References and Citations

In your papers, the goal is to provide correctly cited support that is sufficient to substantiate your ideas.

Even in research papers, use sources as support, not in lieu of original thought from you as the paper's author. Use sources that enhance your ideas, but don't let other people's work stand in for your own. Your paper or research assignment should not just assemble other people's ideas. Think of your sources as backing you up in a fight, but not charging in to fight in your place.

You should connect what you write to the source material and explain the source material's relevance. Don't let a quote hang there unexplained, and never end a paragraph on someone else's words. Always tie up a quote with your own words.

Use of others' writing for support needs to be fair and accurate; quotes require context that is true to the original and cannot be stretched or spun in different directions to suit your own purposes. If the material you want to use does not support your point when contextualized and presented accurately, find other material that does.

Many programs at UMGC, including yours, use APA style for academic documentation. Cite your sources appropriately and accurately (e.g., using the author's last name, listing multiple authors when applicable). Consult your APA guide or the UMGC library's resources to make sure you know the correct formatting for your references and in-text citations, or search online for more examples of the type of citation you need. This process doesn't need to be stressful; it requires attention to detail, but it's really just following a template. If you can follow a recipe, you can follow the APA style guidelines.