Handout -- Citation

Handout -- Citation - Using Sources a Few Basic Principles...

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Using Sources: a Few Basic Principles You don’t want to rely too heavily on a single source for three reasons: 1) The source might turn out to be biased or inaccurate, in which case your entire paper is sunk, 2) Readers have less confidence in a paper that relies on a single source (see reason #1), and 3) Readers expect a paper to synthesize multiple viewpoints and materials, thus saving them the same trouble. A single-source paper leaves the reader thinking, “Why am I bothering with this when I could easily have a look at the source myself!” When quoting a source that is in turn quoting a source – a web page quoting J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone , for example – you should cite only that which you have looked at yourself (in this case, the web page, not the novel). The best thing, of course, to dig up a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and quote from it directly. This eliminates your dependence on the accuracy and good faith of the person who devised the web page. In this case, you would cite only the novel. Citation and Parenthentical Notes The Modern Language Association (MLA) is the chief professional organization of literary scholars in the U.S. Among other things, the MLA is the acknowledged authority on matters of citation. For complete and authoritative information on citation, see the Modern Language Association Handbook for Writers of Research Papers (5 th Edition). Here are the very basic principles. .. When you borrow someone else’s idea or language, you must indicate your source by inserting a parenthetical note in the body of your text. Where authorship is clear, the parenthetical note will contain only a page number, as follows: Maya Angelou writes that her father “wore his amused impenetrable face constantly” (228). Author name is included whenever the text or context does not make authorship clear: Some fathers wear what might be called an “amused impenetrable face” (Angelou 228). Book title is included whenever a paper quotes more than one work by the same author: Angelou writes that her father “wore his amused impenetrable face constantly” (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings 228). Notice that quotations ending with question marks or exclamation points retain their original punctuation, while a period is added after the parenthetical note: Angelou asks, “How long, merciful Father?” (132).
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Notice that the parenthetical note goes at the end of the sentence even when the quotation appears at the start or towards the middle of the sentence. We do note write: Dante is “world-great not because he is world-wide, but because he is world-deep” (128), according to Carlyle. But rather:
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This note was uploaded on 09/20/2009 for the course ENGL 102 taught by Professor Frost during the Spring '07 term at UNC.

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Handout -- Citation - Using Sources a Few Basic Principles...

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