Citation Check

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Judy Baxter

Creative Commons licensed image posted at Flickr by Judy Baxter

“Works Cited” or “References” lists at the end of your research papers only include resources that you actually cited within the context of your essay. Before submitting your final essay, be sure to verify your citations.


  1. Print out a draft of your paper. Separate your end-of-paper bibliography from the rest of the essay.
  2. Carefully read through your essay. Stop at EVERY spot where you reference information that is not your own (summary, paraphrase, or direct quote). For each location, check the following:
    • In the same sentence, do you introduce the summary, paraphrase, or direct quotation (not just “dump in” a quote)?
    • Do you adequately summarize or paraphrase, and/or do you include quotation marks?
    • In the same sentence, do you provide a correctly styled (e.g., MLA, APA, IEEE, Chicago, etc.) in-text citation?
    • Do you connect the information from the summary, paraphrase, and/or quote back to your larger argument (this may happen in the next sentence)?
    • Is the complete bibliographic citation included in your final list? Put a check by the entry on the end-of-paper bibliography so you know you have used that source. If it is not there, add the full bibliographic citation.
  3. After you have carefully read through your entire essay and checked all of your in-text citations, look at your end-of-paper bibliography. Are there any remaining citations that were not in your essay? If so, delete them from your list.
  4. Share-out: Write a reflection of this activity. What types of revisions did you make? Post your reflection below to the comments thread.

18 thoughts on “Citation Check

  1. Chem442s15i

    After reviewing my paper, I found out that I was using Chicago style siting, by placing the year after the author’s name in every entry of my reference page. I have never paid overmuch attention to the style of citing, I have instead mainly focused on making sure everything in a paper that I have learned through research for that paper was cited. The main thing is to be consistent, and cite every journal article in the same format as the others. After looking more at the styles of citing, it would most likely be more appropriate to cite in AMA style, which is the preferred style for medicine, health, and biological papers. Everything in my paper that I learned due to research on that paper (mostly in the introduction section), and from professors, has been cited accordingly.

  2. William Wall

    The citation style I used for my report was APA. I always have a distinct problem when it comes to citations, and that is that I write the majority of the paper first, and then search for information that needs to be cited. This often leads to references being too close together or too far apart, or not as varied as they could possibly be. A lot of my work is in my own words, but the language I use often lends itself to suspicion. There are times when I have to “dumb down” my wording in fear that it gets highlighted for plagiarism. My reflection typically involves finding the right balance between too elaborate or not elaborate enough.

  3. Chem442s15l

    I read through my citations and one thing that I didn’t do is introduce my citation, as is not practice in biochemical papers. Citations are usually included to provide reference to a paper that proves the point you are making. All my citations were used appropriately and formatted in the way consistent with biochemical journal papers. I did notice that something I had stated was not cited and should have been cited, so I went back and searched for a research paper that provided evidence for my statement. All of my in-text citations were referenced to complete references at the end of the paper.

  4. Chem442s15a Chem442s15a

    The citation method used in this report was APA. I used this activity to go back and make sure my citations were in the right format. By using this activity, I also made sure that all my sources were correctly cited to avoid any form of plagiarism. For each citation I have paraphrased and introduced my summary. This was followed by the appropriate in-text citation as directed in the ACS style guide. The sentences that followed my paraphrase or summary of my citation was explained in further detail by using my thoughts and explanations.

  5. Chem442s15r

    When I did the citation check, I realized that one of my citations had been misplaced. It had been listed as (3), when it should have been (4). Also, there were two references which I forgot to take out, since I had revised the lab report, and took out three of the sentences associated with those two references. After doing this Citation check activity, I read the References rubric for this report. Even though, I had 5 references, that were dated 2011 or later, I mistakenly counted a reference of a Book, dated 2011, as one of them. I, immediately, researched on the topic associated with that reference, and cited a more recent reference of a peer-reviewed article. With this activity, I also remembered that I did not abbreviate the Journals in the Reference section, as required in the Biochem format.

  6. Chem442s15n

    After checking my paper, I realized that I didn’t have my citations in the correct order. I wrote the citations down before I wrote the entire paper and didn’t change them afterwards. I have forgotten to italicize journal articles in the past so I carefully check the format of the citations. The first check made me realize I had more references than I had in the paper. This was an easy fix as I wrote more to include these citations

  7. Chem442s15f

    I did not “introduce” citations. Paraphrasing has a steady reading flow compared to quotations and introductions. There is room for improvement, though. When I paraphrase, I tend to make sentences longer than they ought to be to reduce the use of citations. When I incorporated another individual’s work into mine, it was noted using the assigned citation format. The references are added to the list when they are incorporated, for proper accountability. I try to avoid direct quotations, if possible. In my opinion, someone should be able to read something, understand, and explain information that represents comprehension.
    Revisions: I reworded some sentences and rearranged a paragraph so it “sounded” better.

