Citing Sources: Building your Reference List

Students often feel overwhelmed by the thought of creating the list of references that commonly appears at the end of the paper. Often that’s because the student has waited until the end to build it, has just finished their paper, and hasn’t taken the steps needed to make building the reference list – if not easy – at least less frustrating. Read on to find out how to make building a reference list easier.
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Citing Sources: When do I have to cite?

In over a decade of teaching, the #1 reason I find for student plagiarism is students not understanding¬†when¬†to cite a source. In this post, I’m going to get right to the point and tell you exactly when you need to cite.
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Peer Reviewed, Academic, and Reputable Sources: What the Heck are They and How Do I Find Them?

If you’re writing a college-level research paper, most likely your instructor has told you that you must use a certain type of “source.” The language used to describe these sources varies, but in general, your teacher expects you to use high-quality sources for the information in your paper. Let’s take this concept apart so you have a better understanding of exactly what your teacher expects.

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Pointing to Each Other: Citation Basics

In the last post in this series (Citing Sources: Why Do We Do It?), I explained why we cite our sources as academics. In this post, I’m focusing on how we cite sources, but in a broad sense: what elements are common to all citation styles?

I’m sure that someone, somewhere, has counted the number of different citation styles that exist–let’s just say that there are a LOT. Fortunately, you don’t need to know them all; what you need to know is (1) what style your teacher wants and (2) what style is used in your academic discipline. Biologists use a different style than the English department.

Many students in my classes are familiar with MLA, the citation style of the Modern Language Association, or APA, the style of the American Psychological Association. There’s also the Chicago Manual of Style (usually just called “Chicago”) or Turabian or ASA . . . Again, you don’t need to know them all. Just know that they are out there, and that you can find reference books for each that tell you how to organize your citation material.

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Citing Sources: Why Do We Do It?

There are few things in academic writing that frustrate (or even terrify) students more than (1) citing sources and (2) avoiding plagiarism. The two are closely related. I will discuss plagiarism in detail in later posts devoted to paraphrase, summary, and quotations. In this post, we’re going to explore the rationale behind citing sources: why do we do it?

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