Contemporary Canadian Government & Politics:
A Practical Research Guide

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7. Citing Sources Used

Introduction:

Citing, documenting, or acknowledging the sources you use in your research is a key part of any credible research paper or scholarly project. There are a variety of ways to do this, with the most common being in-text parenthetical references, footnotes or endnotes, and a bibliography, works cited or reference list.

Why Cite Sources?
1. To give credit where credit is due; it is morally the right thing to do.
2. To make your research more credible; it allows others to test and verify your conclusions.
3. To strengthen your arguments; basing your work on well-respected sources or excellent previous research obviously carries more weight than relying on unsubstantiated opinion pieces or shoddy research.
4. To save time; when you build on previous research you can cite it instead of having to repeat all the details.
5. To make clear the value or uniqueness of your work; if you have a fresh new idea or analysis, you can demonstrate this by contrasting it with the existing knowledge.
6. It is a legal offence NOT to acknowledge your sources; it is called "plagiarism": stealing other people's ideas or words, and is punishable by law and serious academic sanctions.

How to Cite Sources:
There are dozens of different formats, styles, or standards for citing sources in academic research papers, with each discipline having favoured formats. There is much common ground however, since the goal of each citation style is to make it easy for your readers to identify the sources you used.

You may need to supplement a general guide with more specialized ones that provide more detail and examples for electronic, government or legal sources, but you should do so in keeping with the general principles of the main style guide you are following.

TIP: Find out which citation style is required or preferred by your teacher or professor, or the publication for which you are writing. If none is specified, the following are recommended and widely used in political science, historical or Canadian studies research:

General Guides Internet / Electronic Sources Government Sources Legal Sources Primary Sources
General Guides:
The two most commonly used citation styles in North American academic writing are the MLA style (Modern Language Association) used in the humanities (history, literature & arts), and the APA style (American Psychological Association) used in the sciences and social sciences.
Both formats are used in political science. The humanities style (usually uses notes and bibliography) can accommodate a wider variety of materials cited. The sciences style (author-date system, usually using parenthetical references and a reference list) is more concise. The Chicago Manual of Style provides instruction for both humanities and science styles, with some conventions that differ. The American Political Science Association's style manual is based on The Chicago Manual of Style. Most of these manuals also provide guidance on other aspects of academic writing. Whichever style you use, it is important to be consistent within your paper and to provide accurate and adequate information so that your reader can easily identify the sources cited.

MLA:
MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. By Joseph Gibaldi and P. Franklin. 6th ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2003. 361 p.
Widely used in the humanities. The MLA Handbook is geared to high school and undergraduate university students.
MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing. By Joseph Gibaldi. 3rd ed. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2007.
This MLA Style Manual is intended for graduate students, scholars and professional writers. It covers more advanced issues such as writing a thesis or dissertation, and writing for publication in journals and books.
MLA Formatting and Style Guide. By Purdue University Online Writing Lab. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_mla.html
This is a brief online guide based on the MLA Handbook.

APA
Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: APA, 2001. 439 p.
Widely used in the scinences and social sciences.
APA Formatting and Style Guide. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/handouts/research/r_apa.html
This brief online guide is based on the APA Manual.

APSA
APSA Documentation. University of Washington, Madison Writing Center. http://www.wisc.edu/writing/Handbook/DocAPSA.html
Examples of the American Political Science Association style for formatting notes, reference list entries and parenthetical citations.
Style Manual for Political Science. Washington, D.C.: APSA, 2001. 45 p.
This is the style guide put out by the American Political Science Association (APSA). It is based on the Chicago Manual of Style.

Chicago
Chicago Manual of Style. 15th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. 956 p.
Covers humanities and sciences formats; some conventions differ from MLA and APA styles.
Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation. http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/cmosfaq/tools.html
Examples from the latest edition of the manual show the note and bibliography style and author-date style for several types of sources.

Other
The Political Science Student Writer's Manual. By Gregory M. Scott and S.M. Garrison. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005. 352 p.
Includes advice for writers of all levels on conducting research and writing in political science, as well as citing political science sources.
Writing With Sources: A Guide for Students. By Gordon Harvey. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing, 1998. 60 p.
Written by a professor of the Expository Writing Program, Harvard University, this is an excellent, short, but very helpful manual which explains clearly the conventions of citing sources in the text of a paper, endnoting, footnoting, and other methods of citing common to all styles. It is intended for university level students.
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Internet / Electronic Sources:
The latest editions of the major citation style guides now include lots of examples of how to cite online sources. The following are short excerpts or adaptations available online:

Electronic References: Excerpts from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. By APA. http://www.apastyle.org/elecref.html
A brief guide covering APA citation style for web sites and documents on the web, e-mail, and articles from online databases.
Using Chicago Style to Cite and Document Sources. By Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger. http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/cite7.html
From their publication: Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources, this chapter provides some examples and explanations of citing Internet sources in Chicago style.
Using MLA Style to Cite and Document Sources. By Andrew Harnack and Eugene Kleppinger. http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/online/cite5.html
From their publication: Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources, this chapter provides some examples and explanations of citing Internet sources in MLA style.
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Government Sources:
Brief Guide to Citing Canadian Government Documents. Queen's University Library. http://library.queensu.ca/webdoc/guides/cancite.htm
Includes examples for print and electronic sources.
Citing Government Publications. Koerner Library, University of British Columbia. http://www.library.ubc.ca/govpubs/CitingGovernmentPublications.html
This 2-page guide includes examples for print, microform, and electronic formats for government serials and monographs.
The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: A Manual for Social Science and Business Research. By Debora Cheney. 3rd ed. Bethesda, MD: LexisNexis; Congressional Information Service, 2002. 222 p.
This work is considered the most comprehensive guide to citing government information at all levels of government and in all formats, including electronic. Most examples are for U.S. government documents but Canadian, international, and NGO official publications are also covered.
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Legal Sources:
Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation. By McGill Law Journal. 6th ed. Scarborough, ON: Thomson Carswell, 2006.
Prepared by members of the McGill Law Journal, this bilingual guide is widely used by judges, academics, and Canadian law journals.
Legal Citation. By the Queen's University Law Library. http://library.queensu.ca/law/lrm/legalcit.htm
A brief guide with examples of the most commonly used legal citations, based on the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation.
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Primary Sources:
Archival Citations: Suggestions for the Citation of Documents at the Public Archives of Canada. Ed. by Terry Cook. Ottawa: Public Archives Canada, 1983. 28,30 p. in English and French.
Written by archivists from what is now called the Library and Archives Canada, this brief guide provides the important aspects to include in citing archival materials such as maps, film, television and sound recordings, data files, paintings, drawings and prints, photographs, private manuscripts and government records.
Guide to Citing Archival Records. Archives of Ontario. Customer Service Guide 107. http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/english/guides/csg_107_citing.htm
Gives the elements needed and examples for footnote/endnote and bibliographic entries for information from private fonds, government records series on microfilm, photos, maps, architectural records, films, recordings, and art.
How to Cite Electronic Resources. A Library of Congress Learning Page. http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/start/cite/index.html
Includes examples for citing digitized primary sources such as films, maps, photographs, cartoons, newspapers, sound recordings, etc., in MLA and Turabian-style formats.
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