and find more details, such as the author and publication date. After this, the site offers a complete reference list according to the citation style chosen, thus saving you time. The majority also offer in-text citations or footnotes to place within the paper, leading to added convenience.

Additionally, our experts offer guidance when you order with us, so don’t feel shy when inquiring about your essay and the citation method you require and we will deliver according to your instructions.

Conclusion

In summary, there are many citation styles suited to different disciplines. The main ones include IEEE, APA, MLA, Harvard, and Chicago. A citation style is used to help format references, thus guiding the reader on how to check these sources. It also prevents plagiarism since the writer has credited the original writer. They differ based on the structure, spacing, font used, how to cite sources, and use of headers, among others. While students may want to cite several types of sources, they can benefit from knowing how to cite the major ones used, such as journal articles, books, websites, videos, and blogs, as covered in our guide. If you need your paper written in any of these formats, you can hire our services and we will never disappoint.

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How to write an essay

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