Using Reference in Your College Papers
A college paper without references is like a huge red flag for your instructor that you didn’t do any research. One of the main assumptions and academic expectations is that you will read the literature that’s available in your niche. You will cite the relevant parts and include them in your reference page.
There are rules to putting together a reference list, and you must follow them. They will differ from one style guide to another but still have some similarities. Check with your instructor to make sure you are following the correct style guide before you go to all the work of citations and references. It will save you a ton of time in the editing stage.
If you are not familiar with college writing, go to the library and get a book that shows you how to do it. If you have started your research early, you don’t need to rush through the details. Only cite scholarly references. Don’t find any random information on the internet and then include it in your college paper. It must come from a source that can be verified.
It is generally not acceptable to cite the following in your college paper:
- Class notes from lectures
- Newspapers or magazines
- The internet
- Popular reading books
The following list includes some sources you should expect to use for references:
- Scholarly journal articles in your subject of study
- Trustworthy sites on the internet if your paper is about the media or how the media treated a specific topic
- Government publications
- Scholarly books
- Translations of foreign written material that’s reputable
- Theses from other students
If you find a questionable source for an idea you want to include in your college paper, then follow that source’s references to see where they lead. It will take a little bit of detective work but you might be able to locate the original source, and use it if it turns out to be trustworthy.
If you get really stuck with all the rules and regulations of citing and referencing, consider hiring help online at a reputable writing agency. They have experts who are well-versed in every style guide. They can take over and complete your reference page for you, or they can even start from square one and do the research first. Either way you would end up with a reference page that would be top quality.