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Simplified SAA Citation and Bibliography style guide - page 2 / 3

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Simplified SAA style p. 2

If information from several sources is mixed into one sentence or paragraph, citing each one after every bit of information could distract from the flow of the writing. In this case, it is acceptable to lump the references together at the end of the sentence or paragraph, separated by semicolons. For example:

A large Early or Middle Shang site at the modern city of Zhengzhou was surrounded by a massive rammed-earth wall that is estimated to have required 200,000 man-years to build. The wall may have been more to restrict access to the elite residential and ceremonial zone than for actual defense (Barnes 1993:126; Chang 1986:331-339; Whitehouse and Wilkins 1986:70).

Exercise judgment when lumping references in this way. Piling all the references at the end of every paragraph is rarely appropriate. This method is never acceptable for direct quotations, which should always have the reference immediately after the quoted material.

It sometimes helps the flow of your writing to refer directly to an author by name. In this case, only the date and page number go in parentheses. For example:

According to Prescott (1961:254), the Inka Atahuallpa's translator worked against him.

If you cite multiple sources by the same author from the same year, indicate which is which by adding a lower-case letter after the year. For example:

Shang China was a civilization, according to the “Wasteful Definition” (Owen 2009a:4), yet the Shang capital was not densely urban in the way that western cities are (Owen 2009b:4-5).

Only cite sources that you have actually read. Do not list citations from other works if you have not read them yourself. If you want to cite a fact or quotation that is given in another work and you cannot find the original reference, do so honestly by writing something like “Smith estimated that the site had 2000 inhabitants (cited in Jones 1992:143).” In this case, you have not seen the original work by Smith, but you read about it in Jones (1992:143). You cite Jones as your source, and you include Jones, not Smith, in the list of references cited at the end of the paper.

Unless you look up the original sources of the definitions and theories we use in this class, you cannot cite the original authors, because you have read only my condensed version of their work, not their actual words. It is still good form to give the original author credit, though. For example, you could cite the “Long list” definition of civilization like this:

According to Redman’s “long list” definition (Owen 2009a:1), civilizations have cities.

The extracts from articles and books posted on the class website are equivalent to photocopies of the original work. Cite them as if you would the entire publication, giving the original author, date, and page shown in the extracts, not as Owen 2009. They wrote it; I only made a copy for you to download.

Material from the Internet must also be cited correctly. In the text, give the author, year, and page number (if appropriate), just as for any other reference. You may have to search the site to find the author’s name; there is often a “credits” page, or a page about the author. The author may be an institution, like Encyclopedia Britannica, if no person is specified. The date is preferably one specified on the page itself. If no date is given, use the year in which you looked at the page.

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