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Citation and Documentation

[ Class Logs ] Beginning Research ] [ Citation and Documentation ]



Harper Office

The office is cheerful, the light reflecting off of whitewashed walls and ceiling. A pattern mimicking musical notation in colors runs along the tops of the walls, shelf upon shelf rising from the floor to meet it. Desks, cabinets and filing drawers are arranged about the room, workplaces for those whose job it is to keep the harpers and hall in order.
The air is fresh, tangy with sea and hides and well-seasoned woods. A decorative object has been placed in the center of the room, right in the way. Perhaps you should ask its owner to move it. The window looks out over Main Beach.Through the open window, you notice that It is a summer afternoon. Watching from a high shelf are Jester, Nightblade, Shalla, Brynol, and Judithe. You see Staff Tackboard, Simony, Harper Rulebook, Useful Facts for Harpers, Amara's Tent, Paybox, Sandtable, and Skippy here. Teraille and Tereza are here.


Petra walks in from the ballroom.

Tomias mopes in, looking a bit depressed.

Petra slides into the room and sits in the back.

Judithe glides out into the ballroom.

Teraille sits atop her desk calmly, glancing up as her class moseys in. "Hello," she greets. "Right on time. I like that. We all know each other, right?" Her eyes sweep the students quickly.

Tomias nods.

Tereza looks around, nodding to Petra, and Tomias each. "I know them both." she says, before looking back at Teraille, "And you."

Petra noddernods.

Teraille nods faintly. "Well, we'll begin," she observes, "and I'll just call on everyone by name first. Feel free to answer questions addressed generally without raising your hand, but please do raise your hand for questions or comments if I'm talking or waiting for someone to respond. Agreed?" Her eyes again scan the class.

Tomias nods again. He's not very talkative right now.

Petra noddernods again as she glances at the others..

Tereza grins, "Agreed."

Teraille nods briefly. "Good," she says. "We're going to be talking about citation today. Someone define the word for those of us who may not know." Her eyes sweep the room as she begins with one of those generally addressed questions.

You say, "Citation I believe means documenting the source of a quotation or reference."

Petra frowns at the word and listens to Tomaias' definition wondering if its right.

Teraille nods. "Exactly," she approves, continuing swiftly. "So, whenever you use another person's information or words, you need to document where it came from. Now, I'm sure we all can see why you need to say where it's from if you quote, but why if you're only giving information? Tereza? Why do we need to document sources of our facts?"

Tereza snaps up, looking over at Teraille as the information filters slowly through her head. "Um," she says, stalling for time, "So that they can be verified, and so that you aren't cheating anyone of credit where it is deserved?"

Teraille nods. "The verification is the most important part. Imagine you're writing about a historical event. People want to know that you didn't just make it up, right? They also want to know whether the person you got it from was trustworthy. So, how do we credit our sources? There are a few ways; I'm going to go with my favorite, which is also the easiest."

Petra nods her head as she listens and jots notes down in a old notebook

Teraille produces a thick pile of hides from beside her on the desk, shuffling through it idly. "This," she informs her class, "is my latest project, a dissertation on the effects of poor politicians in leadership positions through history. I used material from a number of sources: interviews, primary sources, secondary sources. If a reader wants to know all of the sources I used, they simply turn to the last few pages, where I have a complete numbered list." She lays aside most of the pile in order to hold up those few pages for the class's inspection.

Tereza looks closely at the page, scanning the layout and then nodding slightly once. She looks at the pile, then at the paper, raising a hand.

"The numbering is important for the documentation of individual facts," Teraille observes before nodding to Tereza in quiet acknowledgment.

Petra nods as she looks over it, "real organized," she frowns to organized for her.

Tereza grins, "Do you have to mark /everything/? That you took from that is?"

Petra nods to herself and mumbles, "I hope not."

Teraille starts to nod, then stops herself. "Almost," she says. "If you found the information in two places, you only need to mark it once, and if the only information you found is what we call 'common knowledge', there's no need to record it. I'll come to that in a moment." She lifts a sheet of manuscript, tapping at a line with her finger. "The numbers," she explains, "are there so that when we use that reference in the manuscript, they don't need to rewrite all of the details. They just write in the number and the reader knows to go to the source at the back. Here I wrote in '43', so we flip to the back and discover that the forty-third reference is the personal diary of Masterhealer Jenkin."

Petra nods her head still frowning as it sounds more and more complex.

Teraille pauses briefly. "Petra," she says mildly, "summarize what I've said up to now."

Petra looks at her notes and says, "you asked what Citation was then Tomias said that Citation is documenting references and quotes. You said he was right and asked Tereza why we need to document sources; then, she said so that they can be verified and you don't cheat people form there credit." For someone who hates details and being careful her notes are detailed! "You also showed us you're last pages of a dissertation you did showing how you displayed your sources. You even," she frowns again at the thought, "number your documentation."

Teraille nods. "You need to, so that you can manage the in-text documentation." She draws a long breath, studying the page. "In a 80-page manuscript, it is hard to say what facts come from which source without that documentation."

Petra nods her head quietly jotting more and more and more notes down.

Teraille nods towards Tereza. "When you asked whether you had to list all your sources, I mentioned something called common knowledge. Common knowledge is the information that everyone has. To name a few examples: We are in the middle of a Pass. Healers take care of the sick. Or even something that /you/ know well enough that you don't need to verify it. A C major triad consists of the notes C, E, and G."

Teraille sifts through pages briefly before adding. "An example of /uncommon/ knowledge would be this: 'In the seventh year of his time as Lord Holder, Jarin decided that all crafters were fools outsider of their area of specialty, and decreed that their advice be ignored except as it pertained to the specific area of their schooling.' Do you see the difference?"

Tereza nods, "Yes."

Teraille nods. "Good. Any questions thus far?" She glances around the room.

Tereza shakes her head, "No none."

Teraille nods faintly. "All right." She pauses to look down at the paper. "I'm going to tell you all my way of making up the works cited page at the end; feel free to concoct your own or ask your other teachers for advice. Every time you use a source, write it down and number it in the text an on the page. Your numbers should run sequentially through the manuscript. The first should be one, and the last whatever your final endnote is. Once you've finished, write them all down on their own pages. And if there aren't any questions now, class is dismissed."

Logfile from Tomais





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