In general, you must document information that originates in someone else's work. All of the following should be accompanied by a reference to the original:
By now you're likely wondering, "Yes, but how do I know where the ideas of others end and my own begin?" If you're writing papers that require research, the only good answer to such a question is, "Good question." Giving credit where it's due is a basic requirement. When not certain ALWAYS CITE and give credit for ideas that should be attributed to others.
You can make the process easier if
you keep good notes while you perform research. Write down the most complete
bibliographic information available for each source that you consult. Look at the sample references list to get an idea of the amount of detail that is required. If
you write out quotations or data from a source, be sure to note the number
of the page(s) on which the information appears in the original. Double
check the quotation for accuracy before you return the source to the library.
It's a good idea to put citations into your paper as you draft it. When you quote, put the source and page number directly after. When you refer to someone else's work, do the same. And when you place a citation in your text, add the source to your working bibliography. When it comes time to put the finishing touches on your paper, the information you need will be available right in your text, and may be easily put into the proper format.
Documentation styles provide methods for you to cite (refer to the original
source of) the information you quote from or refer to in your paper. The
difference between quoting and referring may seem small, but it is significant.
You should provide a quotation from a source when the wording of the original is important. If the author makes a point in a particularly insightful, original, or concise way, then you should allow that author's words to speak for themselves. The primary documentation style used at Skyridge is the Modern Language Association (MLA). This requires you include the author and page numbers following a quotation making it clear where the quotation came from to the reader.
An example may be helpful here. The author of the first passage wishes to capture the flavor of the original by quoting; the author of the second simply wishes to refer to the original to help make a point.
The question of when to refer and when to quote is one that can only be answered within the context of the purpose of your paper. If you are writing about literature, direct quotation of the text will allow you to show what the author said as an authority in the topic you are writing. If you are writing a research project, however, it is much more important that you refer to previous research and provide summaries of what you have read.
The mechanics of citing sources will vary from style to style, but there are two primary methods of giving citations: parenthetical (in-text) references and notes. Skyridge use parenthetical as follows:.
The greatest strength from the standpoint of the reader is that parenthetical references do not make the reader search for citations at the bottom
of the page or at the end of the document; all necessary information is
located in the text, immediately following the quotation or reference. From
the standpoint of the writer, parenthetical reference styles are much easier
than notes to format and keep track of.
Parenthetical references work with the list of sources that appears at the end of your document. That is, the information that appears in parentheses after a quotation or reference allows the reader to turn to the list of sources and identify which one is being cited. If a particular author has more than one entry in the list of sources, your parenthetical reference must give enough information to allow the reader to identify which work is being cited. This may involve including the year of publication, or a shortened version of the title, or both.
The information provided in the parenthetical reference varies from style to style. The MLA style, require only the page number for quotations (as long as there will be no confusion as to which work is being cited).
The citation of materials in footnotes (appearing at the bottom of the
page) and endnotes (appearing at the end of the document, usually beginning
on a separate sheet) is a more traditional method for identifying original
sources. One advantage of giving citations in notes is that the reader will
not be interrupted by sometimes lengthy references in the text. And now
that word processors are able to manage the formatting of notes automatically,
the writer no longer needs to set aside time to adjust the spacing of every
page to accomodate them.
Unlike the parenthetical-reference styles, note-based styles do not require the appending of a list of sources. Instead, complete bibliographic information is provided in the first note that cites a work; subsequent notes referring to that work will use a shortened version of the citation. Therefore, the author need not worry about omitting any works from a list of sources, or accidentally including any that aren't actually referred to or quoted from.
As mentioned in the section on parenthetical
references above, references in the text of a paper must work along with the list of sources. The MLA calls it "Works Cited.
Each documentation style establishes strict rules for the construction and formatting of the list of sources. Examples you can follow are given to help guide you with your paper.
While there are specific rules, you should follow your teacher's instructions for preparing the final draft.
Most documentation styles call for a minimum of one inch of space on all sides, and for all parts of your text to be double-spaced. The appearance of certain parts, such as page numbers, indented quotations, and title pages varies; check with the documentation style you're using for specifics.