Shows your work. This is how your readers can see how much research you have done. Let's your instructors see that you have met their research requirements.
Give credit where credit is due. It shows that you are an ethical user of information and acknowledging the work of others. This means not just text, but also images or other creative forms of information.
Avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is stealing and passing off the ideas or words of another person's as your own. Citations are how you acknowledge where you have found ideas and information you have used in your project and thereby are respecting intellectual property.
Plagiarism can be deliberate (you intended to pass off another's persons work as your own), inadvertent (sloppy work - you mistakenly forgot to include citation) or ignorant (you did not understand what is expected re citations).
*Santos, Carlos, and Reed Williams. "Critics ask if U.Va. was too harsh on students." Richmond Times-Dispatch, 13 Aug. 2008. Richmond Times-Dispatch, www.richmond.com/news/. Accessed 1 Mar. 2017.
1. Choose a citation format. (ex. MLA, APA, Chicago....)
2. How are you accessing the information?
PRINT (are you holding the original item in your hand)
WEB (you are using the internet to get to the resource)
DATABASE (you are using a library database that may have required a password)
3. Identify what type of source you have.
Website article • Video • Audio • Image
Artwork • Interview • etc....
4. Find the citation formula that matches your format and source type. (ex. Print book or Website Newspaper article)
5. Identify the information you need for the formula.
Common information found in many citations:
Author / Creator • Article title • Title of the whole resource
Publication date • Publisher / Sponsor
Pages numbers • URL / web address
6. Plug information into the formula. This requires attention to details. Be precise.
7. Double check your work.
Consistency makes it easier for readers to understand where you found your research.
Think of it like addressing an envelope. Everyone follows the same format when addressing an envelope because it makes it easier for people to deliver it properly.
Identifies the exact source in the specific format you (the researcher) saw it.
Sources can change slightly (or dramatically) anytime it is republished. Readers want to know exactly which version the writer used.
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