INLS161-001 Fall 2021

Tools for Information Literacy

Citations and their uses

Why do we need citations in our documents?

UNC's library has a good discussion on the topic

Quality academic writing is built upon the work of others, to which we add our own unique analysis and contributions. Citations serve three major roles in scholarly work:

  1. They allow you to show how your argument is built upon the ideas of others.
  2. They allow you to indicate which ideas are taken from others, and from whom those ideas were taken; in other words, to give credit where it's due.
  3. They allow the interested reader to follow your argument and confirm its logic by investigating the ideas on which the argument is built, or to further explore those ideas on their own.

Of course, not all documents are "scholarly work" and thus not all documents need citations. But when they do, the tools in MSWord can aid you in creating a list of works consulted.

Which style should we use?

Again, many university libraries have recommendations for citation styles, but the general guidelines are pretty straightforward.

It's best not to assume which one is preferred; it's best to ask the individual who will read the paper to find out the style to use.

An issue with MSWord's tool

APA has been updated to the 7th edition, but the MSWord tool is still using the 6th edition. The differences in editions may be minor, but they may be enough to make APA in MSWord unusable for you.

[MSWord 365 showing citation styles]

The tool, however, can still generate a good bibliography for you, based on inline citations you create (even if the inline citations might have to be hand modified to reflect the current edition styles).

[MSWord 365 showing how to create an MLA citation]

And then, when you are done, the list of citations can generate a formatted bibliography for you.

[MSWord 365 showing bibliography based on created MLA citations]
Here, we create the citation, and the bibliography tool uses our creations to generate a bibliography.

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