The citations in this paper are formatted using MLA, so called because it is a citation standard developed and maintained by the Modern Language Association.
Each in-text citation is color coded to match its corresponding full citation on the Works Cited page.
In reviewing the paper above, you cannot help but notice that there are quite a few in-text citations.
So many that it seems the writer didn’t contribute much to the overall paper.
Good. That's the way it should be. If you don't cite, you're saying you did the research...that's called plagiarism.
For present purposes, 90% or more of your research paper should not be your ideas. You’re not writing an opinion paper. You’re expected to have referenced expert opinions in the field throughout your paper to prove your main idea, your thesis. In most instances, only your thesis statement and your conclusion(s) are not cited.
So, the whole paper (with the exception of your thesis and any general conclusions you make) is basically made up of other people’s ideas and opinions. That’s good; they increase your credibility, which, I believe is the whole idea of writing the paper, right? So cite them and cite them again. Impress your reader.
However, (and this is a big "however") don’t get so carried away with one of these people that you start sounding like them, using their expressions. That's also plagiarism.
You want to “sound” like you. Put it in your words. It’s easy to be writing your draft and because you’re cruising with the writing, you just copy what you read, thinking you’ll go back and change it later. But you don’t. Besides, you like the way they said it.
That one’s easy to spot. Trust me. When you’ve paraphrased something and you think it sounds like you, read the paper to someone you know well. If they don’t think it sounds like you, reword it again.
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