Because the world is working hard to make sure that your brain hurts, there is more than one way to cite an outside source within an essay. You can feel it throbbing already, can’t you?
|Essay Writing||Writing Elements and Process|
to give credit where credit is due. [guy hands money to girl behind 'Knowledge R Us' counter]
You can quote whoever or whatever you like within a paper…[student steals words from Shakespeare's mouth]
…but if you don’t cite your work, you’re basically giving the impression that those
thoughts or ideas are your own.
The great writers and philosophers of our time probably have better things to do than
sue you for using their words in a high school essay…[student with 'best writer ever' sign around neck]
…but they still wouldn’t love you slinging their ideas about willy-nilly, without giving
them props. Besides, what if your teacher hates a particular
idea? [teacher hands paper back to student]
It’s much nicer when you’re able to blame it on Nietzsche.
But honestly, it all boils down to integrity.
Citing sources is the right and decent thing to do.
You know in your heart that stealing someone’s work is no less of a crime than stealing any
of their physical possessions.
Just like you would never dream of pirating a song or movie online. [kinds watching tv in pirate outfits]
Is that a siren we hear…? But if your conscience isn’t strong enough
to help you avoid the transgression…[conscience getting squished by large boot]
…just stop and consider how failing to cite could negatively affect you.
You could be accused of plagiarism.
Yeah, there are some real jerks out there who plagiarize knowingly…
…hoping to pass off someone else’s genius as their own…[vaccum cleaner sucks brain out of Einstein]
…but if you forget to cite or cite incorrectly, you could be in just as deep doo-doo. [student fall into a prison cell full of dodo]
There are three main citation formats… MLA, APA and Chicago/Turabian
You don’t have to use them all. Instead, check with your teacher and ask which style
they want you to use.
If they ask you to use all three, they probably have a real sadistic streak.
Check for a cat o’ nine tails hanging on the classroom wall. If you see one, high-tail
it out of there. There are subtle differences between the three
styles, so make sure you know the one you’re using backwards and forwards.
For example, every method will ask for the basics, like name, title, publisher and year…
…but the style you’re using will determine what order you should list them in. [order shuffles depending on whether it's AMA, MLA or Chicago]
And keep in mind that there are different ways of citing, depending on the citation
method you’re using…
…not only in your bibliography, or list of works being cited…
…but within the text itself. [example of correct citation]
If you find yourself getting agitated by this process, just breathe deeply and then recite
this simple rhyme:
Rules, Rules are so much fun! Rules are fun for everyone!
Count yourself fortunate that you live in this magical age of online information. [wizard makes a computer desktop appear]
There is plenty of reference management software that can help you to create bibliographies,
…so it isn’t such a pain in the neck, and you don’t have to worry about goofing. [goofy enters screen]
We know you can’t learn everything about citation in a short little video…
…so if you’re interested in learning more… and why wouldn’t you be…
…check out this awesome resource.
They didn’t even pay us to say that. So know your citation style, and stick to
Be careful out there… essay writing can be a dangerous business.
Honestly, wearing a helmet may not be such a bad idea.