Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Citation Help

Regardless of your citation format, the Owl Writing Lab offered through Purdue University, is the most comprehensive site I have found on the topic. It is updated on a regular basis and will offer assistance with research for any subject. I have used it for MLA and APA information myself, and I hope that you find the site user-friendly and useful for your purposes. Email me any questions you may have. Follow the link below:

Good luck on your paper.

Friday, September 19, 2008

When do we need to cite information we used in our paper?

From the onset of middle school and throughout the remainder of the educational process, students will often be assigned the task of writing a paper. The information used in these papers may contain not only knowledge which the students themselves possess, but also other material to support the student's ideas. This other material will be obtained from books, periodicals (magazines), newspapers, online resources and many other sources. When writing a paper that calls for more than personal knowledge on a subject, it is absolutely essential to include a variety of information from a variety of sources. Of course, you have to follow the instructions of your teacher or professor in order to determine the type and number of sources you will draw from for your information.
The two main ways we use the information we obtain from an outside source is through either directly quoting this material, or by reading the information and then explaining it in our own words which is called paraphrasing. Since I am an English teacher, I will be using a format called MLA in my examples. Your teacher may call for APA or another format, but the most important thing to realize is, if we use information that is not commonly known or that we learned during our research on a topic, then we must always give credit to those who developed this information for us. If we do not do this, we have committed a very serious offense, which is called plagiarism.
If we cut and paste or use the exact words from a source of information in our paper, we use quotation marks around the words we have borrowed. For example, if you wanted to use my words from paragraph one above, they would look like this:
"When writing an English paper, it is absolutely essential to include a variety of information from a variety of sources" (Takemoto 1).
If you were paraphrasing my words, you might say something like the following, and it would look like this:
Students are asked to use several different sources and types of information when writing English papers (Takemoto 1).
I am not a published author, and much of what I have listed here is common knowledge among educators, authors and publishers, but I used my words just to give you a sample.
I would love to read what you have to say on the subject!

If you need further help with in-text citations (the words we put or paraphrase in our paper) or with creating a works cited page, try these websites:

Although these websites offer both help and information, the user must be certain to enter the information in the correct way in order to get a correct works cited entry. Once you are sure that you have entered all the information accurately, you can cut and paste your entry into your document. Check again to be sure that the cut/paste process went smoothly, and you are all set.

Good luck with your paper. If you have questions or comments, please post to my blog and I'll respond as soon as I can! English Rocks!