Research Paper References Should be Used Wisely

Citations and references are vital in written work of all kinds. Their purpose is to show the reader additional discussions and further details regarding your topic. They also provide the reader with a mode to evaluate the validity of your analysis and descriptions. They can compare your conclusion to that of other researchers.

The research paper should have valid and relevant references to fulfill the purpose. That does not mean there should be such a superfluous quantity that the reader can’t hope to sift through them to find the gems. You should do that for them. The way you do it is to choose only those sources which will benefit your research paper the most. In other words, use them wisely.

As far as using quotes goes, be wise with those as well. The research paper that is made up mostly of quotes from other writers isn’t a piece of originality. You need to make it unique.


Including references is important for the following reasons:

  • Avoids plagiarism and gives credit to the original authors
  • Shows you did your research and are somewhat knowledgeable about the topic
  • Gives your readers more resources to read if they desire
  • Lends validity to your research

Quick facts about reference lists:

  • It should be located at the end of the body of the paper
  • Every source you cite within the research paper must be included in the reference list
  • Every reference in the list must be cited somewhere in your paper
  • The reference list should be double-spaced
  • The list should be titled “References” without the quotation marks. Do not bold or underline the title APA is the most common style to use for citation of sources but you must follow whatever style guide is required for your assignment

If your reference page has become too long in comparison to the scope of the essay, you must sort through the citations and see which ones could be eliminated. Remember the bulk of the content of the paper should be your own words. Your assignment may specify a minimum or maximum number of resources to be used. Adhere to this criteria strictly.

A reference page that contains relevant and concrete sources gives your research a boost in credibility and integrity. If you have found a way to weave each source into your research using proper citation style it will definitely make a good impression.

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