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How to Generate an Essay Citation List in Four Easy Steps



Alright. We’ve talked about research and organization. We’ve talked about the pros and cons of choosing an angle. We’ve talked about how to choose an angle, and when having an angle might be useful. Now, we’re going to get into the last part of the research section.

We’re going to talk about creating a bibliography – AKA, a “Works Cited” page. Don’t worry. We’ll explain everything in four easy steps. It won’t be as hard as it sounds. Once you memorize the process, it gets easier. It always gets easier with quality essay help and advice.

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1. Once you’ve recorded possible resources and quotes on index cards (or a separate document), choose the quotes that you absolutely, without a doubt, want to use in your essay. Of the dozens of note cards that you’ve filled out, you’ll probably only utilize seven or eight in your final paper (depending on the length of your assignment, of course). Once you’ve chosen your quotes, set them aside.

2. Find the necessary bibliographic information for the authors of these quotes – including the year in which the resource was published, the author’s first and last name, and other identifying information.  

3. Create citations for each resource. Purdue OWL is a great reference point for this process. It explains exactly how each citation should be written, to a fault. Whether you find your information online, through textbooks, or in magazines, Purdue has the answers. You can also use Purdue to generate citations, if you’re uncomfortable formatting the yourself.

Also, a quick tip in terms of your bibliography. Other than using a hanging indent, don’t spend more time stressing over your citations than you spend stressing over your paper. In the end, it isn’t worth the hassle. It’s absolutely important to make citations and provide credit when necessary, but if you concern yourself with every period, quotation mark and capital letter, you’re going to lose sight of the point.

4. Arrange these citations on a blank document. This will eventually become the last page of your essay. After you’re finished, you’re done. Your life just got much, much easier. Once you’re done with the writing and editing sections, you can be done with your essay. Now, you don’t have to pour back through books or online resources – like you would if you waited to do your bibliography at the last minute. Now, you can print your paper and call it a day.

We’ve spent several sections talking about the importance of good research. It’s time to move on to the real challenge. This, in our opinion, is the hardest step of the essay writing process.

It’s time to write!

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