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SOCC45: Youth and Society

Winter 2018

ASA Citation Style

Cite your sources using the American Sociological Association (ASA) citation style. 

ASA citation guide from the UTSC Writing Centre.

Jayne Baker's detailed guide to ASA format.

When to Cite Your Sources

Quoting – Using the author's exact words. Use "quotation marks" and always cite it.

Summarizing – Using your own words to shorten the author's words or ideas without altering the meaning or providing interpretation. Basically, presenting the original information in a nutshell. Summaries are shorter than the original. Always cite it.

Paraphrasing – Restating, in your own words, the author's words or ideas without altering the meaning or providing interpretation. Paraphrases are about the same length as the original. Always cite it.
 
When summarizing or paraphrasing, be careful not to copy the original author's style or wording. Summaries or paraphrases should sound like you, using your own vocabulary and style.

Improper and Proper Citation

Plagiarism includes:

  • Direct plagiarism: Copying entire sentences or paragraphs from another source without quoting and crediting the source.
  • Mosaic plagiarism: Blending copied words, phrases or ideas in with your own writing without crediting the source.
  • Improper paraphrasing or summarizing: Putting an author's ideas into your own words without crediting the source.

Here are three wrong ways and one right way to use a source:

Source material

"No place in the United States is likely to escape a long and deep recession... Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before. Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country’s economic landscape. I believe it marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life." (Florida 2009:50).

Florida, R. 2009. "How the crash will reshape America." The Atlantic Monthly 303(2):44-56.

Direct plagiarism

The bursting of the real estate bubble and the subsequent Wall Street meltdown have wreaked economic destruction across the United States. Some cities and regions will eventually spring back stronger than before.  Others may never come back at all. As the crisis deepens, it will permanently and profoundly alter the country's economic landscape.

In this example, the writer uses half of the source paragraph verbatim without crediting the author, Richard Florida.

Mosaic plagiarism

The bursting of the real estate bubble and the subsequent Wall Street meltdown have wreaked economic destruction across the United States, permanently and profoundly altering the national economy.

In this example, the writer uses Richard Florida's phrasing to describe the effect of the crisis.  "Permanently and profoundly alter" is a strong descriptive phrase, but it is not the writer's own. 

Improper summary or paraphrase

The bursting of the real estate bubble and the subsequent Wall Street meltdown have wreaked economic destruction across the United States. Some regions will probably never recover.

In this example, although the writer does not use Richard Florida's words, s/he uses Richard Florida's idea without attribution. 

Proper use of source material

The bursting of the real estate bubble and the subsequent Wall Street meltdown have wreaked economic destruction across the United States. Florida predicts that the crisis will reshape America - that it in fact "marks the end of a chapter in American economic history, and indeed, the end of a whole way of life" (2009:49).

In this example, the writer introduces Richard Florida's argument, gives credit to Florida for the concept and, properly quotes a particularly powerful line from the source paragraph.

The Writing Centre

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