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How to Use Sources When Writing an Essay

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❶For a website, use the specific page, not just the homepage. Entries are listed in alphabetic order.

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MLA In-Text Citations: The Basics

The key to a successful paraphrase is to change both the wording used and the order, or structure, or the sentence. Paraphrases must be cited by attributing to the original source just like quotes. View the Paraphrasing Page and the Using Quotations page for more information. Statistics and other data: The results of studies often result in statistics. This type of data must be cited by providing the name of the person or agency responsible for generating the statistic s.

The use of statistics and other data is common is research essays. If using a secondary source that interprets a study done by someone else, that source must also be cited. View the Primary vs.

Secondary Sources Page for more information. Anytime you, as the writer, are providing or furthering a specific argument made by someone else, this needs to be cited. The same is true of original ideas. A summary is a condensed version of another work put into your own words.

For example, a writer may summarize an entire essay or study, a section or chapter of a book, or even an entire book. When summarizing, be sure to cite all information to the original author by using author ID tags and cite specific information such as stats or quotes with full citations.

View the Summarizing Page for more information. When in doubt, cite. Following this general rule will eliminate plagiarism. Some sites look official, but in reality may be slanted and not evenhanded.

Write your research information on index cards, with the source on the front and your notes on the back. For a book, write the name of the book, the author, the place and date of publication, the publisher and the page numbers.

For a website, use the specific page, not just the homepage. For an encyclopedia, include the name of the series, the volume, the publisher, the date and place of publication and page numbers.

See your style guide for more specific information about presenting your sources. On your index card, give each source a number. If you need more than one card for your notes, give each one the same number if they share the same source. Use this number system to keep track of your sources when you prepare your "Works Cited" list at the end of the essay.

As you use research information in your essay in the form of a quote, paraphrase or summary, you must cite its source either in parenthetical documentation placed after the referenced material or by a footnote or endnote. Parenthetical documentation states the source of your reference with parentheses near the text. Footnotes typically appear at the bottom of the page; endnotes appear at the end of the essay. You must consult your style guide to follow the format correctly. Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida.

A professional writer since , she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education. Use our citation tool to automatically generate your bibliography for any website. How to Write a Source Card.

Citing Sources

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In-Text Citations Use in-text essay citations when you: Add a direct quote to your essay. Paraphrase an idea from a source. Summarize information from a single source. Several citation systems exist, but one of the most commonly used is the author-page system.

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Use this number system to keep track of your sources when you prepare your "Works Cited" list at the end of the essay. As you use research information in your essay in the form of a quote, paraphrase or summary, you must cite its source either in parenthetical documentation placed after the referenced material or by a footnote or endnote.

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In Modern Language Association (MLA) format, these citations include the author, essay title and information about the print or online source where you found the essay, such as the editor, publisher name and publication date. Citing Sources Once a source is found and incorporated into an essay, the source needs to be cited. The information that must be included to cite a source depends on the format (MLA, APA, Chicago Manual of Style) that is being used for the essay.

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Apr 11,  · All direct quotes (and paraphrased ideas) must include a citation of the original source. If you do not cite the quotes used, you risk committing plagiarism and this has serious consequences. The way you cite a source depends on the citation style for your essay or paper. It is important to be aware of the specific rules for quoting according to the citation style you are required to use.5/5(2). If your sources are very important to your ideas, you should mention the author and work in a sentence that introduces your citation. If, however, you are only citing the source to make a minor point, you may consider using parenthetical references, footnotes, or endnotes.