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SPAN 3010 Advanced Rhetoric and Composition: Organize, Write & Cite

A Course Guide to support research and inquiry for Spanish 3010 at the University of Colorado.

Step 6: Organize, Write & Cite

This final step of the research process includes activities that you might have been doing throughout your process: organizing your research, writing and note taking, and tracking where you got the information that you use. You may organize your research on notecards, in a journal, on scraps of paper, in an electronic document or using a citation manager. However you track your research is up to you, but keeping track helps you avoid plagiarism and give credit to those whose ideas you borrow.

Writing is the moment where you get a chance to have your voice included in the scholarly conversation about a topic. What did you read that you disagree with? What other sources help inform your argument? Can you say something new or interesting about this topic? If you can't fully answer your research question, why not? 

Why Cite?

Citing is more than just being picky about writing. It actually connects us and our writings to the ongoing scholarly conversation that happens around the topics we're interested in.

We cite our sources because it:

  1. Gives credit to the authors whose ideas we use
  2. Helps our readers find the information we used to build our arguments
  3. Shows our own credibility and responsibility as scholars through thorough and proper citation
  4. Avoids plagiarism, which can have serious consequences

Common Style Manuals

The library has updated copies of the major Style Manuals available for you to use. Some copies are limited to use in the library building only, this will be indicated in the Location of the item if it is in the "Reference Collection."

The official style manuals are published by organizations such as the Modern Language Association (MLA) or the American Psychological Association (APA), but you can also check OneSearch or Chinook for unofficial yet scholarly guides as well.

In addition to unofficial published guides, there is a lot of information available online. The Purdue OWL site is not official or comprehensive, but it is a credible source of information and very user friendly.

Purdue OWL logo

Research Process: Integrating Sources

Quotation marks from noun project

Click below to learn more about integrating sources, using specific citation styles (MLA, APA, Chicago), and managing sources: