When you use the ideas, theories, or research of others, you must give those people whose work you use credit for using their work. You give credit through citation. In academic research, citing other’s works establishes ethos because it demonstrates knowledge in a given field. It allows the audience to follow the logic on which the argument is built and provides context for the hypothesis being established. You always cite another author’s work if you are:
- Quoting directly
- Using illustrations
- Using jargon specific to the work
You do not have to cite the following materials:
- Your own data
- Common knowledge. Ex: Hydrogen and oxygen are town elements that comprise water. Or, Sam M. Walton founded Walmart.
- Facts that are found in a wide variety of encyclopedias or reputable websites: President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX.
- Proverbs and sayings: A person is known by the company he keeps
When in doubt, go ahead and cite!
You should use direct quotes when the original phrasing is especially impactful, the source’s authority advances your argument, or you are analyzing a particular point expressed in the original. Be careful to not over-quote as doing so may obscure your own ideas and/or cause you to lose credibility.
How to quote?
How to paraphrase?
- Introduce the author’s name and a signal word or phrase
- Include all of the original’s main points and details and in the same order
- Restate the meaning in your own words and sentence structure
- Paraphrased material must have a corresponding entry in the bibliography section
How to summarize?
What about visual aids/illustrations?
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