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“Writing” the Technology Wave

It’s the night before your big paper is due. Hours—or possibly even days—of your hard work is ready for review by that experienced faculty member who’s a stickler for citation. Being the tech-savvy student that you are, you found current journal articles online to back up your thesis; you even found a legitimate report posted to Twitter. The last 20 years of innovations in technology has changed the way college students write, research and reference papers. Do you remember how Wikipedia used to look, with its primitive html? Online innovation is exciting, but for many students it can prove to be a stumbling block when it comes to the arduous task of properly citing others’ works. E-references, such as Dictionary.com  (which draws from 15 reference sources), can be a saving grace for many students, but how do you cite these resources? And what about a Twitter or Facebook post? Can those be cited? Avoiding plagiarism and identifying sources accurately can be tricky in the online landscape, but here are a few helpful websites to help you navigate this precarious terrain:

  1. Northcentral University Writing Center provides a step-by-step guide to referencing the different types of information. Since Northcentral University provides a fully online education, the Writing Center is open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. APA Style Blog is written by APA Style experts who are ready to answer those tough citation questions you just can’t find answers to in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. They can even tell you how to cite social media.
  3. Basics of APA Style Tutorial is an online tutorial provided by the American Psychological Association. It provides writers with the basic building blocks of proper referencing. The FAQ page is also a great place to begin researching your queries.
  4. Grammar Girl offers grammar tips for common grammar mistakes, everything from its and it’s to who and whom.

The Internet provides an ocean of resources, and getting those references right will help protect others’ original work and help you sail toward that A-grade assignment.

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