On references and how to cite them.

A common and major problem I'm finding as I grade lab reports is a lack of understanding in how to cite references and provide a properly formatted reference list. I keep having to correct the same general problems over and over. It might be easier to make a list of errors and just circle the ones that are applicable for each paper. So far I have come up with:

The 5 Most Common Citation/ Reference List Errors.

  1. Wikipedia is not an acceptable resource. Neither are other webpages. It must be a published textbook or peer reviewed journal article. These articles might have been retrieved online but they are not solely an online resource- if I went to the library I'd be able to find the article within a published book or journal.
  2. Don't throw references into a list just for looks. Only reference the text book if you actually use the textbook. Also, if the article is in the reference list, then you must cite it somewhere in the paper
  3. Further, you must have citations within your paper; just making a list at the end is not correct.
  4. This is not expository writing or a book review. You are not allowed to use quotation marks. You must paraphrase, in your own words, and then cite the article.
  5. Please check the APA, your writing guide, your 'how to write a properly formatted reference' assignment, or even the references from the article you are citing, to learn the proper formatting for your list.

Failure to cite a reference, or improperly citing references is in fact plagiarism.