May 29, 2024

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Citing Your Sources In An Essay?

Writing an essay is always a matter of concern for the individual who is not well aware of the types and steps. Being inexperienced is a big concern in writing an essay, and college students face this issue now and then.

If you are well aware of the facts and facets, you can only judge your writing before submitting it to the instructor. In the turmoil of the college study process completing essay assignments are difficult to acknowledge within the given time limit or deadline. 

Students must follow the deadline; otherwise, they won’t get the grades expected from the professors. Sometimes, they might not participate in the upcoming assignments due to a lack of discipline or incapability. 

So, being in the middle of a competitive market, it’s crucial to acknowledge the difficulties of the modern study process and manage your ideas accordingly. 

Well, writing in an essay considers the description of the topic with arguments, clarity, and participation.  

But also, you do not have the space that you get in a thesis paper to elaborate your thoughts properly. 

Apart from that, you also have to consider observations, literary criticism, and reflections depending on the subject matter you have inherited. 

Mistakes To Avoid While Citing Sources

Citation becomes a crucial aspect in an essay paper because before you elaborate your thoughts on the subject matter, you need to discuss the basics of the paper, which others have already described. 

So, whenever you get valuable information and try to put it in your paper, make sure you are referencing it. 

Only providing references will not work if you forget to cite those sources properly. Citing every source in the correct place is the key to preparing a good and complete essay paper.

But the problem is that most people do not know proper instances of essay writing, including citations. 

Here we will look into the citation factor and try to make you aware of the mistakes we often make while citing sources. 

You Do Not Know The Type Of Citation

If you do not know the citation type, you will get bad grades. 

Do you know the type?

Well, there are mainly two types of citations available in the syllabus.

  • In-text citation. 
  • Reference list citation.

 In the text, citations are used to remove plagiarism from your writing. We take information from pre-existing literature, but if we cannot in-text that particular information, it can be a form of piracy. 

Why do we cite?

We cite because we want to convince the readers and the previous authors. When you try in-text, you acknowledge that you have taken information from that particular source. 

Here two things happen with one in-text. 

  • The previous author gets satisfied because you have not duplicated their data, and they also may get further recognition through your paper. 
  • The readers can keep their trust in you as a genuine researcher. 

At the end of the paper, you will need to create the whole reference list with the title, publication date, author, and publishing information that you have inherited so far. 

Paraphrased Information

Well, most people think that they can simply paraphrase previously existing information as they are citing the reference. 

But this is not the genuine way to keep digging into your essay paper. In fact, paraphrasing is not a viable solution to enriched papers. When you paraphrase your cited source, a professor will not get satisfied with your approach.

So, what’s the solution? 

Well, forget about paraphrasing. It is the biggest mistake in essay writing. Instead, you can focus on your own critical thinking approach. Deal with your own thoughts and grab only the information that you solely need to form your own paper. 

Do not take others’ research information line by line. In contrast, you read the executive summary of their paper, including the introduction and results part, to get a comprehensive idea about their research and what valuable information they have managed to gather so far. 

So, it’s time to explore your decision-making abilities and make sure that you have some input to inherit others’ information.

You Have Not Asked About The Citation Format.

Different research subjects have different citation formats. But if we do not know about those, we can mislead in our paper. 

But if you are aware of every format and its relevance to the particular subject matter, you will get to know things better without making any silly mistakes. The instructors focus on your essay presentation, and they also look at the citation format because they mostly provide information about the particular format. 

Your work is to follow the particular citation format that is mentioned or needed in your essay paper or suitable to the subject matter.

For instance, if you are writing an essay on literature, you may allow MLA citations. Apart from that, APA, Harvard, Chicago, and Oscola formattings are crucial to understand and recognize separately.

Every format has its unique way of citation and referencing. Try to understand the difference and stay away from citation mistakes this time. 

Too Many Citations

Students think that if they can give more than necessary citations, they will get recognized separately from others. 

Well, try to understand that citation is always about quality, not quantity. Yes, there are some limitations, but if you over-fulfill the citations unnecessarily, it will create chaos in your paper. 

You will also lack the genuineness of the paper that you planned to be intact on. 

For basic suggestions, try to keep at least four citations in a 1000 words essay paper and follow that format accordingly. 

Including Old Sources 

When you are researching in a current phase, you cannot give old research information. Science and research never stop in a place, and it flows over time. 

So, if you are providing an essay to the audience in 2023, make sure that you are providing information that is not older than three years. 

If you are still confused about your essay citations, you can consider an essay writing service like, which can give you a concise idea of proper citations in every paper.

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