Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to cite: A simple guide for JHC that will do for most things but not all of them

This is a very basic guide to citation for academic paper, or for anything that asks for a source. I’ll also be covering where to find papers.

1.       1. Make Google Scholar your friend

Google Scholar (http://scholar.google.co.in/) is a search engine specifically for academic papers. If you’re looking for, say, studies on internet use, this is what your search results will look like:



Other resources for finding papers are PubMed, JStor, Google Books, etc.

2.      2.  What is citation?

Citing something means saying that something is the source of the information you are providing. Every single thing in your paper needs to be cited, unless it is original empirical research. EVERY SINGLE THING. 

There are many conventions for citation such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc. We will be following APA.

There are 2 ways you should be citing:

a.       In-text citation

This means you cite the source after writing a fact (or opinion). For example,

The economics of happiness is a complicated subject. Many forms of consumption give more pleasure at first than they do over the long haul. (Layard, 2002)

That thing in brackets is your intext citation. Layard is the last name of the author of the paper you are citing from, and 2002 is the year it was published. If there are two authors, you cite it such: (Layard and Benning, 2002). If there are more than two authors, you cite it such: (Layard et al., 2002).

b.      Referencing at the end

All the papers you have cited, and others that you have consulted but not cited, need to be cited at the end of your paper. This is usually not as easy as the above. For example, the above paper will be referenced like this:

Layard, R. (2005). Rethinking public economics: The implications of rivalry and habit. Economics and Happiness, 147-170.

This includes name of the paper, the name of the journal, the page numbers in the journal, sometimes the issue number. There’s a set format, but don’t worry – Google makes everything easy. When you search for something on Google Scholar, click on the small “Cite” below the result:



A screen like this opens up:



Simply copy and paste the entry for APA :)

So basically you have to make a section after your paper titles “References” and write all the references like this in alphabetical order (of the author’s last name).

And that’s it! Remember – cite everything. And keep track of where you’re getting info from, so cite as you go. It looks daunting but I promise it isn’t!

Good luck.

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