Unless you’re a professor, used to grading lots of papers, or a professional writer or editor, you may not notice some of the common mistakes made with citations. Here are a few to look out for.
Typical Convention Errors
Consider the following example from a sample paper using APA style:
It now seems clear that global warming is an out-and-out myth, propagated purely for the intent of destroying the American economy (Conservative, A., Wing, Wright, and Republic, Ann.).
Wright Wing, Ann Republic, and A. Conservative. Global Warming is Bunk, Period. Conservative Booksellers of Greater America: Washington, DC. 2006.
Here are the errors:
- In-text citations have only last names of authors.
- In the parentheses, you should always use an ampersand (&) for APA style.
- The second and all subsequent lines should be indented five spaces.
- The author names should be in the format of Last Name, First Initial.
- An ampersand (&) should be used instead of writing out “and.”
- The title of the book should be italicized, not underlined (it would be underlined in the body of the work itself, however).
- The publisher’s location should come before the name of the publisher.
- The date of publication should appear in parentheses, immediately following the name(s) of the author(s).
Here’s how it should be written, again, according to APA style:
It now seems clear that global warming is an out-and-out myth, propagated purely for the intent of destroying the American economy (Conservative, Wing, & Republic).
Citations can be tricky, regardless of whether you’re using APA, MLA, Chicago, CSE, or something else. It requires tedious, detail-oriented work. If you don’t want to spend time on such nit-picky considerations, you may want to look into a professional editing service such as Papercheck.