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Why cite references in written work?

Students from elementary to university level will, many times over the course of their scholastic years, present formal written work. There is an old saying, “There is nothing new under the sun,” and this comes from one of the oldest and most referenced written works of all, the Bible. Because of this, every written piece from book report to a doctoral thesis, must be able to cite the references to the resource materials that have been used in their efforts.

There is a quick and easy way to accomplish this, but first, it is important to explain why this is necessary. Why should an author take time to effectively cite references in their written work?

First, to give credit where credit is due. Authors in every genre, put in much time and effort in creating their works. Simply put, they deserve recognition for these efforts. The highest acknowledgement that one can receive for one’s effort in a written work or published piece is to be utilized in another.

Second, to be able to fact check. Carelessness is not acceptable in written work, especially of a scholarly nature, like term papers, and theses, mistakes and erroneous information can be very damaging. In fact any written article should contain citations to any other work that was used, in order to give credibility to work.

Third, it lends credibility to the author. Where an author gets their information, says much about the author. It can lend to his or her character, their in depth approach, and even their dependability. Dependable references equal a dependable written work.  Thus resources an author uses, can testament to the type of person that he or she is. You are known by the company you keep, and this applies to your written or published work as well.

Fourth, to keep you out of “jail,” (or some other form of appropriate punishment.) When and author uses work that is not their own, and does not acknowledge the originator, then they are implying that the work is theirs. This is lying, and stealing.

Now that the “why” has been addressed, the next question is the “how?”

You now have the easiest method of citing your references in any format that is required. It is called “Son of Citation Machine. It will allow you to effortlessly create proper citations in both the “APA” format, (American Psychological Association) style that is used with sources relating to the Social Sciences and the “MLA” format, (Modern Language Association) style that is primarily used in the Humanities. It will also create  Turbainian and Chicago style citation references, as well.

Here is the website: 

Suppose a student wanted to write a paper on a topic such as “Becoming a Writer.” The student has a book that they would like to use a reference from, for example, “The Sound of Paper,” by Julia Cameron. In order to create a citation on “Son of Citation Machine” the student would log onto to the website, and click the style of citation. In this case it would be APA.

Next on the right of the home page, under print, click “Book.”

Finally fill in the requested information about the reference. If it is a quote on page 17, after filling in the blanks, this is how the bibliographic and the in-text citation will appear. The bibliographic will be for the paper’s Bibliography, at the end of the paper:

Cameron, J. (2004). The sound of paper. (p. 17). New York: Jeremy P Tarcher / Penguin Group.

The In-Text citation will be used in the body of the work, at the point where the resource is actually used:

(Cameron, 2004)

This is, by far, the easiest way for today’s author to create correct citations.

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