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POLI SCI Honors Thesis: Citation Management

Resources for researching and writing a Political Science thesis.

Citation Management Tools

Citation management tools help you manage your research, collect and cite sources, and create bibliographies in a variety of citation styles.  Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, but any are easier than doing it by hand! The Library offers workshops on Endnote, Zotero, and Refworks! Or contact your librarian for individual help.

  1. Zotero: A free plug-in that works exclusively with the Firefox browser: keeps copies of what you find on the web, permits tagging, notation, full text searching of your library of resources, works with Word, and has a free web backup service.  Also see the Zotero Library Guide.
  2. RefWorks - free for UC Berkeley users. It allows you to create your own database by importing references and using them for footnotes and bibliographies. Use the RefWorks New User Form to sign up.  Also see the Library Refworks Guide.
  3. EndNote: may be purchased from UC Berkeley's Software Central for about $80.

It's always good to double check the formatting -- sometimes the software doesn't get it quite right.

Plagerism

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty, violating the Berkeley Campus Code of Student Conduct. The campus issues a guide to understanding plagiarism, which states:

"Plagiarism means using another's work without giving credit. You must put others' words in quotation marks and cite your source(s). Citation must also be given when using others' ideas, even when those ideas are paraphrased into your own words."

Plagiarism is a serious violation of academic and student conduct rules and is punishable with a failing grade and possibly more severe action. For more information, consult the following UC Berkeley websites:

Writing Help

UC Berkeley offers several resources for students to obtain help writing a paper.  The Student Learning Center provides assistance with writing papers.  They also provide several Writing Worksheets which can help you plan and complete your writing projects.

Using Zotero with APSA

Some political science papers require the APSA (American Political Science Association) citation style. If this is not in your default Zotero setup, fear not! You can easily add it by following these simple instructions http://www.zotero.org/support/styles

Citation Styles

Here are some helpful citation manuals to reference when creating your citations, or when double checking the citation management tools.

Why Cite?

"Ethics, copyright laws, and courtesy to readers require authors to identify the sources of direct quotations and of any facts or opinions not generally known or easily checked."--
Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition (Chicago: Chicago Univ. Press), p. 594

Why cite sources?
Whenever you quote or base your ideas on another person's work, you must document the source you used. Even when you do not quote directly from another work, if reading that source contributed to the ideas presented in your paper, you must give the authors proper credit.

Citations allow readers to locate and further explore the sources you consulted, show the depth and scope of your research, and give credit to authors for their ideas. Citations provide evidence for your arguments and add credibility to your work by demonstrating that you have sought out and considered a variety of resources. In written academic work, citing sources is standard practice and shows that you are responding to this person, agreeing with that person, and adding something of your own. Think of documenting your sources as providing a trail for your reader to follow to see the research you performed and discover what led you to your original contribution.

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