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Unformatted text preview: Writing and Citing-1- Fall 2006 Writing and Citing October 2005 THIS PAMPHLET offers some advice and guidelines for incorporating source materials reliably and efficiently into original written work. It carries the following editorial messages: Using source material, including the texts that are your primary sources mentioning them, quoting from them, and referencing your uses isnt some obscure supplement to writing good critical essays. Its part of the writing process that results in good prose written for a public audience. Citing and making reference are elements of a simple and reasonable code that should be followed in all writing done for an audience that needs to be fully informed. Mastering that code helps you avoid accidental or unconscious plagiarism, i.e. representing others ideas or words as your own, an offense punishable under Cornells Academic Integrity Code. Just as important, it allows you to control the flow of information to your readers, to write with mature authority, and to further the development and stress the originality of your thought. Of the three referencing systems current in academia "MLA," "APA," and "Chicago" you should use the one that is standard in the discipline or context in which you are writing. MLA style is standard in most humanities courses and publications, so we follow it in this pamphlet. Each one provides a way of conveying lots of information about your sources and subject matter economically to an audience that knows how to make sense of that referencing system. To use it well, you have to be able to read it well and understand its principles, which are reflected in the examples we provide. What's here In this pamphlet, you'll find an explanation of how citation works ("The Hamlet Example"); a sample essay on The Maltese Falcon, book and film ("The Falcon Example"); remarks on the mechanics of citation and reference (sections 3-7); a list of further resources to consult (section 8). But first, an assumption about audience Writers often assume that, because the chief reader of an essay is the instructor (who knows the texts under discussion and may even have shaped the essay by giving an assignment), they don't need to supply contextual information about the texts they discuss or about their own purposes in doing so. This is not the best assumption to make. Even readers entirely familiar with your texts will profit from being reminded of how your quotations and summaries fit into those texts as you understand them. Moreover, if you get into the habit of supplying identifying and contextual information when you write, you will be led to develop your ideas further and show their consequences. A good rule: write for an audience that has read, but may not perfectly remember, the works you're writing about and won't mind hearing extra information about them if it's tactfully presented....
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