To Cite or Not to Cite, That Is The

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					                     To Cite or Not to Cite, That Is The Question
                            The in's and out's of source citations and plagarism

What is plagarism?

Plagarism is using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to the other person. When you
use someone else's words, you must put quotation marks around them and give the writer or speaker
credit by revealing the source in a citation. Even if you revise or paraphrase the words of someone else or
just use that person's ideas, you still must give the author credit in a note. Not giving due credit to the
creator of an idea or writing is very much like lying.

When should you cite?

   Anything that you originated (thought of, created, discovered) does not need to be cited.
   Whatever does not originate with you does need to be cited.
   The one exception to the latter rule is common knowledge. Common knowledge does not need to
    cited. This includes whatever an educated person would be expected to know or could locate in an
    ordinary encyclopedia.
            Easily observable information
            Commonly reported facts (Napoleon's army was decimated by the winter march on Moscow
               during the War of 1812, The 95 Theses were nailed to the church door in Wittenberg on
               October 31, 1517.)
            Common sayings.
            IMPORTANT---If you use someone's words, you must quote and cite them, even if they
               contain an idea that is common knowledge.
            IMPORTANT II---"If in doubt, cite it."

How do you cite sources?

   For EXACT WORDS…Boundaries are marked by opening and closing quotation marks and a citation.
            Phrase
            Part of a sentence
            Two or three sentences
            EX. Louis XVIII's correspondent in Rome, speaking on the Treaty of Tolentine said, "Your
              Majesty will doubtless be surprised by Buonaparte's moderation." (Cronin, 126)
   For a LONG QUOTATION OF EXACT WORDS…Boundaries are marked by a lead-in, a block
    indentation, and a citation.
            More than four lines
            Paragraph
            Two paragraphs
            EX. Napoleon discovered, upon his ascension to First Consul of France,
                          in the exchequer exactly 167,000 francs in cash, and debts
                          amounting to 474 million. The country was flooded with
                          almost worthless paper money. Civil sercants had been
                          unpaid for ten months. (Cronin, 195)
   When USING A SOURCE BUT NOT QUOTING…Boundaries are marked by a lead-in and a close.
            Summarizing
            Paraphrasing
            Mentioning briefly
            Using an idea from the source
            EX. Vincent Cronin claims that Napoleon was ignornant to the influence Metternich had over
              the Russian and Prussian delegations. (Cronin, 342)
What is an improper use of a source?

   Neglecting to quote "just a couple of words."
           SOURCE: As with a typical superhero, Judge Robertson thought it his duty not only to
              establish justice but to wreak equity.
           PARAPHRASE: Judge Robertson felt duty-bound not only to labor for justice but to wreak
              equity. (Doe, 644)
           The paraphrase immediately above commits plagarism because even though it cites the
              source, it copies the apt or unusual phrase "wreak equity" without quoting it. The simple
              remedy is to put the phrase in quotation marks.
   Unacceptable paraphrasing
           SOURCE: In a typical strategy, Boolean operators can be used to control both the scope of
              the search and the required proximity of search terms. The operator OR expands the search
              by allowing the return of documents containing either search term, while the operator AND
              restricts the search by requiring both terms to be present in the document.
           PARAPHRASE: When searching, you can use Boolean operators to control the scope of the
              search and how near each other the search terms are. For example, the operator OR
              expands the search by returning all documents containing either search term, while
              AND restricts the search by requiring both terms to be present. (Doe, 453)
           The paraphrase immediately above omits several words and changes others, but it still
              contains many phrases (placed in bold-face type) which are copied word for word from the

What are the benefits of citing sources?

   Citing sources strengthens the paper.
   Citing sources shows respect for intellectual property.
   Citing is a servicec to the reader.

Take the following quiz to see how well you grasp the material covered. Identify if you have to cite (A) or
do not have to cite (B) the information on the citation quiz. On the source quiz, identify whether the
statement is (T)rue or (F)alse.

                       Citation Quiz                                        Using Sources Quiz
 1. In an article you find the "cultural tapeworm". You 1.      As long as you put another person's words
    decide to use the phrase in your paper                      into your own words, you don't need to cite
 2. You read in several places about how popular fax            the other person.
    machines are in both offices and homes. You            2.   As long as you put the author's name at the
    mention in you paper that fax machines seem to              end of the paragraph, it is permissible to
    be everywhere today.                                        quote the author, even if you do not use
 3. In your paper, you write, "Abraham Lincoln grew             quotation marks or a block indented
    up in a log cabin without electricity." This is a fact      quotation.
    you have read many times in the past and you now 3.         Even if you do not quote, you must cite the
    do not remember where.                                      use of an idea you found during your
 4. You locate a brillant argument in favor of an idea          research.
    you are advancing in a paper. You decide to use 4.          Anything used on the Web is common
    this argument but turn it completely into your own          knowledge and can be used without citation.
    words.                                                 5.   Even if what you are quoting is common
                                                                knowledge, you must cite the quotation
                                                                becase you used someone's exact words