Question

When writing a paper and using an article and the article cites my desired resources in the text, do I cite the article or the article's sources?

Details

When writing a paper and using an article, and the article cites my desired resources in the text, do I cite my source or do I cite my source's source? I'm using APA.

Answered By: Trustee Library
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2017     Views: 19

If the article includes important information that you would like to use and cites that the information came from a different resource, you should find that resource and cite it on its own. For example, say your article includes this (completely fictional) excerpt:

"Shrews eat a great deal of insects in their diet. According to Smith (2009), beetles, moth larvae, and butterflies make up approximately ninety percent of the average shrew's daily consumption."

If you wanted to write about the fact that "beetles, moth larvae, and butterflies make up approximately ninety percent of the average shrew's daily consumption", you should find the original article by Smith in the article's references and use that as your resource. 

Going back to the original often helps you find additional useful information, since an article that discusses one relevant fact for your topic usually includes more! Looking through the reference lists in relevant articles is a great strategy to find more resources for your paper.

Helpful Hint:

In scholarly articles, you will normally find many of the referenced-from-other-scholars facts in sections like Background or Literature Review, since the author is telling readers about what other scholars have already written. You will find more of the author's own facts and assertions in sections like Methods (which are unique to his or her particular study) and Conclusion (in which the author synthesizes his or her own assertions about the case study).

Related Questions

    Your Question
    Your Info
    Fields marked with * are required.