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Introducing Sources / Informal Documentation Style

Using informal documentation, commonly used by newspapers and popular magazines, gives credit to sources used without the more formal use of in-text citations, footnotes, or bibliographical information. Unlike formal documentation (M !, !"!#, it does not intend to provide complete information about the material (! reader can assume that the writer can produce that information if asked. $ote, however, recent newspaper reporters and authors who admitted %making up& sources when they could not produce the source information#' it does, however, show the reader that (# the information is not the writer)s original writing or idea, and *# the writer and information can be trusted as credible Introducing sources, especially within a formal M ! document, is a great idea, because (# it loosens up the style and keeps it from looking like these names and +uotes came out of nowhere and dropped in on your paper, *# it creates the feeling of a %conversation.& ,he writers whose work you are using have %entered the room,& and, once introduced, you can refer to them by name. -# it shows you know and value your sources, .# it eliminates the need for those pesky in-text citations, /# and most important, it establishes authority0credibility. ,he people whose work you are using have credibility. 1f you show us that, you)ll have credibility as well. Example 1 More !mericans own more cars than at any time in our history. 2erry 3retstone, a mechanical engineer and member of the faculty at 4lemson University, conducted a study for 4ar and 5river magazine in which he examined trends in car ownership over the past century. 6e found that, in *7(7, there was %an average of (.* cars per capita in the country8and that number includes children under driving age and elderly adults no longer behind the wheel.& ,his compares with the .9 cars per household reported in (:;7. 3retstone believes the current totals would be even higher if the number of <unk cars in vacant lots were added. Example 2 =n the website titled, %6ow >e ?rush,& Mary !tkinson, who has a 5octor of 5entistry degree from $.4. @tate University and has been in private practice for (* years, describes modern trends in dental care. @he reports that !merican spend more money on toothpaste than on all other hygiene products combined. %!t least *7A of a person)s total hygiene budget goes to toothpaste and tooth cleaning products,& she writes. %!s a result, costs of things such as whitening paste and bleaching products have skyrocketed.&

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