It’s time for midterms and midterm papers here at SJSU which means that students might be rapidly morphing through mood swings as they write, feeling sometimes like this:
In the haze of a caffeine overload, too much stress, and too little sleep, it’s easy to forget some of those simple fundamentals of paper writing — things like adding page numbers, writing a creative title, or even stapling the pages together.
Today, we’re going to think about another fundamental: how do you know when you need to cite something?
So, here’s a simple rhyme to remember: “when it doubt, cite it out.”
What does that rule apply to?
- 1. If you directly quote a source in your paper. Every time you quote, say, Dumbledore’s wisdom as the opening line of your paper, you should automatically be noting the page number.
- 2. If you paraphrase or summarize a source. Don’t know how to paraphrase properly? You’re in luck — SJSU offers a workshop on the topic, so signup here!
Date: Wednesday, November 9
Instructor: Ines Marjanovic
Location: Clark Hall 100H
- 3. If you refer to the works or idea of another person.
Of course, you may be wondering: when do you not need to cite something?
- If you mention commonly known facts (July 4th is America’s Independence Day, George Washington is the first U.S. president…)
- If you are explaining your own unique ideas.
Simple enough, right? Right! So, stretch your fingers, make another pot of coffee, and good luck on your midterms!