1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    citing sources in a letter

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rumwriter, Mar 5, 2012.

    Last year I wrote a paper for one of my classes, the point of which was to use research and argumentative technique to persuade someone to change their mind on an issue. The paper was in the format of a letter addressed to whomever we were trying to persuade, but since it was an assignment, we of course added a works cited page which we referred to throughout the letter.

    I have since decided it would be worth sending the letter to its intended recipient, (after all, why not?). My only question though, is should I keep the works cited page and citations in the letter? I wouldn't be sending it out for a grade, only to actually try to convince someone of something, and in my mind, keeping parenthetical citations and a works cited page draws away from some of the emotion, and makes it look more like a research paper.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Definitely back up your sources, as this will make you far more credible, and you'll be taken much more seriously that way than if it sounds like you're using emotion-based arguments (which is how it could come across without sources).

    You could leave the works cited page as it is, or you could get rid of it but then site the actual source right in the paper instead of just the reference number. For example, "As stated in ____'s book, "_____," [fact]." instead of just "____[facts]__ [1]" the way you'd cite a source in MLA or APA. If that makes sense.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i agree that to convince someone you need to at least refer to the sources you use in your argument... besides which, if you don't, then you're tacitly claiming their facts/arguments to be your own... but do it in a casual, 'so and so' says kind of way, instead of using any formal citation method...
     

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