  8. Morgan T.

    I didn’t really have a problem with my citations and reference page because I always write my reference page as I cite within my paper. Before this class, I would always write the reference page before the paper and end up not using things. With the APA style, since references have to be in numerical order, it’s easiest for me to do both as I go. Otherwise, with just the numerical citation within the paper I couldn’t tell what paper was used where without having to reread them, especially if the articles were similar.

  9. Chem442s15c Chem442s15c

    I made no revisions during my check, but that was due to the fact that I always preform a check similar to the activity. Due having problems with proper citation in the past, I try to avoid paraphrases and quotes, instead reading materials for their content, then summarizing what I learned for the articles a few days later, to avoid inadvertently using the same phrases

  10. Chem442s15o

    This exercise made me read my essay on cloning a bit more scrupulously, sort of as if I were the professor looking for justification to take off points for improper citations. In doing this, I did manage to notice portions of the introduction that were less original than I would care to admit. The citations included were cited appropriately and with the right APA formate. The only real issue was my settling for the bare minimum to get through the report requirements. I added a couple citations and tweaked a few statements after reviewing the report.

  11. Chem442s15h

    I read over my GAPDH report stopping at all references to see if they had been cited properly. All but one was done correctly. I also used this approach on a paper for another class. This exercise allows you to review your work in a way that may not have been done before. I found it to be a very effective method of proofing references and citations in written assignments.

  12. Nikisha Hartin

    After understanding this prompt, I reviewed all of the citations in my cloning report and analyzed if it was necessary to include in my references. The in-text citations were mainly used in the introduction section and instead of using that exact phrase, I began to paraphrase to make sure that the sentence used from a reference was not to specific of a citation. All of my citations are in APA format which is the format required. The citations in my report are first introduced and then stated. References that did not include citations in my report were removed. These are some revisions I have done to improve my citations. Other then that, my in-text citations are numbered properly and my references are place in the correct order.

  13. Chem442s15j

    I read my paper ( GAPDH) carefully an realized that some of paraphrased sentences lost their actual meaning. I revised those parts based on their original references. I didn’t add or remove any bibliographic citation and almost all of them match with in-text citations. At first I used IEEE referencing style for in-text citations but I changed it to APA as my professor expected. This activity is very straight forward that helps me to have a comprehensive review of my in-text citations and it can well-organized the list of references. in the future, I will apply this method for all my papers.

  14. chem442s15d

    While reading through my GAPDH report, I paused at every reference mentioned throughout my paper. I realized that I did not introduce my paraphrases. The citations used in my paper are cited correctly as any biochemistry journal would provide their in-text citations. The citation style I used for this report was APA. The citation style does not include the author’s names but a number that leads to where the reference was retrieved. I did notice that the references I used for my introduction flow very effectively and complement the surrounding sentences. All of my in-text citations do have the proper citation listed under the references section of the report. There were no remaining citations that were not in my essay. All the references used were in order and correctly cited. The most significant revision I made was giving my citation a proper introduction. I also re-read my reference page to make sure the APA format was correct. I plan to use this method in the future when writing elaborate papers. As a writer, I tend to focus on writing a perfect paper that my citations may tend to slip whether it may be the way it is properly used or the way it is formatted.

  15. Chem442s15m

    I used this opportunity to go over the citations on a paper I was writing in another class. After reviewing my paper using the method described, I found that two sources I had on my bibliography were not needed or even used. I was also able to add a few more in-text citations to my paper for clarity and credibility. I found the method in this activity to be very helpful as a good way to manage one’s citations and furthermore to make sure enough citations are included one’s paper. I will definitely be using this method again in the future.

  16. David M.

    The Introduction in our paper had the most citations. When I read through the citations I noticed several citations were out of order.
    I revised the section to make sure it met all the IEEE standards. This kind of revision allowed the paper to be better polished and
    have better clarity. After editing the paper when read aloud seemed to flow very smoothly. Transitions were much clearer and
    citations were properly ordered.

  17. Emily McClellan

    After reviewing my Introduction paper, I realized that my citations were in the wrong order. I had originally put the citations in alphabetical order, but IEEE format requires you to put the citations in order of appearance. I also included the date written and the date I accessed the article, when IEEE only requires the date the article was written. Other than that, my citation list was adequate. I used each article in my paper and I paraphrased well.

  18. Shauna Richards

    After a careful review of my personal introduction, I observed that I had not fulfilled the IEEE guidelines. I had written my references out of order as well as not cited them properly on my works cited page. I did not include an adequate amount of information, which would have made proving the validity of my sources more difficult.
    Reading my essay aloud to myself helped me spot other issues as well such as run-on sentences, minor grammatical errors, ect.

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