MODULE 8: Writing, Style and Documentation, Plagiarism:
Section 3 of 5, STYLE AND DOCUMENTATION, page 3 of 4.



Terminology ... getting the terminology straight isn't quite half the battle, but it is a very good start.

The general term.

For purposes of clarity, this tutorial uses the broad term documentation to refer to the overall process that a writer uses to document his or her information sources.

The short entry.

Example (MLA style):

(Le Carré 191-93)

The citation is the brief entry within the body of the paper. The citation tells the reader which entry (footnote, endnote, reference, or item in a works cited list) gives detailed data about the information source. In some documentation systems, no citation is used, but rather a superscripted number is placed at the end of the sentence, to indicate which numbered note to look for.

The long entry.

Example (MLA style):

Le Carré, John [David Cornwell]. The Constant Gardener. New York: Scribner's, 2001. Print.

The short entry points the reader to the long entry. Either a brief citation or superscripted number within the body of the paper tells the reader where to look for detailed data on an information source ... the author, the title, the publication date, etc.

In APA style, the long entry is called the reference. References are listed at the end of an APA-style paper.

In MLA style, the list at the end of the paper is labeled Works Cited, so there is no special term for a long entry, it is just an entry in the works cited list.

Turabian style presents two documentation systems that the writer can use: Bibliography style and Reference List style.

With Bibliography style, the long entries takes the form of notes (footnotes or endnotes) and, usually, also a bibliography.

With Reference List style, there are references at the end of the paper.

Generic usage.

While it is good practice to know which part of documentation is which, e.g., knowing a citation from a reference/note/or works cited entry, it is also important to be aware that a more generalized use of these terms (or forms thereof) is both common and perfectly acceptable.

When these terms are used in a general manner, they may refer to the entire process of documentation or to either or both of the short or long entries.

"Have you done your citations?" "Have you done your references?" "Have you done your notes?"

"How does MLA say cite an author with a pseudonym?" "How does MLA say reference an author with a pseudonym?"

"Your citations look good." "Your references look good."

"I followed the example reference on page 62." "I followed the example citation on page 62."

"Am I citing this correctly?" "Am I referencing this correctly?"

The key is to realize that however one chooses to refer to the process of documentation or to the elements that comprise it, there is the "short bit" that goes in the body/text of the paper, and the "long bit" that goes at the end of the paper, or, in the case of footnotes, at the bottom of the page.


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