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Most Common Citation Mistakes Made by Students

When we write, we have to follow various sets of instructions that we have to keep in mind while we write. An essay writer usually focus on the content they have to add to their work and essays. During college days, students are required to incorporate different citation formats in their writing, but you know citation mistakes are very common in students as well as professionals.


Normally, we do not pay much attention to our citation style when we are busy writing. And as a student, we only focus on the process of writing to gain good scores, but we forget we can also lose marks if our citation style is not according to what is required.

The common citation styles students are asked to incorporate in their essays and writings are the APA, MLA, Chicago, Harvard, and AMA. Students are often instructed when they are asked to write something which has sources and evidence. These sources provide an essay writer and an academic writer with different styles and patterns of structuring their paper and citing the sources they have used.

The reason why there are some common errors and mistakes in student’s writing is that all these citation patterns have many formatting styles in common and some things in them differ. This confuses properly styling the document according to the required format.

The other most significant factor here is that mastering the art of citation is not easy. Students are not well experienced and advanced when it comes to the citation pattern. Even if they are not the students, many expert writers can also make mistakes concerning the citation pattern, which later is amended and corrected by proofreading the draft.

Before looking at the most common citation mistakes, let us have a brief look at what a citation is and why it is necessary. Citations refer to the sources which you have used in your work as evidence to support your argument and strengthen your arguments. They are the most important element in the writing, as they minimize plagiarism and make writing more effective and reliable.

Whether it is any style a student or any other has to follow, citation mistakes do occur, and some of these mistakes are very common.

The most common mistakes are as under

Error in in-text citation: when it comes to the in-text citation, there are different rules and patterns for it. It includes the name of the author, page number, and the year in which that work was published. The page number is mandatory when the quotation is added to the work. It is more specific when the lines are taken from books, novels, and poetry.

Please note here that every format is different. For example, APA format requires adding the publishing date also in the in-text citation, whereas in MLA it is not allowed. For example, in APA you can write “William (2019), but in MLA you only have to add the last name of the author like “William”.

Students either write the first name of the author or usually forget to add the publishing date. In any case, there is a citation error that has to be corrected.

Citing the quotes: Whenever you cite a direct quote from any of the resources you have used, you must follow the citation rules. A common citation mistake in quotations is that students misunderstand and mix the rules. Some rules say to indent the whole quotation when it exceeds the limit of 4 lines, and some have a word count limit. Here, students often get confused and mix the citations.

Reference/works cited/: At the end of every essay or research project, there is always a reference page that includes all the sources you have incorporated in your essay. It has different components such as the name of the authors, publication date, name of the book or journal, the publisher’s name, journal issue number, and the page number.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when you write a reference or create a bibliography. Here, students often miss the journal name and page number. You must be careful when you cite from the source and write the page and the other essentials for the referencing pages.

Inconsistency in the in-text citation and reference page: another most common mistake is the inconsistency between the references. There are two possibilities for it. Either the student does not mention the in-text citation in the reference, or any source present in the reference page is not mentioned in the in-text citation.

Italics: in a reference page, the references you mentioned are italicized in some of their parts. Like, the name of the journal is italicized, but students do not italicize it and end up creating a wrong citation.

When you write your paper, you may wonder how do I write my essay that fulfills the criteria of citing sources. First thing is to practice. A common saying goes like practice makes a man perfect, and it is, I swear, correctly. You cannot learn citation styles if you just want to remember them without practicing them. You need to practice them daily to get a hold of them.

If you keep these things in mind, you will not face any difficulty in aligning yourself to the citation formats.

Many students still face difficulty even if they know the rules. In such cases, you can go for an essay writing service that offers different services to guide you more in improving your citation style.

Useful Resources:

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Can I Get Any Type of Paper Using Your Essay Writing Service?

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