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Historical Geology (Honors) | Spears: APA Citations

Spring 2019

Dinosaur image with text: You're saying, if I don't cite my sources, my A will be extinct?

Citation is the method of giving credit to information sources you use in your paper. Whether you quote directly from the source or paraphrase the ideas, citation lends creditability to your writing, protects you from plagiarism** and is an absolute requirement. If in doubt, cite!

There are two steps to creating a proper citation: the list of references at the end of the paper and the in-text citations. The in-text citation is within your writing. You state knowledge from a book or article and give immediate credit for the information you are using. In-text citations help connect your reader to the information you've included on your references page.                                                                                             

                                               

 

 

 

In APA style, in-text citations follow this basic format:

(Lastname, year, p. #)   e.g., (Smith, 2013, p.14)

In this example, the reader would know to flip to your References page and skim down the left margin until they saw "Smith," and there they would find the rest of the publication details to track down that same source for themselves.                                                              

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*  PARAPHRASE. *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

Incorporating the words and ideas from expert sources is done through paraphrasing the ideas into your own words or quotes that use the source expert's exact words. Most disciplines prefer paraphrasing ideas over quotes. Paraphrases require reading the source with understanding, so that, you can re-write the section without losing the meaning. More learning is involved. Whether paraphrase or quote, a citation is required.

See below an exercise in the art of paraphrasing.

Original Text from Source:

A much larger analogue of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble thought to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But whereas the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane.

How should you add this information to your paper?

Bad :(

"A much larger analogue of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble thought to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But whereas the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane" ("Two Years On").

The Break-down:

  • Too long of a quote for a 4-page paper
  • Doesn't use any original content to introduce the quote or finish up the thought

Good!

The Kuiper Belt consists of icy chunks of frozen water, ammonia, and methane believed to be "leftover from the formation of the solar system," much like the rocky field of the asteroid belt ("Two Years On").

The Break-down:

  • Only directly quotes what is needed
  • Original content introduces the quote

Best :)

Though both the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt are believed to be remnants of the solar system's formation, the Kuiper belt consists mostly of ice rather than rock, including frozen methane and ammonia as well as water ("Two Years On").

The Break-down:

  • The source material is almost completely re-written
  • This would much more easily fit into the organization of my paper.

WORSE!

A bigger version of the asteroid belt, the Kuiper Belt is a cosmic junkyard, full of rubble believed to be left over from the formation of the solar system. But while the asteroid belt is made mostly of rock and metal, objects in the Kuiper Belt are composed largely of frozen water, ammonia and methane.

The Break-down:

  • No citation is given
  • Even if there were a citation, there are no quotation marks around the words repeated verbatim.
  • A few words have been swapped out for synonyms but this does not actually introduce originality.

Help! APA

APA Style Manual