Citation is so necessary

I remember being taught how to create a bibliography back in elementary school.  At that time, you created a citation entry for every single source you even looked at.  A few years later footnotes were added to the mix.  Now, this was the time before computers, so you had to put in a little-superscripted number and then turn the typing paper towards the bottom and leave a little mark where you would then place your footnote.  How I absolutely hated doing these on the typewriter.  Such a pain and some teachers and professors demanded perfection if you were off even a little then they would take off points or not accept it.

Move along a few years and instead of bibliographies, we are creating a works cited page.  Very easy to do today since if you use a good database to search, they have already created the citation information for you. All you have to do is copy and put in alphabetical order.  Footnotes have disappeared in favor of in-text citations.  How easy these are, even though footnotes would have been much easier to do on the computers and with word processing programs today.

Now we have another problem, people think that they can take anything off of the internet and just use the image, quote, fact, etc., without permission or giving credit for where something originally came from. While I have tried to get my students to realize how important it is to give proper credit, I was actually caught in the middle of a situation this month.  A group planned an event, found a picture on google that they used to promote the event.  I found the topic interesting so decided to attend.  One person checked in on Facebook and innocently tagged me in the post along with several others that were in attendance.  A common occurrence, that resulted in some confusion.You see the picture that they used was found on google.  The group used this picture but never looked into the image or where it was from.  The next thing I know a person is contacting me about using their picture without permission.  I then became the go-between for the two parties involved.  Now I feel like I have disappointed some people and that some friends/family members think that I did this to them on purpose.  I really hope that they realize all I did was attend an event and sadly get put into the middle of a bad event.  At least one good thing will come of this, I have a true story to tell my students when I am teaching them about the importance of citing everything and that they just can’t take an image or picture off of google and use it.  I am also hoping that the group that planned the event has learned the same thing.  Sadly they are adults and should have known that they have to give credit whenever they use something from the internet.

Moral of the story, pound it into the students heads how important it is to properly cite their sources.


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