Documenting means showing where you got source information that's not your own. Remember, a research paper blends your ideas with ideas and information from other sources. Documentation shows the reader what ideas are yours and what information and ideas you've taken from a source to support your point of view.
* By correctly documenting, you establish your credibility as a writer and researcher. You're letting your reader know that you've consulted experts whose ideas and information back up your own thoughts and ideas. Consequently, you make your viewpoint or argument more believable.
* When you don't document correctly, your academic integrity ...view middle of the document...
You do not have to document the information that New York state has places named for English cities, since this is common knowledge.
There are two categories of common knowledge:
* information that's known to the general public
* information that is agreed upon by most people in a professional field
Tip: Sometimes common knowledge can be tricky to define. A good rule is if in doubt, document.
Can You Document Too Much?
If you find yourself needing to document almost every sentence, then it means you have not thought enough about your topic to develop your own ideas. A paper should not be just a collection of others' ideas and facts. Sources should only support or substantiate your ideas
Where to Document
You must identify your sources in two places in your research paper:
* at the end
* in your paper as you use direct quotations or paraphrases and summaries of ideas and information from the sources you've researched
Citing at the end of the paper: Put your notecards with the source information on them in alphabetical order according to the authors' last names, then follow the correct format for providing the essential source information.
Documenting your sources within the text of...