Now it's time to put the finishing touches on your paper. You will want to consult a style manual to set up your title page, headers, margins, and other elements, according to the style your professor has specified—usually APA, MLA, or Turabian (see below). You should go back through your paper to make sure that all of the quotes you have used have parenthetical references; then check to make sure that all the references match the list of sources in your bibliography or "Works Cited" list. If you used someone else's ideas or research, you should include a parenthetical reference and citation, even if you didn't quote them exactly.
Why should you take the extra time to polish your paper?
- If you followed all the steps in the Research Planning Guide, then you have worked really hard! Make sure your paper is worthy of the time you have already spent.
- Your paper represents you! Make sure it looks great—clean, elegant, and professional.
- A well-formatted paper demonstrates your respect for your professor and for yourself.
For more information on avoiding plagiarism and using citations, see the attached pages on Plagiarism and Citing Help. Mouse over the Step 13 tab, then choose from the drop-down list.
Why should you care about citing your sources?
Have you ever heard the saying, "Give credit where credit is due?" When you properly cite a source in your paper or project, that's what you are really doing: giving credit.
It's important to give credit to the person who first thought of a good idea or said something worth quoting. If you don't give credit, then it appears that you are claiming the credit for yourself. That's known as plagiarism.
Don't claim credit, even accidentally. Give credit to the right person by citing your source.