Citation Hell

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Citation Hell

Postby jewish_scientist » Sat Jun 03, 2017 6:10 am UTC

I am writing an essay on my own. Its not a school assignment, I just want to practice writing academic style papers. One of the things I want to make sure that I get right is the citations. Most of the time, this is easy. Easybib does basically all the work for me. However, I do not think that it can help me with this case.

I want to quote a different paper that I wrote as a school assignment, which contains quotations and paraphrases from the IEP. The IEP in turn paraphrases many different philosophers. What is the proper way to format this citation in MLA?

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Re: Citation Hell

Postby ucim » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:32 pm UTC

I can't help you directly, but I would first ascertain what it is you are quoting, and why (on which authority) it is being used as support for your point. If you are using quotes from philosophers to back you up, then the philosophers are the authority you are referencing, and I'd find an original source for their quote, and cite that. But if you yourself are the authority ("jewish_scientist claims foo, and that's good enough for me"), then cite your paper directly. A source does not have to be publicly available to be valid (I've seen the likes of "Fulano deTal, private communication" cited in scientific papers), but being harder to confirm, it's less convincing as a resort to authority.

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Re: Citation Hell

Postby LaserGuy » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:56 pm UTC

I agree that the best thing to do is to just cite your primary sources. I guess you could cite it as an unpublished work if it's absolutely necessary that you quote that source, but your audience isn't likely to give it much credibility since they have no way of accessing that work.

It's a good idea not to cite yourself too often anyway. In some cases it's inevitable, and if you have a good reason to do it, that's fine, but reviewers are often unforgiving if they see you gratuitously citing your own works.

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