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Criminal Justice Technology: Writing and Citing

The Criminal Justice Technology program is a sequence of courses that prepares students for Criminal Justice professions. Learning opportunities develop academic, occupational, and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention,

Online Citation Guides

What Is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism = Using someone else's words, thoughts, or work without proper attribution through citation.

Hand marking out artist signature and writing mine

https://pixabay.com/en/quality-hand-write-pen-signature-500958/ (public domain)

Committing plagiarism, intentionally OR accidentally, can result in a grade of 0 and other serious repercussions.

Important Citation Information

RESEARCH TIP:  This page lists style manuals and citation guides available online or in print at Lanier Technical College Libraries.  These resources will help you create your own properly formatted citations for information sources you use in your research assignments.

HOWEVER, be aware that many databases like those in GALILEO offer pre-formatted citations for their content, formatted in MLA and other common styles . Look for a Cite or similar link when you're viewing a database record for an article or other resource that you need to cite. Keep in mind that these citations still need to be checked against current citation standards for accuracy.

Using Citation Generators Responsibly

"Citation generators are programs that turn information about a source into a citation that the writer can use in a project. Though many different citation generators exist, most follow this general process:

  1. The generator receives information about a source. Usually, this comes from the user: he or she types the source’s author, title, publication date, and so on.

  2. The generator processes this information according to settings the user has specified (e.g., the citation style and the medium). This usually means putting the pieces of information received in Step 1 into the correct order and applying the correct formatting.

  3. The generator produces a citation (or set of citations) that the user can use. This usually takes the form of text that a user can copy and paste into a project.

The diagram below illustrates this pattern.

Using strings of colored blocks labeled with the type of data they contain (e.g., Author First Name, Author Last Name, Source Title, etc.), this diagram displays how citation machines re-order pieces of user-provided content to create full citations.

Citation generators can be very sophisticated. Some offer additional features not described above. For instance, some generators can automatically locate sources in online databases and fill out entire citations with just a little bit of starting information—the source’s title, for instance. Other citation generators can automatically fix spelling or capitalization errors that the user makes when inputting the source’s information.

What’s important to realize, however, is that citation generators rely on the user’s input and follow set patterns. Citation generators cannot exercise any judgment of their own. They do not “understand” the task of citation in the way that humans do. They can only follow instructions given to them by their users and their programmers.

Thus, writers who use citation generators as if they were definitive authorities (rather than powerful tools) can expose themselves to problems. They may give citation generators inaccurate information (and thus receive incorrect citations) under the incorrect assumption that the generator can “sort out” any errors. They may use citations in ways that don’t make sense because they assume that as long as they have received the “correct” citation from the generator, any usage of this citation is valid. They may simply not think to double-check the citations they receive, and thus miss the occasional errors that even well-designed citation generators can make.

In short, relying entirely on citation generators rather than on one’s judgment as a writer can lead to errors. Below are a set of suggestions that can help you use citation generators wisely."

For more information about citation generators go to https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_citation_machines_responsibly.html

Using Citation Generators Responsibly. Purdue University, https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/using_citation_machines_responsibly.html. Accessed 21 November 2019.

 

Unfortunately, there isn't an exact science when it comes to citations. The below list will give you some guidance when trying to figure out citations, but it is important to remember that when in doubt, cite.

Common occurrences when citations are required:

1. Quotations - Any direct quote, no matter how long or short, must be placed in quotation marks and a citation must be used.

2. Paraphrase - Paraphrase is a restatement of another person’s thoughts or ideas in your own words, using your own sentence structure. Though you don't need to use quotation marks, you still need to cite the source.

3. Summary - The main idea(s) of a paragraph, section, or entire article are combined into a sentence written in your own words.

4. Data - Data is specific information, often numerical, that someone would need to look up in order to know.

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Citation Handbooks

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Kathryn Thompson
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