Things You Need to Know About Citation (Bibliography)

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With every assignment or dissertation, students get a list of numerous requirements and the guidelines for that. Sometimes, it becomes annoying for the students to follow those much things just to write thousand or couple of thousand words. There is a notion among students that things like citation and bibliography are just waste of time and add nothing to the skills of students. This is not entirely true.


The purpose of citation doesn’t mean you only have to give credit to the original researcher or publisher of the content you are using in your assignment or dissertation. Citation and bibliography are much more than that which every student should know.

In the next lines of this article, I am going to list down few of the most important things that every student should know about citation and bibliography.

Not Everything Can Be Cited

This is one of the major misconceptions regarding citation in the students. The citation is not applicable to everything you write. There are very few things that require citing when you write an assignment and dissertation. Things that require citation are:

  • While writing the direct quotations or the words of someone else’s.
  • While mentioning the idea of someone or controversial arguments, mentioning, summarization and paraphrasing.
  • While writing the translation of any foreign language, phrases in other languages which you believe would not be known by the reader of your writing piece.
  • Sparing footnotes or theories to explain the complex technical points to provide further details.

No Exact Number of Citation

There is no certain number of citation. It varies and depends on the things you mentioned that needed to be cited in the paper. On the standard, a couple of citation is common in a well-researched papers. It cannot happen in any assignment or dissertation of college that any of your pages go without any citation. If you are not getting it, then there must be any mistake which you are missing. Go back to the papers and read all the content again to find anything which needs to be cited. Or else, take the oscola reference generator for all your citation and bibliography.

Paraphrasing Requires Citation too

It doesn’t matter how much you have changed the quote of someone else’s. Paraphrasing requires citation regardless of the source. Almost every format of citation emphasizes on citing the paraphrasing too. It is also in favor of students because it helps them to show that they not only researched that content but also made an effort by themselves to make their content look unique and free from plagiarism.

Articles Also Need Citation

Magazines and newspapers are also one of the biggest resources of information. Students can get a lot of help from these. However, while including the things from magazines in the assignment or dissertation, student need to cite it too. However, according to some format citation on the articles depends on the how long and how significant the articles are. Short pieces of news or any other content mentioned by the unknown editor of newspaper or magazine do not require any citation. Just referring the name of the newspaper and magazine would be enough. However, if you are borrowing any information from the magazine which belongs to someone else, then referring the name of the owner of that information is important. Moreover, short articles can also be included in the bibliography. Articles of major importance and author bylines can also be treated as journal articles and can also be included in the bibliography.

Definition of Plagiarism

Plagiarism has become a major threat to our educational system. Not it is an intellectual theft, but also corrupting the mindsets of our young students. It not only means submitting someone else effort in your name but also stealing it without that person’s concern. Due to the increase of plagiarism by students, it has become a serious and punishable academic offense.

Even at that stage of a student, you would not want anyone to steal your work and present it in your name. Due to this increase, citation, referencing and the bibliography has become necessary in every sort of written tasks. Through this, plagiarism can be easily avoided by citing the sources and quoting or paraphrasing the words of others. It also makes the student careful and concerned regarding the authenticity and accuracy of the research.

Major Differences Between MLA and APA Format

MLA and APA are the two most commonly used citation formats. MLA (Modern Language Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) are much different from each other. Following are some major differences.

  • The mentioning of date in the MLA citation format follows with the publisher in the citation and is not in parenthesis. Whereas, in the APA citation format date follows with the author and it is in parenthesis
  • The author name in MLA should be in full from the first to last. Contrary, APA format doesn’t ask for a full name. Only First name initial and last name is spelled out.
  • While citing through MLA, all major words in titles needed to be capitalized and underlined. In APA, only the first two word of the title, the first word of a subtitle and the proper nouns need to be capitalized.

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