PK6 is a compulsory two-ECTS credit course in the English Translation and
FAST curricula which introduces academic citation procedure, with an
emphasis on MLA-modern style. Evaluation is via a pass-fail examination.
PK6 provides a citation foundation for the Finnish
Institutions Research Paper and other academic papers written in
English Section courses. Students learn citation procedure in PK6 and
then use this procedure in papers written for other courses. Thus PK6
should be taken prior to FIN-1 or simultaneously with any basic-level
course in which a paper is chosen as the evaluation option.
Proper academic citation is essential for university students.
Therefore, in the ETRAN curriculum, citations are also part
of AK2 Basic English Professional Writing and PK5 Digital Literacy and Academic Knowledge
Management. AK2 will review and test citation procedure, while
PK5 will check the 'correctness' of citations in the required on-line
PK6 is based on face-to-face instruction using web reference and other materials. Students should subscribe to the PK6-L class list , which may be used for followup questions on citation and
documentation issues. There is also an on-line Citation Question Form which may be used for
questions on citation procedure for UTA ETRAN or FAST courses.
PK6 might be described via the journalistic approach of Who, What,
Where, When, How and Why:
- Who Should Use Academic Citations?
- Writers of academic papers, theses, dissertations, or documented
reports any type of 'formal' writing where reference sources have
been used for information which cannot be considered "common knowledge".
Citations must be used whenever one uses the intellectual property of
another person, whether directly or indirectly.
- Why Does One Cite (and also compare and elaborate on) Sources?
- Scholarly writing must clearly distinguish between your own ideas,
wordings or other elements and those of the sources you have consulted,
regardless of whether they are printed or electronic, oral, graphic,
audiovisual, published or unpublished.
In this way it is clear from where the supporting facts of the 'new
knowledge' you are producing have come. Readers of your paper may thus
check the accuracy of your claims (or seek related knowledge about them),
and researchers may trace the development of ideas from one scholar or
generation of scholars to another.
- Good scholarly writing also guides readers toward a better
understanding of the topic. Thus explanatory information beyond that
covered directly in the paper is also cited. Author notes, 'source notes' and
appendices of 'recommended reading' are often used for this purpose.
Note also the following sub-points, as explained further in class:
- Conformity to expected current 'standards' of good academic and
- 'Standards' of 'good practice' are continually
changing; see 1990s example
- Self-protection, especially in a digital age where papers will
increasingly be digitally checked for possible plagiarism (see Software Catches Plagiarism),
and the readership of your papers will increasingly extend far
beyond those who know you or the context in which your paper was written
- What Should Be Cited (or Documented with a Note)?
- All direct quotations, images, statistics and other changeable data,
ideas, wordings, and concepts (see the Quick
Guide, and also "common knowledge" and "academic fair use")
- Ideas or inspirations gained from a source should be cited or
otherwise acknowledged, for example with an author note, even if you do
not use any actual language or detail from that source in your work.
(However, there is some distinction between 'original' or 'unique' ideas
and those which are 'established' within the field, and thus could be
common knowledge for your particular readership.)
- Comparisons of variances or contradictions of details in your
sources, together with possible reasoning as to which are more accurate,
are also part of one's scholarly responsibility. Descriptions of how
different sources varied with respect to particular points would usually
be discussed directly in the paper. However, if not directly relevant to
the paper, the variances should at minimum be described (documented) via
- Where Should the Citations Appear? Note the Differences
- In-text (parenthetical) citations vs Footnotes
- Footnotes vs Endnotes (cf. "Notes")
- Explanatory "footnotes" vs "endnoted" [Author] Notes
- 'Works Cited' vs 'Sources', 'Bibliography', 'References', etc.
vs Modern MLA & APA Examples)
- When Should One Start Collecting Citation Data?
- Obtain citation details when first reviewing sources. This is critical!
- Insert citation data already in the first drafts of papers
- Make and keep digital copies of web or e-mail sources!
- How Should the Citations Be Produced?
There are many different citation styles, each of which essentially
reports the same information, although in different formats.
General citation style (as opposed to very field-specific styles, such as
the "Blue Book" style for legal citation) can basically be divided into:
- "Documentary-Note" [Humanities] style; and
- "Author-Date" [the Hard and Social Sciences]
Different citation styles implement these distinctions differently.
PK6 uses the most common citation style for English writing in the
Humanities, that of the U.S.-based Modern Language Association. In
particular, PK6 examples are based on the:
- MLA Style Guide [cf. old vs new], and the
- MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing
Other commonly-used English style guides, most of which employ
adaptations of the "author-note" style, include the:
Other relevant points include the following:
- Question: why are most of the above styles American in origin?
- Citing electronic sources vs traditional print sources
- Saving and appending electronic sources as concrete 'evidence'