How are citations like grammar? No one expects writers to memorize all the conventions—only to be consistent throughout their projects.
On Monday, September 28, and Tuesday, September 29, the Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research (CMWR) emphasized the “when in doubt, look it up” approach in its How Do I Cite This? Incorporating Sources and Understanding Academic Integrity workshop.
The workshop provided an overview of in-text and bibliographic citations in accordance with MLA and APA styles. Workshop attendees then put these ideas into practice with quoting and paraphrasing activities.
Some participants were interested in whether they were able to modify or shorten quotes. And copresenter Edward E. jumped right in to stress the importance of preserving the author’s original intent when borrowing a quote or idea from a source. He cautioned participants to use ellipses judiciously. For instance, with the quote, “Watch this film if you want to waste two hours of your life that you’ll never get back. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is the best movie of the year,” it would be misleading to quote the author as saying, “Watch this film … this is the best movie of the year” because that would skew the meaning of the original quote.
But not all citations are for quotes, right? What about those ideas you borrow but put in your own words? Paraphrasing can be hard—how do you keep the original point without using the author’s language? Well, we covered that as well.
Missed the workshop? Check out the PowerPoint presentation, APA handout, and MLA handout. Online resources to turn to include the Purdue OWL, APA Style website, and the UCWbL’s citations and style guides.