collage of ports

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Scholarly Documentation

Students are members of a community of scholars consisting of peers and scholars around the world. This community depends on regular communication to share ideas, results and methods. Scholarly research incorporates ideas that are developed through the analysis of primary and secondary sources, and consequently all scholarly research builds on the works of others. Scholars use the process of scholarly documentation to clearly identify how they are relying on the work of others. Proper documentation allows you to ethically use the work of others while demonstrating your research abilities and command of the literature.

The key to using information in an ethical and scholarly fashion is a good understanding of the process of scholary documentation.


Scholarly systems of documentation usually involve citations within the paper and a list of works cited at the end of the paper. Citations are provided at points in your paper where credit needs to be given to the works of others; the list of works cited provides detailed information about all the works that have been cited.

Use citations in the text of the paper to give credit:

In a discussion of the dietary habits of early humans, Toussaint-Samat writes that "gluttony is a mutation: an aberration of a need which it ends up by controlling completely"(2).

Then include the cited work in the list of works cited:

Toussaint-Samat, Maguelonne. A History of Food. Trans. Anthea Bell. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1992.

There are several styles of documentation, but whichever style you choose be consistent. Select a style and stay with it throughout your paper.