Esl 221 October 7, 2009 Documenting Sources



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ESL 221

  • October 7, 2009

Documenting Sources

  • In research based essays, it is often necessary to quote and paraphrase the information we find in various sources
  • Using such source material gives credibility to our writing, thus making our essays stronger

Documenting Sources

  • In order to avoid plagiarism, we must document the exact location of the information we quote or paraphrase
  • We must do this anytime we use any idea, concept or statistic from any other person

Documenting Sources

  • There are many methods for documenting sources, however two are most commonly used at American universities:
    • MLA (Modern Language Association) format
    • APA (American Psychological Association) format
  • Each format has specific guidelines for appearance and pertinent information to be included

Which format should I use?

  • For the purposes of this class, I prefer that you use APA format. However it will be important that you know which format is expected for other classes, as some instructors will prefer MLA.

APA Citation Style

  • The APA style consists of two primary components:
    • A Reference List – this is a detailed list of all of the sources to which you have made reference in your essay. The reference list appears at the end of the essay.
    • In-Text Citations – accompanies each piece of cited material in the body of the paper; points the reader to the detailed citation on the reference list

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it okay if I only do a reference list?
    • No, you must complete both a reference list AND in-text citations to avoid plagiarism
  • What if I paraphrase? Do I have to make a citation?
    • Yes, citations are required any time you use an idea from another person; the only exceptions are ideas that are common knowledge (e.g. “The sky is blue”)

Other Questions?

What does it look like?

  • When you are reading an essay with APA citations, the first thing you will notice are the in-text citations. For example:
  • “More recently, in 2000 the poverty rate stood at 11.3 per cent, then rose to 12.1 and 12.5 per cent in 2002 and 2003” (Paddock).
  • Note the name of the author in parentheses after the quote, which directs the reader to the reference list for further details

What does it look like?

  • In-text citation:
  • “More recently, in 2000 the poverty rate stood at 11.3 per cent, then rose to 12.1 and 12.5 per cent in 2002 and 2003” (Paddock).
  • Reference list entry:
  • Paddock, C. (2007, August 29). 47 million Americans without health insurance, census report. Medical News Today, Retrieved from
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/80897.php

What does it look like?

  • In-text citation:
  • “More recently, in 2000 the poverty rate stood at 11.3 per cent, then rose to 12.1 and 12.5 per cent in 2002 and 2003” (Paddock).
  • Reference list entry:
  • Paddock, C. (2007, August 29). 47 million Americans without health insurance, census report. Medical News Today, Retrieved from
  • http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/80897.php

More Information

  • The Brief McGraw-Hill Handbook is your best source for information on APA and MLA format citations
  • MLA begins on p. 213
  • APA begins on p. 263
  • Let’s take a few minutes to explore the APA section

Using the Handbook

  • Scenario 1: You have found a source and would like to use it in an essay. The source is from a website; the author’s name is Steve Martin. Find the page in the book that will show you how to create a reference list entry.
  • Scenario 2: You have found a quote in a newspaper article. The author’s name is Karen Bannister. Find this type of entry in the Handbook.

Using the Handbook

  • Scenario 3: You have found a quote on a website and would like to use it in your essay. There is no author listed, and you cannot find the date when the website was published. What page would you turn to for information on creating this kind of citation?

Handout

  • Complete the handout, which will require you to use many of the skills we have discussed thus far (e.g. writing a research question, writing a thesis statement, citing a source)
  • You should begin to work with a partner; if we run out of time, the worksheet will become homework for Monday


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