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Research, Sources, and citation. How to find sources for your research paper How to properly use and cite your research and avoid plagiarism. Reminders: Suggestions for Beginning Research. Make a list of terms and phrases that might get you good search results for your question.

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research sources and citation

Research, Sources, and citation

How to find sources for your research paper

How to properly use and cite your research and avoid plagiarism

reminders suggestions for beginning research
Reminders:Suggestions for Beginning Research
  • Make a list of terms and phrases that might get you good search results for your question.
    • For example, for my science fiction and homphobia/gay characters question, I might make the following list:
      • Science fiction and prejudice
      • Sci-fi and sexism
      • Science fiction and prejudice
      • Science fiction and homophobia
      • Science fiction civil rights
      • Science fiction gay representation
      • Science fiction social justice
        • Etc.
  • Try different combinations of words that might get you results. If you don’t find what you want immediately, change your search terms and try again.
    • Once you do find a source or two, see if there are any common phrases you might add to your list.
  • Use quotation marks to find only those words in that order!
research lamc library resources
Research: LAMC Library Resources
  • Frequently Asked Research Questions Answered by LAMC Librarians
  • Where to start:
  • Database Resources:
    • Do several sample searches, show students how to use keywords and how to find sources in most helpful databases:
      • EBESCOHost - general
      • Academic OneFile – general
      • Opposing Viewpoints and CQ Researcher – contemporary issues, broad overviews
      • Ebook Collection
      • Ethnic NewsWatch – if you are focusing on minority representation in any way.
other search engine resources
Other Search Engine Resources
  • Not your everyday Google Search—using tabs to get better results: News and Books
  • Google Scholar
  • Wolfram Alpha – for facts and definition (new, still in process)
general internet research wikipedia reminders
General Internet Research: Wikipedia Reminders
  • Do not ever cite Wikipeida as a source. It is NOT considered a reliable or academic source.
    • If you absolutely cannot find the information anywhere else, you may look at a Wikipedia entry for ONE PURPOSE ONLY: To use their citation system to find the ORIGINAL SOURCE of the information. When you see a number link in a wiki article, click and it will take you to a citation at the bottom of the page. You may use this to go to the original source.
      • If the claim or information is not cited, it cannot be fully trusted. Do not use it, or search for it elsewhere.
there are three steps to using sources
There are Three Steps to Using Sources:
  • Find sources and choose the best ones for your purpose.
  • Read the sources carefully, keeping track of your own reactions to the author’s ideas and using your sources as a springboard for your own contribution to the discussion.
  • Use the sources in your essay, giving proper credit in the body of the essay and at the end, using MLA format.
more advice on sources
More Advice on Sources
  • Just because you find a source and read it doesn’t mean you have to use it. If you read a source and don’t like it, keep looking.
  • Keep researching throughout the writing process. If you find a wonderful source with all kinds of good ideas you want to respond to after you wrote a draft, that’s fine. Include that source and your response when you revise.
  • Keep track of every source you use ideas or quotes from in your paper. You will need to be able to find the source again when you give it credit.
using sources and giving credit
Using Sources and Giving Credit
  • Once you’ve found your sources, read them, took notes, and you’re ready to use your sources in your essay.
  • So… which quotes should you use?
    • Quotes that contain ideas you want to respond to.
    • Quotes that show something you are making a point about.
    • Quotes where the original source’s wording is especially good or important to your response.
    • Quotes that contain ideas that would make most people want proof.
  • Any quote you use should have an explanation/response that is TWICE AS LONG as the original quote. If a quote takes up two full lines of your paper, the explanation/response to that quote should take up FOUR.
what is mla format
What Is MLA Format?
  • MLA Stands for “Modern Language Association”
  • The MLA makes rules for the writers of research papers in English and the Humanities so that everyone who is doing research is following the same set of rules and we can all understand each other.
what kinds of things do i need to do to have correct mla format
What kinds of things do I need to do to have correct MLA Format?
  • Part of MLA style is format.
    • Margins
    • Heading
    • Font, etc.
    • Please see the formatting example that is on the class blogfor my expectations on formatting.
  • Part of MLA style is citation.
    • This means giving credit to your sources and avoiding plagiarism.
    • Citation is also meant to make is easy for your reader find your sources if he or she wishes to read them.
mla citation has two main parts
MLA Citation has two main parts:
  • Parenthetical citations. Ex: (Anderson 3)
    • Are in the body (main text) of your essay.
    • Come after each paraphrase or quote that you did not write or think of yourself, you must indicate which source you are using in order to avoid plagiarism. Consult your textbook, a handbook, or the handout on Moodle for more detail.
  • A Works Cited page:
    • On its own page at the end of your essay
    • Lists every source you used in alphabetical order by the last name of the author.
    • Each works cited entry must contain specific information in a specific order. Consult a handbook or the handout on moodle for more details.
four basic rules for avoiding plagiarism
Four Basic Rules for Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Make sure all word-for-word quotes have quote marks showing where they begin and end.
  • Make sure to make the difference between your ideas and your sources’ ideas clear when paraphrasing.
  • Identify where each quote OR paraphrased idea came from in the body of your paper using in-text citations.
  • Make sure that each source you quote OR paraphrase in your paper is correctly listed on your Works Cited page.

