Monday, February 9, 2009

the delicate art of using citations in your work

the following is excerpted from the UNCG writing center guidelines on using the APA citation guide...

Writers have an obligation to give credit to the source of any opinions, interpretations, or specific facts that were the result of another person’s research when they “borrow” that information and incorporate it into their writing— whether they quote the exact words of the source or restate it in their own words, and whether the source is in print or online.

The system for citing sources that is used in many social science, education, and nursing courses (among others) is the APA (American Psychological Association) system. It consists of two steps:
  1. parenthetical citations within the text, which give an abbreviated reference to the author, date, and page number of the borrowed material; and
  2. an alphabetical listing of all References, which appears at the end of the paper and gives full bibliographical information.

choices for short quotations OR paraphrases:
  • Identify the source’s author by name, followed in parentheses by the year of publication, in introducing the material.
  • The page number is required when you quote the source directly. It is not required in APA, but it is helpful to a reader, to include the page number when paraphrasing the source.
  • If you don’t identify the author by name in your text, you must include the last name, the year of publication, and the page number in your parentheses.
  • If the text has no author, use a shortened version of the title plus the date and page number to identify it.
citing indirect sources:
  • When you read a source that uses material (which you want to use) originally published in some other source (which you have not read), you should identify the original author(s) and in your text, and include the words “as cited in” with the author, date and page number of the secondary source—the one that you actually read--in your parenthetical citation.
altering a quotation:
  • the use of ellipses . . . to indicate that you left out some words of the originalquotation, and the use of brackets [ ] to add an explanatory word or phrase that was not in the original or to indicate that the form of a word has been changed to make it fit into the sentence.

...while these are just a few helpful hints for using citations within your text, we highly recommend you further explore the proper formats for references and citations further. for non-majors in the class, please use the respective style of citing for your department or major.

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