Writing 1 – Summer Semester 2003 – Sara B. Young – Documenting ...


Writing 1 – Summer Semester 2003 – Sara B. Young – Documenting ...

Writing 1 – Summer Semester 2003Sara B. YoungDocumenting Sources

Plagiarism (derived from the Latin word for “kidnapping”) is “the use of someone else’s words without

crediting the other person.” 1 It may be deliberate, such as when a student copies directly from another

source, be it a book, article, web site or another student’s work. It may also be unintentional, a result of

not understanding the guidelines for documentation or of sloppy note-taking, but those are not

acceptable excuses. You are responsible for understanding what material must be documented and you

must do so properly in any assignment you write, of any length, for any class.

You do not have to document: 2

Common knowledge – That Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996 counts as common knowledge.

The exact number of votes he got does not.

Facts available in a variety of sources – That the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor did not

destroy the oil tanks or submarines does not have to be documented, but the argument that

this failure to destroy the submarines caused Japan to lose the war would have to be


You must document: 3

Direct quotations

Facts not widely known or arguable assertions – If you claim that Switzerland is amassing an

offensive nuclear arsenal you would have to document your source, since Switzerland has long

been an officially neutral state and this is not a “fact” available in a variety of sources.

Judgments, opinions – Even if the wording is completely your own, you must acknowledge that

you are quoting someone else’s opinion, judgment or conclusion.

Statistics, charts, table, graphs

Avoid unintentional plagiarism by keeping these guidelines in mind and by taking careful notes. If you

copy a quote directly from a source into your notes, be sure you include quotation marks in your notes.

Do not assume that you will later remember that it is a direct quote. Be sure to also take exact notes on

the source so that you can later document it correctly. Be familiar with the required documentation style

so that you keep track of all necessary information while you are doing your research, and can put

together a complete and accurate bibliography.


“Quoting involves bringing a source’s exact words into your text. Use an author’s exact words when the

wording is so memorable or expresses a point so well that you cannot improve or shorten it without

weakening it, when the author is a respected authority whose opinion supports your own ideas, or when

an author challenges or disagrees profoundly with others in the field.” 4

Quotations are marked by quotation marks. (Please note that in English, quotation marks are “both up”

and not, as in German, „down, then up.")

Punctuation, capitalization and spelling must be exactly the same as in the original. Even if there is a

mistake in the original, you must quote it exactly. To indicate that the error was in the original and is not

a mistake you have made, write “sic” (Latin for “thus) in brackets after the error.

Within a quotation, brackets – [….] – indicate that you have added or changed words (for example, to

clarify the context if you are using only part of a quotation, or to change a sentence grammatically so

that it fits into your text), and ellipses – … – indicate that you have left something out. However, be

careful in editing a quotation that you do not change the meaning!

1 Andrea A. Lunsford. The Everyday Writer, 2 nd ed. (Boston: Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2001), 119.

2 Ibid., 120.

3 Ibid., 120-1.

4 Ibid., 113-14.


“When you paraphrase, you put an author’s material (including major and minor points, usually in the

order they are presented) into your own words and sentence structure. If you wish to cite some of the

author's words within the paraphrase, enclose them in quotation marks.” 5



It is not clear who makes and who is made in the relation between human and

machine. It is not clear what is mind and what body in machines that resolve into

coding practices. In so far as we know ourselves in both formal discourse (for

example, biology) and in daily practice (for example, the home-work economy in the

integrated circuit), we find ourselves to be cyborgs, hybrids, mosaics, chimeras.

Biological organisms have become biotic systems, communications devices like

others. There is no fundamental, ontological separation in our formal knowledge of

machine and organism, of technical and organic. The replicant Rachel in the Ridley

Scott film Blade Runner stands as the image of a cyborg culture’s fear, love, and

confusion. (from Donna J. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, & Women)



As Haraway explains, in a high-tech culture like ours, who makes and who is made,

what is mind or body, becomes unclear. When we look at ourselves in relation to the

real or the mechanical world, we must admit we are cyborgs, and even biological

organisms are now communications systems. Thus our beings can't be separated

from machines. A fine example of this cyborg image is Rachel in Ridley Scott’s Blade



As Haraway explains, it is unclear who is the maker and who is the made. It is unclear

what in the processes of machines might be the mind and what the body. Thus in

order to know ourselves at all, we must recognize ourselves to be cyborgs. Biology

then becomes just another device for communication. As beings, we can't separate

the bodily from the mechanical anymore. Thus Rachel in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner

becomes the perfect symbol of cyborg culture.


As Haraway’s entire chapter demonstrates, today the line between person and

machine is forever blurred, especially in terms of the binary coding systems used by

computers to “know.” If knowing thyself is still important, then, we must know

ourselves as “cyborgs, hybrids, mosaics, chimeras.” Moviemaker Ridley Scott

provides a good example of this mixture in the character of Rachel in Blade Runner.


“A summary is a significantly shortened version of a passage or even a whole chapter or work that

captures main idea in your own words. Unlike a paraphrase, a summary uses just enough information to

record the points you wish to emphasize.” 7


Haraway says humans today are already part machine, and she cites the Ridley Scott movie

Blade Runner as an example.

Caution! In paraphrasing or summarizing, be sure you always clearly introduce the paraphrase or

summary so that the reader understands that what you are about to say is your report of what someone

else has said. If your paraphrase or summary is several sentences long, be sure each sentence is

clearly marked as part of the paraphrase or summary. German has the verb form Konjunktiv I (habe,

solle, usw). for this, but English has no equivalent.


“Professor of linguistics Deborah Tannen says that she offers her book That’s Not What I

Meant! to “women and men everywhere who are trying their best to talk to each other.” Tannen goes on

to illustrate how communication between women and men breaks down and then to suggest that a full

awareness of ‘genderlects’ can improve relationships.”

5 Ibid., 115.

6 Ibid., 116-17.

7 Ibid., 117.

8 Ibid., 118.

9 Ibid., 127.

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