Research Paper: Citations

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Choosing a Citation:

Before you put a citation in your paper, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Is this going to help support the point I am trying to make?
  2. Does this directly relate to my thesis?
  3. If I took this out, would my paragraph still make sense?

*Make sure your citations are actually making your argument stronger, and not just taking up space!

* Quotes/paraphrased information should be no longer than a sentence or two. Anything longer than that is unnecessary and an excuse to take up space!

* You never (like EVER) use a quote/paraphrased information to start or end a paragraph. (Unless you are using a quotation introduction)

*The first time you use a source, you must introduce it. For example:

According to Mr. Binx, author of I Love Being Fat, “if your owner doesn’t want to feed you, just knock everything off a desk until they give in.” (Binx)

*Make sure all your sources are in MLA format


You must have at least three different sources and five citations.

Inserting a Citation:

Each body paragraph should be like a sandwich:

1st sentence: transition sentence from previous paragraph

2nd sentence: background

3rd sentence: example/ why is this important?

4th sentence: source

5th sentence: how does this support your thesis?


In addition to servings its customers over-sized portions; fast food franchises also target their customers (especially children) through advertisements. (Transition Sentence) For decades, countless fast food chains have used strategically-driven advertisements to target customers.  (Background Sentence) For instance, McDonalds targets children by including toys in their happy meals, the “Ronald McDonald” character, and restaurant playhouses. (Example) According to the Food Marketing Workgroup, “Fast-food companies target children and adolescents with $714 million worth of marketing each year, promoting products, brands, and toy premiums to kids as young as 2 years old.” ( (Source) With almost $ 1 billion dollars spent each year, it is obvious that fast food companies are more concerned with creating the next generation of customers rather than nutrition and health. (Connecting to Thesis)

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