Pass out the Incorporating Sources Handout and ask students if they printed the MLA Templates Handout

some myths about plagiarism
Some Myths about Plagiarism:
  • Myth 1: As long as I have a source on my works cited page, I don’t have to mention it in the body of my paper.
    • WRONG! Any time you use ideas or words from a source, you must include an in-text citation.
  • Myth 2: As long as I change one or two words in a quote, I don’t have to put quote marks around it or do a citation.
    • WRONG! Changing one or two words in a quote and replacing them with synonyms is STILL PLAGIARISM if you keep the original ideas and/or sentence structure.
  • Myth 3: As long as I paraphrase correctly, using my own words and sentence structure to express an idea or give information, I don’t need an in-text citation.
    • WRONG! Even if you use your own words, if the specific idea/information originally came from somewhere else, you must cite it.
more myths about plagiarism
More Myths about Plagiarism:
  • Myth 4: I don’t need to cite exact words, ideas or information I find on the internet.
    • WRONG! Treat your internet sources with the same respect you have for your print or online database sources.
  • Myth 5: It is appropriate to use an old essay from a friend, buy an essay, or have someone help me write an essay using his or her wording instead of mine.
    • WRONG! All of these are called collusion, and they are all plagiarism.
  • Myth 6: I won’t get caught if I plagiarize.
    • WRONG! Plagiarism is quite obvious to most professors, and many of them use plagiarism detecting software.
resources to help you avoid plagiarism
Resources to Help you Avoid Plagiarism
  • Online plagiarism tutorial and quizzes from Simon Fraser University
  • Plagiarism Self Test from Western Carolina University
  • University of Southern Mississippi’s Plagiarism Tutorial
so you know you have to quote
So you know you have to quote….
  • ….but what is the BEST way to quote? It’s not a good idea to simply “drop in” a quote without making it a part of your own sentence.

Original Quote from the source:

    • “He is already fighting hard to stay alive. Which also means that kind PeetaMellark, the boy who gave me the bread, is fighting hard to kill me.”
  • Drop-In Quote:
    • Katniss remains suspicious of Peeta. “Which also means that kind PeetaMellark, the boy who gave me the bread, is fighting hard to kill me” (Collins 60).
  • Integrated Quote:
    • Katniss remains suspicious of Peeta. When she realizes that he is “already fighting hard to stay alive”, Katniss decides that “the boy who gave me the bread is [also] fighting hard to kill me” (Collins 60).
the quote sandwich
The “Quote Sandwich”
  • This is a way to integrate quotes into your paper smoothly and avoid drop-in quotes.
  • The first piece of “bread”
    • Introduce quote, possibly mention author, connect quote to what you were saying before.
  • The “Meat”
    • Your quote, correctly cited with in-text citation.
  • The second piece of “bread”
    • Interpretation/explanation of quote (NOT simply rewording the quote), connect quote to what you will say next.
online examples of quote sandwiches
Online Examples of Quote Sandwiches
  • Notice that both of these examples make the quote a part of a sentence the essay author wrote, and notice that both examples give credit to the source’s author.

Use the Quote Sandwich method to structure paragraphs!

