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Accuracy and Using Sources

Accuracy and Using Sources

Author: Mackenzie W
Differentiate between ethical and unethical activities when it comes to using sources in an essay.
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Hi, everyone. I'm MacKenzie, and today we're learning about accuracy and using sources. Have you ever heard the expression to take something out of context? In this tutorial, we'll learn about using sources accurately, and we'll look at an example of using a source unethically.

Part of our job as writers is to be accurate when we use sources. That means correctly recording bibliographic information about the sources we use in our writing and representing the sources' ideas, research, arguments, and main points fairly. To correctly record bibliographic information about a source, we have to cite information about the source within the body of our writing and in a reference page after the essay itself. Generally, bibliographic information will include the author's first and last name, the title of the source, and publication information, such as the date, the publisher, and perhaps an umbrella source, which might be a magazine, journal, newspaper, or even a book. We should also take note of a web address if it is an online source or a source that we located online, as well as page numbers of printed sources, if we're going to be using quotations.

When using outside sources, there are some unethical approaches to incorporating the author's work into our own writing. First, we should avoid using a quotation in such a way that it is taken out of context or that it misconstrued the writer's intention. We also need to make sure that when we use information from an outside source, we don't misrepresent the source in any way. This includes the ideas, main points, arguments, and research presented in the source.

It would also be unethical to fail to give credit to a source. This happens when we don't use quotation marks around a direct quotation that is taken word for word from the source. If using two or more sections of a quotation while eliminating other sections, we need to make sure that the quotation is not taken out of context.

Unintentional plagiarism also includes failing to give credit to a source when we summarize or paraphrase information from that source. We might be presenting someone else's ideas as our own, which is a type of plagiarism. Keep in mind that explaining someone else's ideas while still presenting our own ideas, main points, and research, and maybe arguments can be challenging. And we need to keep in mind the importance of separating the two.

When presenting someone else's ideas, over-simplifying the authors ideas and research may seem like a quick solution. But this can also be unethical if we are not accurately representing the ideas written by that particular author. We must ensure that we fairly and accurately represent the sources we're including in our writing. That's one of our jobs as a writer.

Here is an example of how to use a saw unethically. Note that this type of approach should be avoided. I am going to write an essay about driving tests for senior drivers. My thesis is, senior citizens should be required to take yearly driving tests once they reach 70 years of age to assess their driving skills, preventing unnecessary property damage, injuries, and fatalities. And I found this article from USA Today that describes the opinions of a senior driver about the topic and discusses implications related to the topic.

In the article, a senior driver is interviewed about his perspective toward driving tests for seniors. He mentions that his mother drove into her late 80s, and that he thinks that as long as seniors are capable of driving, they should be allowed to drive. If I were to use this source unethically, I might state, "Senior drivers think it's OK to drive into their late 80s.

This is unethical for two reasons. The first is that I am oversimplifying the statement. There was much more discussed in this article. And taking a small part of the article and presenting it in a more simple fashion is inaccurate. This usage would also be unethical because the senior who gave the original quotation wasn't saying that it's always OK for seniors to drive when they are in their late 80s. He simply said that his mother drove at this age. I would be misrepresenting the intent of this article. Again, this is an example of unethical and inaccurate usage of a source. And this type of usage should be avoided.

In this tutorial, we learned about using sources accurately, and we looked at an example of using a source unethically. Be sure not to take things out of context. I'm MacKenzie. Thanks for listening.