Referencing Essays

Referencing Essays

“Why do I have to study this stuff?” I would whine all the way through high school grammar. “I am never going to use it. When am I ever going to be referencing essays?” My teacher would just laugh and assign us five more questions. I never knew why she found that so funny until I started working on my college degree. Then it hit me. Not only did she know I was going to need this “stuff”, she also knew I was going to use it almost every day. Referencing, the art of showing where a quote or source material actually come from, is a part of almost every paper you will write pursuing your degree. Because so much of research and content are from online or printed essays, referencing them is an important thing to know.

What you have to remember about referencing essays is that an essay is a smaller work of non-fiction usually published as part of a whole work. When you are referencing essays you need to know the title and author of the essay, but also the title and author of the larger work that it come from. For example if I am quoting from an essay entitled, “Why Green Tomatoes Are Better for Frying”, I would cite the author of the essay, Joyce Lane, and then site the book, Southern Cooking for Beginners edited by Carole Klingman.

In the MLA (Modern Language Association) style of referencing which is used for degree essays involving humanities and liberal arts, essays are always given quotations and the book or resource is given italics or handled the way the larger resource should be handled. Working at the college level, you are actually citing a source within a source and the grammar rules for both types of sources must be applied.

Grammar can seem like a lot of rules all at the same time, however once you realize how important they will be to your daily life as you are earning your college degree you’ll discover the time you spend on the “stuff” will save you from whining far into your future.