Understanding Document Styles and Avoiding Plagiarism
Everest University Online
January 20, 2013
Documentation style is basically giving credit where it is due. Technically, “A documentation style is a standard approach to the citation of sources that the author of a paper has consulted, abstracted, or quoted from. It prescribes methods for citing references within the text, providing a list of works cited at the end of the paper, and even formatting headings and margins.” ("The writer's handbook," 2012) Although you may want to use someone’s already published work and make it your own, giving credit or citing sources, not only is right and provides the proper credit to the original author, but it allows your readers the ability to locate your research sources.
Being a student, I’m always researching all kinds of topics and need to reference works to maintain my uprightness. There is an exact way to cite depending on your individual area of study. For me, the style of citing used mostly is the APA style. APA stands for American Psychological Association and their documentation style “is used in the behavioral and social sciences. It is a clean, clear, simple style of presentation with its own set of rules of punctuation, headings, chart structure, and citation of sources that is used world-wide.” (Schuyler, 2012) It is very important that you not only cite, but cite correctly.
If you don’t use some sort of documentation style while using someone else’s work, you could be breaking the law. Using someone’s without their permission, or without giving credit is plagiarism. The origin of the word means literally to plunder, kidnap or seduce in literary terms. You plagiarize when you don’t use direct quotations, paraphrases and summaries, or any material that could give the idea it is your own. There are also other consequences for plagiarizing, ranging from academic probation to jail time.
A documentation style is a way of maintaining...