Citation & Grammar Quickies:
Answers to Some Most Commonly Asked Questions
Just click on any topic to begin:
Thank you #HarryStyles... #Grammar and mechanics count! This is similar to another common mistake, "Your Welcome." The CORRECT spelling is "You're welcome," and it is a complete sentence, just with a contraction.
When citing an article title that ends in a question mark, use a shortened version of the title to avoid double punctuation concerns: ("Is Facebook depression real?," 2014). Cite in this manner: ("Is Facebook depression," 2014). If the entire title is used, use the question mark instead of the comma as it is stronger in punctuation hierarchy.
I hope this is helpful!
THERE, THEIR AND THEY'RE: HOW CAN I REMEMBER THE DIFFERENCE? [TOP]
Here's a great way to remember these words --
THERE means "location" because HERE is in the word.
THEIR is indicative of possession because HEIR is in the word.
THEY'RE can only be used in a sentence when THEY ARE would also make sense:
They're going to the mall with their friends after their parents get there.
"They are" going to the mall with their (possessive) friends after their parents get there (location).
I hope this is helpful. :)
DO I USE A PLURAL OR SINGULAR VERB WITH THE SUBJECT "SOCIAL MEDIA?" [TOP]
Good news... depending upon its use, you may use either a singular or plural verb for accurate sentence construction! Consider these similar nouns: jury, group, class, and family for example. These are COLLECTIVE NOUNS. Like a family that is a SINGLE entity made up of more than one person, social media is a classification of a particular type of website. These sites perform functions related to social networking that fall into this class of applications found online.
Singular use example:
Social media handles the decline in focus among students.
Plural use example:
A way to help clarify the proper use of this noun as a plural subject is by defining the media to which you are referring:
The second example has a much stronger construction providing even greater clarity on the subject matter.
I hope this is helpful!
HOW DO I PREVENT MY DOCUMENT FORMAT FROM SHIFTING WHEN I SAVE? [TOP]
Setting your document format first, will help alleviate dancing margins and page inserts when re-opened. Most courses will require a Word compatible document for submission. Documents not originally created in Word can change when re-opened. In order to prevent this, it is best to use a format that is compatible with most word processing programs. If you are not using an Office program, .rtf format can help prevent document format changes.
BEFORE YOU BEGIN TYPING, open a blank document and Save As, selecting the Rich Text Format option from the dropdown menu. You may save it as a template in order to retain the formatting or you may simply take this step before beginning a writing project that requires a Word compatible document.
Rich Text Format documents can take up more space than other word processing formats so be carefully to remain within limits that will not interfere with successful uploading and submission of your assignments.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD CITATIONS BE PLACED IN A TEXT? [TOP]
This is a good question and one many student writers ask. I encourage you to use no more than five percent (5%) of direct quoting in your works to encourage "more of the writer, less of the source."
Where to cite and how often depends on the amount of information used in the preceding writing and its format. Usually, for summarized or paraphrased material, a citation at the end of the paragraph is fine. Citation must always immediately follow direct quotes, however.
The use of signal phrases can help add variety in presentation but it is best to over cite instead of “undercite” until you feel more comfortable with the process. In addition, remember, there must be an intext citation for every entry on the reference page. Here is a great resource for additional consideration: Walden University Writing Center: How and When to Cite in a Paper
USE CITATION SOFTWARE WITH GREAT CAUTION [TOP]
Mastery of citation and research principles are required in order to properly use software assisted citation. Unless the writer is able to recognize errors, inputs into the software assisted technology will only produce inaccurate citations. The only way to truly test the effectiveness of software-assisted citation is by knowing the proper formatting (or having a good understanding of the foundational rules) so you can recognize errors. Otherwise, you only stand to DECREASE academic writing scores due to incorrect citation.
HOW TO PARAPHRASE AND SUMMARIZE MATERIAL [TOP]
One of the easiest techniques in paraphrasing (taking information and recreating it in your own words) or summarizing (recreating the key points of a source) involves three steps:
1) read the information thoroughly to gain an understanding of the material and its key concepts,
2) remove the source from your sight and then,
3) begin to write down what you gleaned from the reading.
Though you may have just read the material, language is highly arbitrary. Your re-creation of the work will be in your words through your own vocabulary. If you are uncomfortable with the similarity of the material, revise again.
Continue checking this area for more great tips and suggestions. I get my inspiration from my students so feel free to forward questions; I'm happy to add to this list!
See these additional resources on this subject:
Learning should be challenging but not frustrating. I am happy to provide these stress-free suggestions for making your journey to success one to enjoy!