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!
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.
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.
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
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!