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How to Choose a Citation Style for Engineering Papers

Academic papers

Formatting plays an essential role in writing academic papers. If you get an assignment to write a text dedicated to engineering, you have to pay much attention to its formatting, especially when citing your sources. In this article, we will discuss the main citation styles that can be applied to your engineering paper.

Focus on APA Format

Traditionally, engineering papers use the American Psychological Association format, namely APA. What makes APA the most appropriate citation style for engineering is the emphasis on information’s relevance. After the name of the author, you are required to indicate the year when the cited source was written or published. It will make the reader understand that the information is taken from an up-to-date reference. Usually, sources that are not older than five years are relevant. In exceptional cases, you may use older sources in this format, but it is often not recommended.

A time-focused approach is relevant to exact sciences, such as engineering, because they are rapidly developing, and any knowledge related to them is continuously renewing. When you use a source that is older than five years, you may introduce outdated information. Surely, this situation is unacceptable when it comes to studying scientific disciplines. The best way to avoid these problems is to use various filters while seeking suitable for your engineering paper sources with Google Scholar or similar tools. For me, it was an essential feature each time I got an assignment to write my paper in apa format.


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APA Format Peculiarities

APA is a rather simple format, but it still has strict and specific requirements. For instance, when you write an APA paper on engineering, you have to use a running head for all the pages. Also, it is preferential if you introduce subheadings while presenting the information. As for parenthetical citations, it is always better to add a page number along with the author’s name and the date of publication. If you are still insecure about such requirements, you can always use an APA paper writing service. Experienced writers will assist you in formatting your paper dedicated to engineering.

Do Not Confuse APA Editions

Another critical point about APA is that there are currently two variants of this formatting style. Quite recently, the American Psychological Association has introduced the 7th edition of its format for academic papers. Meanwhile, many universities and individual professors want students to use the 6th edition of APA in their assignments. The differences between the two styles are insignificant and can be reduced to bolding headings and minor changes in presenting sources on a reference page. This point does not mean that you should not bother oneself while writing an APA paper. Recklessness can make you confuse such editions and, thus, fail with your work’s formatting.

Consider Harvard

Apart from APA, there is another author-date format that is frequently applied in academic writing. It is Harvard, which is known as one of the least defined formatting styles. Requirements for Harvard differ a lot, which is especially recognizable in formatting references. For example, in some cases, you should present the publication date in the parentheses, while in other versions, there are no parentheses. Before starting your work on a paper in this style, you should clarify more specific requirements. Fortunately, Harvard rarely becomes an engineering reference format.

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Remember about MLA

There are cases when MLA format applied in papers on engineering. MLA is one of the most straightforward citation styles because it focuses primarily on the name of the author. It requires presenting this name and a page of the source (if applicable) from which the cited information is taken in parentheses. MLA is relevant papers on various disciplines, but, usually, when you are required to work with exact sciences, such as engineering, you are asked something like: “write my apa paper.” MLA may be essential for your academic proficiency in general but is not very relevant in the case of engineering papers.

Be Prepared for Chicago/Turabian

Another popular format that can frequently be encountered in academic writing is Chicago/Turabian. Working with such a citation format can be challenging because it requires you to add footnotes with a modified full citation of a source. This format is more applicable to such topics as political sciences and history. In my own academic experience, I have never seen citation engineering in Chicago/Turabian. However, mind this format because there is always a chance of getting an exceptional assignment.

Always remember to take into account citation format while working on engineering papers. Usually, you are required to use APA format, which puts emphasis on the year of a source’s publication. If you struggle in this aspect, do not hesitate to ask apa paper writing service for assistance. Also, do not confuse APA editions and bear in mind such citation formats as Harvard, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian. It is better not to use them in engineering papers, but being prepared is still beneficial to you.

About the author

Venkatesan Prabu

Wikitechy Founder, Author, International Speaker, and Job Consultant. My role as the CEO of Wikitechy, I help businesses build their next generation digital platforms and help with their product innovation and growth strategy. I'm a frequent speaker at tech conferences and events.