Most problems with citation begin at the note-taking stage. There are three common problems to avoid:
The key is to have a system. Here is a system. It's old-fashioned (notebook, notecards), but it works. It can be adapted to a word processor and Citation Management Tools. The key to this system is: before you do anything else, note down publication information.
The method can be adapted to three tools:
One of the keys to ethical source use is to make it clear to readers where your own words and ideas end, and a source's words and ideas begin.
1. Quotation - Two options:
Use either quotation marks OR colon and indent, not both at once.
2. Summary and paraphrase:
Different citation systems reflect different values in the act of citation. What is most highly valued by each system?
MLA - Authority of source (author) and location in the text (page number, line number).
APA - Authority of source (author) and recency (date).
Chicago (Author/Date) - Authority of source (author) and recency (date). Some science and technology publications use Chicago style.
Chicago (Number/notes) - Unintrusive citations. (Also, this system uses numbered notes for clarifying or expanding on points, not just for citations.)
Scientific Styles (Numbered) - Unintrusive citations. (Also, many scientific texts have many authors, and authority often inheres more in journal titles or affilations with universities, not author names.)
1. When you find a promising article, before you do anything else, note down all the publication information in a notebook (or in a file on your laptop):
Salwant, Shawn. Mark Twain and the Nature of Twins. Nineteenth-Century Literature. Vol. 67, No. 3 (December 2012), pp. 366-396.
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/ncl.2012.67.3.366 Accessed: 16/04/2013 18:43 JSTOR (BC Libraries) .pdf file
If you use a word-processor, copy and paste this information from the database. If you use a Citation Management Tool, like RefWorks or zotero, you can export this information directly from a database into your citation manager.
2. At the top of the first notecard, before you do anything else, write down an abbreviated form of the work, such as the author's last name and a word from the title. (e.g. Salwant, Twins) If you are using APA style, add the year: Salwant, Twins, 2012. (Word-processor alternative: Type "Salwant, Twins:" and then type in the quotation or summary. Be sure to separate entries clearly, and be sure to type the author and title word before each entry.)
3. When you encounter a useful passage, before you do anything else, write down the page number(s) where you found the quotation. If the article has no page numbers, write down the section number or heading.
4. Then, either:
a. Write down the author's words verbatim, with quotations marks ("") around them, to make it clear to you that these are all the author's words, verbatim (If you leave out a chunk of text, note missing text with ellipses (...)),
b. or summarize or paraphrase the passage. Write a big S or P to indicate summary or paraphrase. If you use a phrase verbatim, put quotation marks around it.
5. If you want to write a note about the passage, do it on the reverse side of the card. Write ME next to it, to indicate that these are your own words or ideas.
6. Repeat, as often as necessary. Some articles may produce a dozen notecards; others only one.
7. When it's time to write the paper, lay the notecards out on a large flat surface, shuffle them around until they are in a logical order, then stack them in that order. (Word-processor version: copy and paste notes until they are in a sensible order; make sure you copy page numbers and sources with each set of notes!)
8. Write the paper, using notecards as you need them. Notecards make it easy to insert author, year, and page # citations as you write, and make it easy to differentiate between the author's words and your own words and ideas.
Summary: distills a larger text (usually ranging from a paragraph to a book) into a smaller one (usually ranging from a sentence to a page).
Paraphrase: adapts a text to a new context by altering wording ("in your own words"); paraphrased text is usually roughly the same length as the original text.
Quotation: reproduces text exactly as phrased in the original; marks (") indicate where the exact reproduction begins and ends.
All three uses of other texts should include citations that accurately attribute the source.
(From Ellis, Joseph J. “Jefferson's Cop-out.” Civilization 3: (December/January, 1996-97): p. 46):
Thomas Jefferson was many things, but mostly he was a creature of paradox: the wealthy Virginia aristocrat who wrote the most famous statement of equality in American history; the sincere advocate of agrarian simplicity who worshipped the art and architecture of Paris; above all, the fervent believer in human freedom who lived his entire life as a slave owner. The last paradox has always seemed the most poignant, in part because Jefferson himself acknowledged the massive gap between his principled ideals and his personal reality, and in part because the paradox Jefferson lived was emblematic of the larger disjunction in American society–now generally regarded as the central dilemma of American history–between the promise of liberty and the fact of racial discrimination.
Joseph J. Ellis argues that Jefferson inhabited throughout his life a series of contradictions between his beliefs, which were liberal and far ahead of their time, and his own behavior and position in society, which forced him into a much more conservative position (46). But Jefferson was not the only one who had to face the disjunction between a belief in freedom and the reality of being an owner of slaves. George Washington, for example, never expressed abolitionist sentiments, but he freed his slaves in his will.
Now that DNA tests have established that Thomas Jefferson almost certainly was the father of at least one child by his slave Sally Hemmings, we can add yet another layer to the paradox Jefferson lived. He was an aristocrat who believed in equality, a slaveowner who advocated abolition, a man who loved the simple rural life but was also a sophisticated connoisseur of European architecture (46). Now we find out that he was also a man who denounced black women as inherently unattractive in his Notes on the State of Virginia, yet he was sleeping with one himself.
Joseph J. Ellis portrays Thomas Jefferson as a man who embodied, in his life and in his beliefs, “the central dilemma of American history” (46). For Ellis, the “most poignant” aspect of Jefferson as a “creature of paradox” was that he believed deeply in freedom, yet he couldn’t quite bring himself to free his slaves (46).
Now, under the so-called “Patriot Act,” it is Muslim-Americans who must live under the shadow of suspicion and fear. It is another chapter in the central dilemma of American history–between the promise of liberty and the fact of racial discrimination.
Text and excerpts adapted from "Exercise on Use of Sources" [handout] by Jon Hall, WAC Program, Rutgers University, N.D. [Color added]
Answer: How many pages link to the site
This is the original foundation (called PageRank), upon which Google was built.
There are two answers that are not part of the algorithm:
The rest of the answers are part of the mix.
A recent addition (an algorithm called Panda) attempts to redress the lack of authority by improving the ranking of sites with "research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on." How Panda achieves this filtering is unknown outside of Google.