Monday, September 20, 2010

Works Cited Entries

More and more students every year are relying on the Internet to do their research. You're probably among them. However, just because it's on the Internet doesn't mean it's free for you to use without citing your sources. In fact, if anything it's probably more important for you to cite sources really carefully so your teacher doesn't get suspicious.

The first step to citing sources -- the thing that is most basic and most widely asked for -- is the works cited page. Later in the week, we'll get into in-text documentation too, which is probably more important but harder to grasp.

What is a works cited page? Well, it's a list of the resources you used to find your information for your research project. It is comprised of entries, which include specific information. A list of Web site addresses, for instance, isn't enough.

For a book entry, you will need to include the author, the title of the book, the city it was published in, the publisher, and the year it was published.

Web site entries can contain a lot of information, but the most common entry includes the following:
  • The author of the page, if available
  • The title of the page or post in quotes
  • The title of the entire site underlined
  • Post date or date the site was last updated
  • Site sponsor, like a college or organization
  • Date you visited the site and got the information you used
  • The entire URL in carats, like this <http://www.writingfromthemiddle.blogspot.com>
It's not enough just to have the entries correct for a works cited page, however. You also have to have the layout right. Here's some hints on what the layout should include.
  1. In the header, right aligned, should be your last name and the page number.
  2. The entire page is double spaced, with no extra line breaks anywhere, not even between the title and the first entry.
  3. The entires are in alphabetical order.
  4. The first line of each entry is flush, or right about against, the left margin.
  5. Every subsequent line of each entry has a hanging indent of half an inch.
All of this can be done in Word or, if need be, written out by hand. There are plenty of resources online with lots of exmples, so make sure you check those out.

No comments:

Post a Comment