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Essays writing: a guide to citing

If you’re human, and in school somewhere, you’ve probably heard about plagiarism. You’ve probably been beaten over the head with warnings about how plagiarism is bad, and you should never do it, and even using an idea from another paper without properly citing it constitutes stealing that idea.

You may be wondering how you’re ever going to get through an essay alive. But you will, if you follow the rules.

And the rules are very simple, once you know what they are.

There are a few different ways to cite things in an essay, though some are more commonly used than others.


This style of citation is used mostly in the social sciences, and comes from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. It involves using in-text citations; these correspond to a list of “Works Consulted” at the back of the document.

The citation in the text will list the author who created the book you’re referencing, the year the book was published and, under certain circumstances, the page numbers, in parentheses.

Then, at the end of your paper, you’ll have to list all the sources you consulted, so the reader can look them up, if need be.

History - Chicago

If you’re in a history class (or certain classes in the humanities), your professor or teacher may require you to use the citation method known as Chicago, from the Chicago Manual of Style. Since most of your assignments will be based at least to a degree on a reading, and you’ll normally be asked to respond to one or more readings.


Turabian is a modified version of Chicago style, with a few modifications for the needs of student writers.

There are two basic styles, here. The first is called “bibliography style,” and features only a short in-text reference, followed by an extensive bibliography at the end of the paper. This is primarily used in literature, history, and the humanities. For science students, a more concise style is available, called author-date. Sources contain simply the author’s name, and the date of publication of the source. There’s still a list of references, where readers can find the original source material if so desired.

There are many specific conventions involved in each of these citation methods, and that means you’ll probably have to check your citation against something from one of your textbooks to make sure you put all the periods in all the right places, but this simple guide should get you started and at least let you know that you’re headed in the right direction.

Published on  27.12.2016