APA Citation Style versus Other Academic Formats

Sometimes, students do not know whether it is better to paraphrase author’s ideas or cite them. In order to understand what to do, you should distinguish between citing and paraphrasing. If the words used for describing concepts do not matter, you may use paraphrasing. In case the ideas have to be presented in the author’s words exactly, you should cite them. This rule should be applied to APA citation as well as to other styles. Note that scientific works are usually paraphrased, while those in art – cited.

What is the difference between paraphrasing and citing?

Paraphrasing means using one’s own words to present a theory of another author. In this case, it is necessary to make reference to the original work. Moreover, you should separate your thoughts and ideas from the paraphrased ones. Citing means using the words of other authors to describe their concepts. The cited text should be placed in quotation marks. Do not forget to indicate the text the citation is taken from. Your paper should be cited properly in accordance with the format whether it is an MLA citation style or another one.

You should not use long quotations. It may be difficult for readers to understand your paper. Citations will make your paper reasonable. However, it is sometimes better to paraphrase ideas then quote them. Thus, your essay may be more coherent.

Secondary Sources

You should use secondary sources in rare cases, for example, if an original text is unavailable. Do not forget to indicate the used source on the reference page. If your paper is formatted in APA, you should make proper APA referencing. Thus, you should present an original entry and cite the secondary source.

Why is it necessary cite or paraphrase?

Academicians often cite or paraphrase the works of other scholars. What are the reasons for this? Take the following points into account:

  • When writing an academic work in Harvard citation style or any other format, you may need to provide research results obtained by other scholars.
  • You need to provide concrete statistical data taken from another work.
  • You may use the ideas of other authors to develop those of your own.
  • Sometimes, examples are taken from an original source to illustrate the covered points.

Bibliography and Reference List

The Chicago referencing list (or that of another style) presents all cited or paraphrased sources in your paper. It should be added at the end of your work. A bibliography is a list of entries which you have used to produce your piece of writing no matter whether you have cited or paraphrased the ideas taken from them.

Plagiarism Issues

Students know that using the works of other authors without indicating them in the MLA referencing list is considered plagiarism. It goes not only about text, but also about illustrative material. If you do not reference an original text, it means that you present the borrowed ideas as your own. It is forbidden. Besides, it may cause you a lot of problems.

There are some cases when presenting the ideas of another author without citing them is not considered plagiarism. If the stated facts are common knowledge, you do not need to make an APA style citation or any other format quotation. However, you have to be 100% sure that the expressed opinion is known by everyone.

Reference Styles

Academic works can be organized in APA citation format, MLA, Turabian, etc. Each style has its own peculiarities. There are two major groups of styles: numbered and parenthesized.

When your work is formatted in one of the parenthesized styles, you need to shorten a full reference which follows an APA in text citation. You need to provide the author’s name and publication date. You may also include page numbers. In the numbered style, a number goes immediately after MLA in text citation. A complete reference should be presented on the reference page.

On the APA citation page, the references should be presented in the same order as they are in the body of the paper.

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