C HAP T E R
RESE ARCH PAPER
338 Chapter 14 documenting a research paper
14.1 Avoiding plagiarism. 14.2 Determining when to cite or not cite a source.
In this chapter you will learn techniques for the following:
14.3 Applying the MLA format for in-text citations, a works cited page, and a research paper.
14.4 Applying the APA format for in-text citations, a references page, and a research paper.
Would you walk into a store, take something off the shelf, and shove it into your backpack because you think no one is looking? That is unethical, right? Stealing someone’s words or ideas without properly citing them is just as wrong. Many people cringe when they hear the word plagiarism, especially college students and English teachers. To understand how to avoid plagiarism, you need to be sure of exactly what it entails. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, there are four definitions for the verb plagiarize: 1. To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own 2. To use (another’s production) without crediting the source 3. To commit literary theft 4. To present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source All of these definitions represent serious forms of academic dishonesty. The consequences for committing plagiarism at the college level range anywhere from failure of an assignment or the entire course to permanent dismissal from college. This problem goes beyond school. In the workplace, people can be terminated for plagiarism. However, there is no need to panic. If you learn the proper techniques for avoiding plagiarism, then you will have nothing to fear. Basically, unless you are reporting commonly known facts or your original ideas, you need to document every source that you incorporate into your essay to avoid plagiarism. For example, if you are writing an essay on the effects of television violence on young children, and you want to include some statistics to support your thesis, then you would need to cite your source. Similarly, in a persuasive essay you may want to include a quote from a famous doctor about a new medical treatment for curing the common cold. To cite sources in some types of essays, your instructor may allow you to note the source in your paper with an informal citation, as the following fictitious examples illustrate: Examples of Informal Citations ■ According to psychologist Amy Telly, children who watch television for more than 50 hours per week are more likely to demonstrate violent behaviors at school than children who watch fewer than 25 hours per week.
■ As Dr. Maverick stated in the introduction to his book Killing a Cold (2011), “Incredicold is the ESOL Tip > biggest breakthrough in cold treatment since the Some countries do not emphasize plagiarism in invention of the tissue.” academia as much as the United States. Be sure you know the correct documentation guidelines. ■ Incredicold is a new product that is taken orally, in gel or pill form, that helps to relieve patients of nearly all of their cold symptoms (www.incredicold.com). Citing sources in the methods shown above is appropriate for some writing situations. Your instructor may ask you to provide a copy of the original source(s) to be sure that you summarized, paraphrased, and/or quoted materials correctly (see Chapter 13 for more on note taking). However, if your primary assignment is to write a formal research paper, then your instructor will probably require that you follow the specific guidelines of the Modern Language Association (MLA) or the American Psychological Association (APA). The rules for each format are extremely precise, so follow the directions very carefully so that you document your papers correctly and avoid plagiarism.
Determining When to Cite or Not Cite a Source
1. Common knowledge: Common knowledge...
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