Friday, February 15, 2008

Citing Sources

Citing Sources

When and How to Cite Research Sources by Janie Lynn Panagopoulos

This is our last article on research sources. I am sure there are a few of you that are very glad about that. Now, down to business, the work of properly citing research sources for your writing varies, depending upon the source and how it is used.

First and foremost -- remember -- Citing a source gives credit where credit is due, not citing a source could lead you in the direction of plagiarism.

When should you cite your source? If you have quoted an author (including Internet authors) or have used any words or arranged words in a sentence that is not originally yours. Yes, I know, no words are originally our own, but if these words or sentences have been arranged to fashion someone else’s writing or if it “hints” at giving you credit when you have not preformed the original research, you are doing something illegal.

Cite a source if:

you restate an idea or thought stated by another author.
you are not the original person involved in the original source research.
you are using facts that are not common knowledge.

Types of citing:

Parenthetical (citing within a text)

Endnotes (explanatory or information at the end of your writing)

Footnotes (older form of citing placed at the bottom of page)

Information you need to collect (depending upon source):

Periodical: title of original publication, author of the article, title of article, date of publication, volume and or issue number, page number.

Book: title of book, editor, series title, publisher, publication date, volume number, article and chapter title (if needed) and authors name.

Internet: name of author, URL, name of Internet site.

Email: name of person interviewed, subject line in quotation marks, description of message that includes the recipient and date of message.

Panagopoulos, Janie L. “Re: IP Videoconferencing”. Email to You the Reader, 17 December, 2008.

Images: (any media) name of artist, name of individual image, when it was created, where it is currently housed or from what collection, URL (if on Internet), and date of posting.

(if on Internet)

Maps: name of location, where it was found, what year issued, and URL.

Formatting Sources:
List of citation usually appears at end of work on new page
Center title “Works Cited”
Double-space between title and first entry.
Begin entry at left-hand margin – second line – five spaces in
Alphabetical order of entries by author’s last name (if known) or first important word in the title, excluded “a”, “an”, and “the”.
Author with more than one work cited, do not repeat name, use three hyphens and a period in place of author’s name and cite work as above.
Double-space entire list and use a period at end of entries.
Underline titles of books, plays, poems, pamphlets, periodicals, and films.
These sites may be of help while creating your form

Easy bib:


Landmark’s Citation Machine:

Last comment, you might wonder, if you are writing a fiction piece, why is citing important? I write historical fiction that is categorized as “documentary” historical fiction, using factual people or events from history to build a story. I write for the 3rd-8th grade educational market and my books are used in schools to help teach Social Studies. For me, it is essential to have material available for teachers and readers to use as reference materials while using my novels in the classroom and it is also essential to provide documentation for editors when they ask for sources. So, getting in a regular habit of collecting and citing sources is a very important part of my work and it might also play an important role in yours.

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