By using a detailed quote sandwich, we can write whole paragraphs using only one quote/point

example of detailed quote sandwich using 2 different sources and comparing them
Example of detailed quote sandwich using2 different sources and comparing them:

Introduce quote from literature

Quote w/in-text citation

Analysis of quote

Introduction of outside source

Outside source quote w/in-text citation

Analysis of quote and connection to thesis and main point

The poverty that faces District 12 is vividly described in the novel. The narrator, Katniss, describes how the people are so hopeless and defeated that they have “hunched shoulders and swollen knuckles” and they have even “stopped trying to scrub the coal dust out of their broken nails [or] the lines of their sunken faces” (4). In this sentence, Suzanne Collins describes the conditions of poverty and hopelessness, using words like ‘sunken’ and ‘hunched.’ All throughout the chapters that describe District 12 the language portrays a broken down people who have no hope because of their overwhelming poverty and hunger.Many readers may think that such poverty cannot exist in real life, or if it does it is only in other far-away countries. However, research into the poorest areas of America tells a different story. There are many communities and neighborhoods that are just as poor, oppressed, and downtrodden as District 12. In fact, there are many neighborhoods in the United States where the average salary per household is shockingly “below minimum wage” and even “two or three full time workers in a single household may not be enough to pay for basic necessities like rent, food, and medical care” (Scheckner). It is clear that although American Society may not be as obviously oppressive as the Capitol in The Hunger Games, there are still some very serious problems with our economic system when a hard-working family cannot even afford the basics without relying on credit cards, government aid, or working like a slave at more than one job.

example disagreement
Example Disagreement

Introduces article, summarizes point to be discussed, gives credit to author using in-text citation.

Responds to article with your own opinion

Voice indicating phrase, identifying that these aren’t my ideas.

Further explanation of why the writer disagrees.

  • In the article “Why the Odds are Still Stacked against women in Hollywood,” the author interviews several women who believe that women are partially to blame for the gender imbalance in Hollywood, citing women’s tendency not to self-promote and to seek approval in a way that hurts their careers (Masters). However, by focusing on what women are doing wrong, the article overlooks the deeper problemof a business that seems to deny equal opportunity to women no matter what they do. If a woman acts boldly, “like a man,” in order to be successful, she risks getting a reputation as bossy and hard to work with, thereby missing out on opportunities. But if we are to believethe women Masters interviews, if a woman acts feminine and accommodating, she loses big opportunities to those who are willing to be more pushy. This is a choice with no right answer, no matter how a women chooses to present herself. Women in the entertainment industry should have opportunities based on merit alone, and now socially enforced ideas about “how women (should) behave”.
example agreement
Example Agreement

Introduces article, quotes point to be discussed, gives credit to author using in-text citation.

Agreement + backing up their points

Further explanation of why I agree, adding something to the conversation.

  • Deryl Hannah argues that representations of gay and lesbian people of color are important because to portray the LBGT community and its allies as entirely white would “inaccurately promote a world in which it would appear that LGBT people of color do not exist, or that acceptance of LGBT people is exclusive to white populations” (Hannah). I agree with Hannah that inaccurate portrayals of the diversity within the gay and lesbian community are troubling, a point that needs emphasizing because many people still believe that minority communities are backward and intolerant when it comes to their own LBGT members. To portray white communities as “enlightened” and accepting and minority communities as oblivious at best and bigoted at worst perpetuates old, ugly racial stereotypes.
example agree and disagree at once
Example Agree and Disagree at Once

Introduces article, quotes point to be discussed, gives credit to author using in-text citation.

Agree and Disagree, using “Although ” or “however”

Further explanation of the point on which I disagree.

  • In the article “Tyler Perry’s Money Machine,” Eugene Robinson argues that even though Tyler Perry has been called formulaic, he is successful because he is one of a very small number of film makers who is making films that portray African Americans as “people relating to other people” (347). Although I agree with Robinson up to a point, and I certainly see the importance of films in which minority characters are fully rounded, not stereotypes, I cannot accept his overriding assumption that African-American viewers are “settling” for Perry’s films only because there is nothing better that portrays them positively. In this time of dwindling ticket sales and increasing ticket prices, Perry’s overwhelmingly black audience must be getting something more out of his movies than positive representation and cliché humor, as Robinson suggests.
review using sources right
Review: Using Sources Right!
  • ALWAYS enclose words that are not your own in quotes.
  • ALWAYS make a quote the part of your own sentence.
  • ALWAYS have an author or article name and page number in parentheses after the quote.
  • ALWAYS give credit to authors whose ideas you use, even if you are not quoting them directly.
  • ALWAYS make sure that the quote is sufficiently introduced and in context.