What is a DOI?

DOI stands for ‘digital object identifier’. It is an alphanumeric string that links to a piece of academic writing such as a journal article or ebook.

A DOI works in a similar way to a URL, but is guaranteed to always link to the intellectual property to which it is assigned. Because a DOI never changes, academic citation styles recommend the use of DOIs over URLs.

Example of a citation with DOI
Fernández-Ayuso, M. Rodríguez-Rodríguez & J. Benavente (2018) Assessment of the hydrological status of Doñana dune ponds: a natural World Heritage Site under threat, Hydrological Sciences Journal, DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2018.1560449

You may see DOIs formatted in different ways:

  • DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2018.1560449
  • https://doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2018.1560449
  • https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2018.1560449
  • On JSTOR only: https://www.jstor.org/stable/90023056

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How to format an APA abstract

An abstract is a summary of ± 250 words in which you describe the research problem, methods, results and recommendations of your research. A list of keywords can also be included for use in databases. The abstract is usually written after the paper is finished and is included between the acknowledgements and table of contents.

The APA abstract page must adhere to specific formatting requirements for indentation, spacing, font type, page margins, heading and running head.”

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Chicago style citation examples

The Chicago Manual of Style provides guidelines for two styles of citation: author-date and notes and bibliography:

  • In notes and bibliography style (mostly used in the humanities), you use footnotes or endnotes to cite sources.
  • In author-date style (mostly used in the sciences), you use brief parenthetical references to cite sources in the text.

In both styles, full source citations are listed in an alphabetized bibliography or reference list.

The Chicago Manual of Style is regularly updated. Our examples are all based on the 17th edition, which is the latest (published in 2017).

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List of credible sources for research

It is crucial that you use credible primary and secondary sources to ensure the validity of your academic research, but knowing which ones are credible can be difficult!

Luckily, there are some tricks for helping you figure out if a source is credible, which we have outlined in our guide to evaluating sources using the CRAAP test.

If you are not sure where to begin, we have collected a list of credible sources to help point you in the right direction.

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CRAAP test: evaluating source credibility

Evaluating the credibility of the sources you use is of key importance to ensure the credibility and reliability of your academic research. California State University developed the CRAAP test to help evaluate the credibility of a source. There are five main considerations:

  1. Currency: Is the information up-to-date?
  2. Relevance: Is the information relevant and of a level appropriate for your research?
  3. Authority: Where is the information published and who is the author?
  4. Accuracy: Where does the information come from? Is it supported by evidence?
  5. Purpose: Why was this information published? What was the motive?

Together these considerations form the acronym CRAAP; a well-known method for evaluating source credibility.

For each type of source (website, journal, book, etc.) we formulated different questions that fall within the five categories of the CRAAP test.

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How to cite Wikipedia

There are two things to consider with regard to Wikipedia and your paper. First, should you use it at all? Second, if you do use something from Wikipedia as a source, how do you cite it?

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Block quoting in MLA style

When you include a long quote in an MLA paper, you have to format it as a block quote. MLA style (8th edition) requires block quote formatting for:

  • Quotes of poetry longer than three lines
  • Quotes of prose longer than four lines

An MLA block quote is set on a new line, indented 0.5 inches, with no quotation marks. The in-text citation goes after the period at the end of the block quote.

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In-text citation in APA, MLA and Chicago

In-text citations are used each time you quote, paraphrase or refer to a source in the body of your paper. The in-text citation directs the reader to the correct entry in the reference list or bibliography.

Every citation style has different rules for how to cite your sources. Your supervisor or university will usually inform you which citation style to use. If you are allowed to choose, it’s important to consistently follow one style.

Citation styleExample of an in-text citation
APA(Bryson, 2003, p. 2)
MLA(Bryson 2)
Chicago author-date(Bryson 2003, 2)

You can easily create in-text citations in APA and MLA using our free citation generators.

APA Citation Generator MLA Citation Generator

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