The general concepts presented below apply to all academic disciplines and areas of study. However, since this is a communication course, the formatting specifications below represent the expectations of this instructor in  this course  and are grounded in style sheets commonly used within the humanities such as  the A.P.A. [American Psychological Association],  M.L.A. [Modern Language Association] , or the Chicago Manual of Style,  and . You should also refer to the example citations given in your textbook.



> What is "Intellectual Property" and why should I care?

>How important is Source Citation in  this course?

>What material and/or utterances need to be "cited"?

>Won't I sound boring -- as of I am reading from an encyclopedia ?

>If I paraphrase, do I still need to give a source citation?

> What's incremental plagiarism? 

  - {intellectual property} As in many "literate" societies/civilizations, we live in a culture which believes in the ownership of ideas. The whole concept of copyright laws exemplifies our principle that the person who first develops something is the one who deserves to get the credit & control over it. This principle also applies to creative material, such as fiction, songs, art, and design.  Consequently, in U.S. culture, there is an expectation that when you use the unique ideas, phrasing, research, images, etc. as created by someone else,  you should acknowledge that source  via a citation. Of course, there are some cultures and co-cultures with different attitudes about the ownership-of-the-word and the true originality of thought, but this class will reflect the practice of honoring Intellectual Property that characterizes macro U.S. culture.


 - {for this course} In this class you will be continually presenting your ideas in written as well as oral formats. In order for your message to have any credibility at all, you will need to be perceived as an honest and knowledgeable communicator. In other words, you need to project an aura of knowing what you are talking about while clarifying how you know it. Please be aware that personal reference, hands-on experience, interviews with a live source, and surveys are all variants of sources and should also be cited appropriately. 


 - {what to cite}  - The general deciding factor is the distinctiveness of the material. Sometimes it is difficult to determine that fine line between  supporting material that is concretely unique and material that is generally known.  Other situations are more clear-cut;  you should definitely  give  source information for any kind of statistic,  generalization or  finding  that you use in support of your Thesis/Proposition.


 - {encyclopedia reader} - It takes some practice to develop a smooth source citation style. Too many awkwardly placed citations can make your message sound more like a cut-&-paste of someone else's words or ideas.  In order to get the "hang" of this technique,  listen to experienced speakers [such as lecturers or debaters] and read scholarly writings [such as journal articles, & graduate theses]. You are more likely to find effective citation technique in works that are developing a point or supporting a position, Notice how the writers/speakers cite their sources in order to both credit another's idea/words and also to add credibility to their own message. In general, you will want to be sure to cite the material you are using to support your most important points (Verderber, R. & Verderber, K. (2002) Communicate! (10th ed.). Belmont, CA:  Wadsworth.)

But remember, although it may seem awkward at first, when in doubt, use the citation. 


 - {paraphrase} - Paraphrasing is often described as a way of rephrasing someone else's ideas into your own words. This simple, but workable definition,  doesn't remove the citation responsibility. If you are referring to something that is truly distinct { including someone's particular analysis or opinion} or if you are only changing a few words from the original,  you should still use a source citation.


 - {incremental} - Sometimes communicators don't plagiarize in the conventional sense, but are guilty nevertheless, of  doing it in "increments" (Lucas, Stephen E. (2004). The art of public speaking ( 8th ed.).New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.) Whenever you re-use chunks of someone else's original phrasing, but rationalize that you did not copy the entire thing,  you are not being academically honest.  In order to avoid this problem as well as other easily overlooked instances  requiring a citation, it will help to " careful when taking research notes to distinguish among direct quotations, paraphrased material and your own comments" (Lucas, 2004, p.46). If you are going to be an ethical communicator, you need the citation.

It would also be wise to refer to the guidelines in the Department of Communication's Policy on Academic Honesty




** Book/Article source citations [including newspaper,magazine,journal]: Use the standard format used in APA or MLA for both the in-text citation [e.g.  Hall, 1969) and for the full Works Cited/Bibliographic listing [e.g. Hall, Edward T. (1969). The hidden dimension. Garden City,NY: Doubleday. ]

*** Internet source citations must list the [1] URL,[2] the Title of the particular Webpage you used, [3] the Date that you accessed the page & [4] (If available) the last date that the page itself was updated.




**** Source Citations  Conceptually, citations serve a similar purpose for oral communication that footnotes provide for written communication; however, the content and format differ.

Use your vocal inflections to make the citation slightly stand out from the supporting material you are discussing. State whatever identifying information is necessary to enable the listener to better understand and/or believe what you are saying   [e.g. author/source, date, title,  importance ].


Be careful to ensure that the site you are using has quality and credibility. And then resist the urge to copy & paste material into your work first and to revise/rewrite it later.



updated 1/09