Common citation and reference mistakes in writing

Citation and reference mistakes can ruin a well-crafted article or essay. Something as simple as an incorrectly placed period or comma can ruin or change the meaning of your sentences. When writing a research paper, attention to detail is the key to composing authentic and successful essays. Quality citations and references increase your chances to score higher grades. Incomplete or incorrectly used citation and reference styles can be considered a form of plagiarism.

The following are a common reference and citation mistakes and how you can avoid them:

Incorrect placement of periods and commas

The comma ensures clarity in a sentence but is the most misused punctuation mark in writing. Incorrect or unnecessary use of commas makes sentences confusing and challenging to read. Missing commas in long sentences make it hard to read and understand the information being conveyed by the writer. Commas should be used to separate large pieces of information into small portions that make sense to the reader. Avoid using commas to separate two subjects doing similar things.

Neglecting to make citations when paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is rewriting something in your own words. It’s essential for students since it shows you have done the research and you understand about a subject to write it in your words. One of the most common mistakes writers make is forgetting to put citations during paraphrasing. Even though you are writing content in your words, it’s crucial to use the right quotes since you are still getting information from another person’s work. Citation is essential since it helps you as a writer to avoid plagiarism that can have detrimental effects on your academic performance.

Making unnecessary citations

Most students make the overuse of citations in their writing. In the process of trying to avoid plagiarism, many writers tend to overdo the use of citations. Information that is common knowledge does not require citations. Instead of putting the same citation after every sentence in a paragraph, you can use citation at the end of the paragraph if the entire information is from the same source.

Being inconsistent in the citation style

With many citation styles available, many writers end up making the mistake of using different citation formats in the same writing piece. It’s crucial to maintain the same citation style throughout your paper.

Lack of not knowing the difference between citations and references.

It can be hard for many writers to differentiate between citations and references. Citations are placed in the paper’s body with direct quotes, the author, and the publication you retrieved the information. References come at the end of your article. References should be included to explain where the citation information was acquired. There would be no relevance of references if the citation were not included.

Forgetting page numbers

When citing, it’s crucial to include the page number of the book or long article you gathered. This is essential as it will be easier for readers to look up the information from the exact page number you provided.

Forgetting web addresses

In this modern era, the internet has proven to be a source of most information. You can almost certainly find anything on the internet since lots of data is continually being added. Most writers fail to provide the web addresses that they got their information, therefore, lacking credibility in their work. It’s crucial to include the relevant web addresses and links assisted in your research. This will help you avoid plagiarism and increase the reliability and credibility of your work.

Mangling spelling

When writing, some words can be challenging to spell and write. However, you should not write words that you don’t understand the correct spelling. Learn to write down the words correctly and their proper use in writing the paper. Incorrectly spelled terms may change the meaning of the information you are writing and undermine its credibility.

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