Citations and references
An important part in any written assignment, whether they are essays, reports or research papers, is citation. It is important that all sources of information are acknowledged or cited. It is always a good practice to show where you obtained your information. This is done at the end of your written paper. You should record your references as a single list and in alphabetical order.
Correct and consistent use of a standard referencing convention is essential in producing a report, thesis or paper. Generally, reference books, journals and other articles are reliable sources of information because they have gone through rigorous reviews and editing before they are published. As mentioned earlier, website information does not go through such scrutiny and rigorous process of reviews and editing, therefore web information may contain errors. So, remember to be cautious of information sourced through the Internet. There are several major citation styles used and are adopted by various colleges and universities. The following are the more commonly used citation styles:
- The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS)
- American Psychological Association (APA)
- Modern Language Association (MLA)
The in-text citation
What is meant by “In-text usage”? It means you tell your readers where you obtained your information within the text of your written paper. Therefore you do not need to insert footnotes at the bottom of the page. You make use of the author-date system to cite your sources in the text. You write the author’s last name and the year in the sentence of your paragraph. A reader who needs more information about your source can refer to a separate section at the end of the document entitled “References”.
The following text shows the way of using a direct quotation (highlighted in yellow) where the ideas of the authors are quoted directly. The proper in-text citation (highlighted in pink) needs to be added to show that the ideas/statements originate from the author.
You can also express the ideas of the authors by rephrasing the sentence but still retaining the meaning.
A reference list is a list of all the references which you cited or mentioned in your writing. This list provides the information necessary to identify and retrieve each source. It is different from a bibliography. A bibliography refers to the relevant sources you consulted in your research, but was not mentioned at all in your written paper. Here are the guidelines on preparing your reference list. You should provide complete information on the book or title. Entries should be arranged in alphabetical order by authors’ surnames:
There are many styles of writing references. The two main referencing style used in WOU are APA and Chicago Manual.
To write in APA and Chicago styles, here is the list of examples from different types of resources.
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