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I'm bad at citations - Anyone know how I can get good? (1 Viewer)

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bennylava

Senior Member
Hi all. It's been a 15 years since English class in high school, and I studied geology in college so not much help there either. I've written a self-help book and I've got a few citations to put in. However, I feel like I'm bad at citations. Specifically the part about finding credible sources. For example, I need a credible source for "According to psychologists, meaningful work makes people happier and less depressed...". That's something from my book, and although it sounds obvious, I still need to cite a good source for this.


I need to learn the method for finding a credible source. Maybe my concern here isn't warranted, but I'm worried that people will check out my citations and find some flaw in them. Some people seem to really criticize studies, even when they're done in a big university lab qualified people. It occurs to me that just searching google may not be the right answer here.


Is there somewhere that is considered the general "go to" for a good citation? Perhaps you identify the specific university that holds that field as their specialty, and then search through their resources? When you need to cite a source for something that comes from a field you're not an expert in, where do you go to find it? - Thanks!

 
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codyrobi613

Senior Member
Mla is a pretty standard format, but I think psych papers have there own. If you are willing to pay for ebsco host you can filter peer reviewed journals and they have citations you can copy for different formats
 

Phil Istine

WF Veterans
Hi all. It's been a 15 years since English class in high school, and I studied geology in college so not much help there either. I've written a self-help book and I've got a few citations to put in. However, I feel like I'm bad at citations. Specifically the part about finding credible sources. For example, I need a credible source for "According to psychologists, meaningful work makes people happier and less depressed...". That's something from my book, and although it sounds obvious, I still need to cite a good source for this.


I need to learn the method for finding a credible source. Maybe my concern here isn't warranted, but I'm worried that people will check out my citations and find some flaw in them. Some people seem to really criticize studies, even when they're done in a big university lab qualified people. It occurs to me that just searching google may not be the right answer here.


Is there somewhere that is considered the general "go to" for a good citation? Perhaps you identify the specific university that holds that field as their specialty, and then search through their resources? When you need to cite a source for something that comes from a field you're not an expert in, where do you go to find it? - Thanks!



Hi Bennylava. Your text was very light grey on white background. I have used the moderation tools to make it readable. Please check the text settings prior to posting for subsequent posts.
Many thanks.
 
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Greyson

Senior Member
google scholar is a pretty useful resource for this sort of stuff, and it's free to use. now, the results you get might be behind a paywall, but that's the case with most academic papers anyway. i'm not too familiar with the requirements behind self-help books, but i'm sure finding a perfect study isn't necessary. if someone in the field has said it, you can quote them, i'd suspect. the proof in this case is likely less pertinent than in, say, an academic paper.

a good resource might be psychology today. if i'm not mistaken, they publish articles pretty regularly, and it's a periodical made for psychologists -- i suspect they do their work finding good sources. another option is browsing books similar to your own for their references. if you know X book talks about how meaningful work is beneficial to a person's psychology, see who they reference. alternatively, you can also reference that book. Similarly, while everyone bemoans wikipedia, they are quite diligent about citing their pages with quality pieces. perhaps browsing the works cited on a page that relates to your topic can yield some results.

otherwise, if you know anyone in the field itself, try asking them. a therapist worth their salt has likely read several books that you could reference, and might even be able to provide page numbers or a copy. similarly, if you know anyone in academia, they likely have access to online journals that they could send to you. or they might have access to the campus library and can offer their login for a few hours. or, maybe even see if the DSM mentions anything about this stuff -- it's widely accepted and usually pretty reasonably available online or in libraries.

hope these help spark some ideas, i'll think a bit more about other places you could search! if you have more questions about the act of citing, let me know. i used to edit for an academic journal and part of my job was editing and verifying citations...
 
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Moose.H

Senior Member
Too often people use citations so as not to get sued or prevent called out on cribbing other people's ideas. Commonly they are used to imply superiority. They are best used as a foundation where you explain your topic and you integrate the citation into your background explanation.
 

Squalid Glass

WF Veterans
Purdue OWL is your best resource online for learning how to work in MLA, APA, and Chicago style. I always direct my students to it if they are working on their own outside of class.

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

For finding credible sources, look for peer reviewed sources from scholarly journals. The problem, though, is most of these require subscriptions or university access.
 
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