Writing Madness Consolation Post #8 – Citations!

The third round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with two writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff will be presenting them over the next few days along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Citations!

by Raven

If you are a student who has written any kind of academic document, then odds are that you’ve been asked to use a citation style. There are several styles that are in place depending on your field of study, and they all have a set of complex rules that require attention to detail. Many students see these citation systems as pointless or a way for their professors to get some kind of sick, twisted enjoyment out of their pain. Professorial conspiracies aside, citations are a staple of academic discourse, and you won’t be able to get away from them. Despite the difficulty of a citation style, there are ways to work through the struggles and make it a less tedious task. Below are three techniques I use when dealing with citation styles.

Note it

When you are researching a topic, you should be keeping careful notes of each source that you find. If you haven’t been doing that, today’s a good day to start. Your notes, in addition to documenting parts of the source itself, should also include bibliographic information about your source. Keeping track of this information early in the process will make it easier for you to utilize a citation style. Having access to all the information that goes in to a bibliography page cuts down the amount of time you have to spend on it considerably since you don’t have to relocate your sources.

Do it as You Go

No one ever said that you had to do your bibliographic page last. For some, this may be the preferred process, but for others, writing the bibliographic page as they incorporate a source into their paper might prove more helpful. The source’s information is fresh in your mind, and it is not difficult to rearrange or delete sources later.

Seek Resources

As mentioned above, citation styles are complex. They have a lot of rules, and those take a while to learn. Even a seasoned citation user has to double check their work to make sure that they have been thorough and included the maximum amount of information required for the citation to do its job. Listed below are resources that will be helpful as you utilize a number of citation styles:

APA (6th Edition)

MLA (7th edition)

MLA 8th Edition

Chicago (Turabian)

Don’t see your citation style you’ve been asked to use listed here? Contact The Learning Hub to see if we can help you sort out your citation struggles and make sure you’re properly referencing all your research in your writing projects!

Don’t forget to vote in our championship round of our Writing Madness event! Voting closes at 12:00pm CST on Tuesday, March 27th!

Writing Madness Consolation Post #6 – Annotated Bibliographies!

The second of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with four writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff have picked two of these four, and over the next few days we will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Annotated Bibliographies!

by Patrick

For the most part, and as some experts have phrased it before, an annotated bibliography contains the name of the document and some notes below it. As simple as that! Some requirements do exist though.

The bibliographic info must go at the top of the page in correct MLA, or APA (or the style of your choice) with a hanging indent; meaning only the first line is flushed with the left margin, while the rest are indented.

Next, you are to write the notes pertaining to that particular document right below the bibliographic lines.  Usually, most of the annotated bibliographies that I have done or dealt with, do the following:

  1. Give a brief overview of the problem and research
  2. Tell the reader of the main findings in the research
  3. Evaluate the experiment and/or source. Checks for biases and limitations.
  4. Explain why it will be use in a research paper, and how it fits in that into that particular discussion.

Annotated bibliographies can vary a tad depending on your professor. For a couple of different takes on how to do one, check out these links to Purdue Owl, and Cornell University’s website.

Embedded below is The Learning Hub’s own handout on Annotated Bibliographies – check it out to learn more!

Writing Madness Consolation Post #8 – Citation!

The third round of our Writing Madness bracket has concluded, which left us with two writing issues that won’t be participating in the next round of voting. The Learning Hub’s writing staff will be presenting them along with specific resources to help you overcome your frustrations with them. This time? Citation!

by Erica

As we’ve finally come to the end of our Writing Madness bracket, we must recognize the fallen. Our writing topics have led a valiant effort to claim the title of “most maddening.” We thank you for your votes and for following us on this journey of frustrations. One of these fallen is Citations, our third place finalist. Citations can be tricky. Beyond just MLA and APA, one of the most challenging parts is knowing when to cite and how to cite. Citations aren’t just another requirement for your paper, but are important ethically as well. When we cite, we give credit for others’ ideas and show that we’re familiar with what has been written about our topic. Here at The Learning Hub, we acknowledge that it can be difficult to know when to cite, what to cite, and how to cite. To help you navigate those questions and prove your ethics and knowledge as a writer, we’ve created a handout to help you avoid plagiarism by citing properly.

For more tips, see the Learning Hub’s handout on writing introductions below, visit the Learning Hub’s website for more handouts on writing skills, make an appointment with a tutor, and keep your eye on this blog!

I hope you found this resource helpful, and remember to check back tomorrow to find out which is the most frustrating writing issue faced by UIS students.

Love at First Cite! – MLA 8th Edition

It’s the handouts we’ve all been waiting for… MLA 8th edition handouts! Yes, handouts. Two handouts.

community

via Giphy

Don’t panic. Breathe.

oprah

via Giphy

Ok. So, why two handouts?

For the eighth edition, MLA is moving to a new system that requests the same information across all sources in the form of core elements and optional elements in the works cited page. The first MLA guide is comprehensive and reviews in-text and parenthetical citations along with how to construct the works cited page.  It describes what each element is and how it appears across different sources. Some terms like “Title of Container” may seem scary and unfamiliar, and this guide goes into a little more detail on what the term means, and is really useful to figure out how to learn the whole citation system.

In contrast, the “cheat sheet” focuses on how to cite specific kinds of sources, like print, electronic, and film. In MLA 7th edition, each time a new source type came out (like citing tweets), MLA would have to construct a new way to cite that source. This meant that writers had to look up how to cite each individual source. This is how many students are used to looking up how to cite a particular kind of source, and the cheat sheet is organized by source type, but still explains where there is flexibility and where you can make your own choices.

Unlike the 7th edition, you might find there is more than one way to cite a source correctly. Depending on your writing context and what you’re discussing in your paper, you may cite that source differently than if you were to use that same source in another paper.

dumbledore-dancing

via Giphy

As a writer using MLA 8th edition, you will find that you are able to make more choices about how you want to represent your source in your works cited page. Learn about your options in the handouts or come book an appointment through The Learning Hub to find out more!

MLA 8th Edition (full handout)

MLA 8th Edition (Cheat Sheet)

If you click on the link below, it will take you to our home site, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts

Love at First Cite! – Formatting Papers in MLA and APA Style

by Sarah

In these two video tutorials, Sarah, our Writing Coordinator, shows you how to properly format your papers in both MLA and APA style. She is using a PC and Microsoft Word to do this, so if you have a Mac, please note that the functuality may be a bit different.

MLA STYLE

mla

APA STYLE

apa

Click on the link below, and it will take you to our homesite, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts

Love at First Cite! – Why Do We Cite?

Welcome to February! This month, we’ll be showing you various handouts, tutorials, and other resources to help you understand citation methods for your academic papers. Hopefully you grow to love it!

In this video, Daymon, a Writing TA with The Learning Hub, explains the importance of citing your sources and how it can benefit your writing.

Click on the link below, and it will take you to our homesite, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts

Love at First Cite! – MLA, APA, and Turabian Styles

Welcome to February! This month, we’ll be showing you various handouts, tutorials, and other resources to help you understand citation methods for your academic papers. Hopefully you grow to love it!

This week, we have our handouts on the three most common styles: MLA (7th edition), APA (6th edition), and Turabian (Chicago) (7th edition). MLA is not current, so if your instructors are asking you to use MLA 8th edition, then stay tuned. We’ll be providing some resources very soon about how to navigate the differences in the new updates.

MLA Style (7th edition)

APA Style (6th edition)

Turabian Style (7th edition)

Click on the link below, and it will take you to our homesite, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts