A Citation Is Nothing More Than A Way To Inform The Reader (I.E. Me) Where You Obtained Your Information From. That Is, What Source Did You Use To Answer The Question.

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Once again, let me provide an explanation regarding citations:

 

A citation is nothing more than a way to inform the reader (i.e. me) where you obtained your information from. That is, what source did you use to answer the question.

For example, if the question asks you, "What are the elements of a contract?", and you find the answer in your textbook on page 31, you would cite to the book (following correct rules of citation) with the page number (i.e. 31).

 

Legal Studies students would cite according to the Bluebook, so the citation would look like this:

 

Author, Title, Page(s) (edition if applicable followed by year). 

 

So, to cite to the textbook, the citation would look like this:

 

Martin A Frey and Phyllis Hurley Frey, Introduction to the Law of Contracts, 31 (4th Ed. 2008).

 

Notice the way the authors’ names are written, the title is in italics, the edition and year are inside parentheses, and the citation is closed with a period. If the answer was found on several pages, then you’d put them like this (for example): 31 – 33. Or if it was found on sporadic pages, you’d put it like this: 31, 45-47, 50. This means that I referred to pages 31, 45-47, and 50 to obtain the information needed to draft my response.

 

The example provided above is called the full citation sentence and it follows Bluebook. If you refer to the website I suggested, it is all there, with clear examples. This is the direct link that shows how to cite to a textbook:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/citation/2-700.htm.

 

The Cornell website provides examples on how to cite to every single possible source you can use. It is not easy, but this must be mastered. You’ve got to spend several hours a week reading through the citation manuals just to familiarize yourself with these rules. The websites offer all the guidance you need, without ever having to use the citation rule books. Trust me, this is a huge advantage over the “Dark Ages” when we had to literally flip through hundreds of pages just to find the format for citing a book.

 

Please note, CJ and Business students will have citations that look different because they follow APA (assistance can be found at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/03/).

 

The format for a citation to a book is:

 

Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

 

So the citation to a textbook looks like this:

 

Frey, M and Frey, P (2008). Introduction to the Law of Contracts. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cengage Learning, 31.

 

For APA (or law review rules for the Bluebook), you must create a "Reference" page, which is a list, in alphabetical order, of all sources used and referred to in your paper / essay. This goes at the end of your paper. You must then place "in-text" citations that will refer to the references listed in your "Reference" page. For example, let's say you found the elements of a contract on page 31, this is how your response might read:

 

The most important elements of a contract are offer, acceptance, and consideration (Frey, 2008).

 

Or, you can write it like this:

 

According to Frey (2008), the most important elements of a contract are offer, acceptance, and consideration.

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