Now that you have written about the topic that you selected in Unit 1, it is time to explore what others have said about that same topic. To begin the process, use the AIU library databases and online search tools to locate at least 6 sources that are related to your topic.
The best way to begin this search is by first reading encyclopedia articles on the topic, especially the encyclopedias in the AIU library. Encyclopedia articles provide a summary of current information and, most important, a list of books and articles about the topic. You can often find titles of useful works at the end of encyclopedia articles.
Remember, encyclopedias and other reference books (online or print) can be consulted, but their information cannot be cited in your paper. This means that material from reference works cannot be quoted or summarized in your paper. Reference works help you begin your exploration of a topic; however, reference works do not contain original material and therefore cannot be cited in your paper.
After consulting reference works, locate at least 6 credible sources related to your topic. These published works will inform you of arguments that are related to your topic. They can also provide evidence (facts, statistics, quotations, and examples) to support your own thesis and main points in the research paper that you will write later in the course.
There are two types of citations in APA style: in-text citations and reference citations. An in-text citation is an abbreviation. A reference citation lists all relevant information about a source. The following is a paragraph from a research paper on preventing juvenile delinquency that illustrates the difference between in-text and reference citations:
According to one expert, “Numerous warning signs can alert parents to children who are at risk of violent behavior later in life” (Friedman, 2014). Parents know that a child does not suddenly have moods swings and violent outbursts without some warning sign. Recognizing these signs in childhood can help prevent adolescent delinquency.
Friedman, J. (2014). The terror within: Recognizing and dealing with violent tendencies in children. Pediatrics for Parents, 23(4), 13.
The author and date in parentheses (Friedman, 2014) is an in-text citation. It appears in the sentence where the source was used and is an abbreviated form of the reference citation. All of the information in the paragraph was the student writer’s except what was in the sentence that included an in-text citation.
After the paragraph, you can see the full reference citation of the source. The reference citation provides all of the information that someone would need to find this source.
Complete the following for your assignment:
- Create a list of 6 sources that you will find useful in developing your topic as you write about it in the next paper.
- Each source must be listed as a reference citation. You should follow each reference citation for the 6 sources with a short paragraph of 3–4 sentences in which you comment on the source. You should comment on the author’s main points and how the source may be of use to you when writing your paper.
- Did you find any strong arguments in the source that you had not thought of?
- Did the source make you rethink your position in any way?
- Did you see any facts, statistics, quotes, or examples that you could use to support your thesis?
- Each reference citation must be in APA format. Several resources are available to help you format your reference citations in correct APA style, including the following:
- You can use AIU’s Guide to APA style.
- You can refer to your eBook, English Composition. In your textbook for this course, please see “Reference Style” on page 191. Sample reference citation formats begin on page 192.
- You can use citation machines. The most popular and most accurate citation machines are as follows:
Each of the six entries should look like this:
Johnson, D. T. (2011). American capital punishment in comparative perspective. Law & Social Inquiry, 36(4), 1,033–1,061.
Comment–America is the only developed nation that still imposes the death penalty. All other industrialized nations abolished capital punishment in the late 20th century, according to the source. Another peculiarity: although the death penalty is common in America, executions are rare, leaving prisoners lingering on death row for decades. America has the largest death-row population than any nation on earth.
- You should have 6 sources.
- Each source should be listed as an APA reference citation.
- A short commentary paragraph should follow each source