Let's review the importance of citations. Including citations in your work matters because citations show that you are informed about your topic, distinguish your work and ideas from the works of others, help the reader locate your sources, and help you use sources with integrity by giving credit where credit is due. The main two methods of citing or giving credit for someone else's work are quoting and paraphrasing. Quoting means taking direct passages from other people's works and including them in your own work.
The quoted text is enclosed within quotation marks and followed by either a bracketed in-text citation or a footnote depending on the style of citation being used. Quoting is a good way to support your argument, however, as Pears and Shields argue, using too many direct quotes may disrupt the flow of your writing and prevent you from demonstrating your understanding and analysis of the sources you have read. Also, keep in mind that in science disciplines quotations are less common than interpretation and evaluation. This is why paraphrasing is such an important alternative to quoting. Paraphrasing is the act of taking another person's words and putting them into your own. Using your own words and your own phrasing are key to a good paraphrase. As Soles explains, to paraphrase a source effectively make sure you understand the original completely. Read the original carefully several times then try to write to paraphrase without consulting the original.
In this way you will be more likely to put the original into your own words and produce a paraphrase that will blend in with your essay clearly and effectively. Then check the paraphrase against the original to make certain you have not altered the meaning of the original. Is citing ever optional? There are instances of common knowledge, such as widely known facts, that do not require citation.
For instance, the fact that the molecular structure of water is H2O, Pierre Trudeau was the Prime Minister of Canada, World War II began in 1939, the capital France is Paris are all common knowledge. However, as a student who is new to your discipline of study you may not be aware of what counts as common knowledge in your field. This is why when in doubt always cite. Here are a few tips for using sources with integrity. Keep track of your sources. It is very time consuming to have to go back and retrieve a source after you have used its information.
Keeping track of your sources from the beginning prevents this from becoming a problem. Citation management programs like Zotero can help you keep track of your sources. Zotero is a free software program that collects, manages, and helps you cite research sources. It is easy to use and works with your chosen web browser. See the UNB libraries guide to Zotero for more details. Only use sources and information that you fully understand.
You can't paraphrase effectively if you don't understand the content. Start your research at your own level and advance from there as you learn. Take good notes and write from your own notes. Taking notes from your sources decreases the likelihood that you will plagiarize by further removing you from the original text. Give yourself enough time to complete your work. Many cases of accidental plagiarism occur as a result of trying to finish a paper in too little time.
The pressure to complete the work stop some people from taking steps to keep their work clean. When in doubt cite. When you have any doubts about whether you should cite something or not, cite it. If you are just beginning your studies you may not be aware of what counts as common knowledge in your discipline. Where do I get help with writing and formatting citations? Well, UNB's writing and study skills center offers help with all aspects of academic writing and other essential skills from note-taking, time management,,outlining a paper, formulating a strong thesis, to formatting citations. Assistance is available by appointment at their home location in the C.C. Jones building or without an appointment during their evening drop-in hours in the Harriet Irving Library and the Engineering Library, Monday to Thursday 6:00 to 10:00 PM. The writing and study skills centre also has online guides to the major citation formats.
Pause the screencast. Read the original text and write your own paraphrase. Compare your paraphrase to the original text. Next, read our paraphrase and note the necessary changes in wording and phrase structure from the original to the paraphrase. Pause the screencast again. Read the next original text and write your own paraphrase. Compare your paraphrase to the original text. Next, read the example paraphrase and note the necessary changes in wording and phrase structure from the original to the paraphrase.
There are many different citation styles and each discipline tends to prefer one or two citation styles over the others. Note, these are the preferred styles of the discipline but your individual instructors may want you to use something else. You should always check with your professor before formatting your citations.
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