Macbeth

Macbeth

instructions

When you summarize or paraphrase someone else’s information in several sentences or
more, it feels awkward to put in a citation at the end of each sentence you write. It is also
awkward to read! However, you should let your reader knows exactly what information
you got from someone else and when you start using it. Thus, an end-of-paragraph
citation does not meet that requirement.
Solution: Use a lead-in at the beginning of your paragraph. Basically, introduce the
source you are summarizing or paraphrasing at the beginning of the paragraph and
then refer back to the source when needed to ensure your reader understands you are still
utlizing the same source.
For examples of the “bad,” the “ugly” and the “good,” please see below:
Bad. In this paragraph, the citation occurs only at the end and reader does not know
exactly when/where information comes from the source. Do not do this:
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. They are very sensitive
to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of
pollution. When frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something
is going wrong in the wetland. In addition, when oddities in frog morphology appear, like
frogs with five legs or two heads, one can also assume something is going wrong in the
wetland environment (Willemssen 2010).
Correct but Ugly. This paragraph is technically correct, but it is difficult to read in large
part because the in-text citations are intrusive and awkward:
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. They are very sensitive
to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of
pollution (Willemssen 2010). When frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be
sure that something is going wrong in the wetland (Willemssen 2010). In addition, when
oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs with five legs or two heads, one can also
assume something is going wrong in the wetland environment (Willemssen 2010).
Good. These paragraph are correct and easy to read. Note the reader knows exactly
when/where information from the source is used:
Sample 1
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. According to a recent
study by Willemssen (2010), frogs are very sensitive to changes in pH caused by acid
rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of pollution. The study notes that
when frog populations in a wetland plummet, one can be sure that something is going
wrong in the wetland. In addition, when oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs
with five legs or two heads, one can also assume something is going wrong in the
wetland environment (Willemssen 2010).
Sample 2
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. Willemssen (2010)
relates research conducted recently in Wisconsin that shows that frogs are very sensitive
to changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of
pollution. Her research indicates that when frog populations in a wetland plummet, one
can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland. In addition, she finishes by
noting that when oddities in frog morphology appear, like frogs with five legs or two
heads, one can also assume something is going wrong in the wetland environment.
Sample 3
Frogs are excellent indicator species to measure wetland health. Willemssen (2010)
recently conducted research in Wisconsin that shows that frogs are very sensitive to
changes in pH caused by acid rain, and they are also very sensitive to different types of
pollution. Willemssen’s research indicates that when frog populations in a wetland
plummet, one can be sure that something is going wrong in the wetland. One very telling
quote from Willemssen’s research is that “87% of wetlands where two-headed frogs are
found have high levels of environmental contamination” (341).
***If you cannot figure out a way to let the reader know where you got the
information from, better to do the correct but ugly way.

 

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