What are citation machines?
As per definition, “citation machines are web tools designed to assist teachers/ writers in modelling the proper use of information”. It may look as a complete definition to the common reader – but it actually does not say much. The first time someone mentioned “citation machines” phrase to me, I was stumped. And I am a regular user of the net, with a moderate knowledge of the Internet and surfing. So, in order to understand the term, ‘citation machines’ better, I decided to dig a little deeper and see if I get more clarity on its definition and uses.
I found out that what makes the today’s citation machines, was first the brainchild of David Warlick who designed this web tool in October 2000. It has been re-designed with a major facelift in January 2004. The main reason for which it was first brought into existence was to systematize the use of information, but it slowly turned a very useful tool to control plagiarism. It is nowadays used by writers specifically to prove that the material they have used is not plagiarised – which is course is very tempting with the open use and access to the million of resources on the Internet.
It seems the citation machines are very easy to use and are a delight to the writer because of their versatility and fantastic knowledge resource base. It also makes one understand documentation process. In order to get the best from the citation machines, you have to choose carefully whether you are using print material or electronic material. IT usually guides you through a menu where you indicate your choices after which the citation machines give you the possible resources. You may use as many as you need.
You should be careful about while using the citation machines with regard to the accuracy with which you fill in the required blanks. If you leave too many without answer, the accuracy of the result from the citation machines will be very poor. Another important point to feed is which literary method of writing you are following, i.e. MLA (modern languages association) or the APA (American psychological association). When the citation machines throw up the results, if you have filled in the information correctly and as exhaustively as possible, you will need very little formatting.
It if very difficult to really format the results afterwards, so it is a good thing if you review the information entered before you enter the search. “Show My Citations” button will help you check and verify your results with your work. It is important here to note that once a citation is submitted and it cannot be changed.
Remember to save your work in word file after checking out the citations thrown up by the citation machines.
The citation machines are extremely useful when one needs to submit a professionally written article, or report. It is fast, convenient and very exhaustive in its resources. As I mentioned earlier, today it is also used as an anti-plagiarism tool as it indicates the sources used for any information given, in any article.