Citation Software (Liberty U)

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Havensdad, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. Havensdad

    Havensdad
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    O.k., let me preface this: I do not want any lectures.

    Now,

    I was considering buying a software product called "Style Ease" (http://www.styleease.com) to make my writing a little less tedious. I have been writing for about 3.5 years, and quite frankly, I am sick of sweating through formatting papers, when I know that there is software out there that will make this easier, and allow me to focus on the actual writing.

    Questions:

    #1 Is it worth it? Has anyone used this software? Is there something better out there?

    #2 I am assuming "Seminary Style" Chicago/Turabian would be the better version (instead of the standard Turabian/Chicago style), yes? I only ask this, because a couple of people have told me that for SOME seminaries, the standard version was actually better. From what I can tell here (http://www.styleease.com/ChiSeminaryDiffs.html) the "Seminary Style" seems to fit the LBTS requirements, but I might be missing something. I am unsure how much you can alter the format in the program.

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    Couple of thoughts.

    I would highly recommend Endnote in its latest format. http://www.endnote.com/
    I've used Endnote for years, wrote my dissertation and numerous papers with it. Its a life saver. It works extremely well with Microsoft Office or Open Office in terms of integration. I literally saved myself at least 2 to 3 hours of formatting on large, seminar quality papers because I knew I could trust the software. The variety of styles make it highly portable in case you write for one publication that requires APA and another that does MLA and another that does Turabian. Finally, the integration of online citation libraries is huge (I hate entering book info.) As far as I'm concerned its the standard.

    As for your second question the Seminary uses Turabian 7th Edition (the latest) as its standard. Endnote has been updated to reflect changes. But if there is something that the seminary wants that Endnote doesn't have you can easily modify templates in the program. Did I mention that Endnote automatically updates bibliographies and end/footnotes when changes are made to the reference. Wow, its great!

    Out of deference for some friends I'll toss in Nota Bene. It is just a reliable from what my friends have said. Its here: http://www.notabene.com/

    As a side note:being student at Liberty you should be able to qualify for the latest OS and Office suites from Microsoft for like $20 a pop (a deep discount.) Office 2007 has a citation and bibliography tool embedded but I'm not certain how reliable it is. I do know, from experience, that Endnote combines easily with Office 07.

    Hope that helps! :D
     
    #2 preachinjesus, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2009
  3. gb93433

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    MS Word 2007 has a several different formats available in the software.

    The format you use depends on the field of study and what publishers require. APA is the most widely used.
     
  4. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    Use Zotero ... It's free and works fine.
     
  5. tlange

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    Nota Bene

    I have used EndNote and did not care for it.

    I am using NotaBene and really enjoy it. It is a great timesaver and it has a lot of great features. A bit on the pricey side, but very well worth every $ spent on it.
     
  6. gb93433

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    Can you expand on why you like it so well and what it can do that others cannot?
     
  7. TomVols

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    Does this run on IE?
     
  8. TomVols

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    I have to ask: is the time saved by using this software worth it? I've never had any issues doing my own bibliographic work with Word or back in the day, Word Perfect.

    A word of caution. A friend turned in a paper using one of these. He chose the wrong format. Poof. I don't have to tell you what happened next. Be VERY careful. I've heard of one or two situations where this software is considered a no-no because your bibliographic work has to be your own. Don't know if I'd agree (Every word processor does formatting) but there it is.

    Again....I'm curious as to the benfit of this software and would love to hear about it. I'm about to install 2007 on my primary laptop and look forward to seeing how its functionality in this area is improved.
     
    #8 TomVols, Aug 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 13, 2009
  9. gb93433

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    Every semester I get papers that are not correctly formatted. Last year I received two papers which were interesting. One claimed to have a girlfriend who has a master's in English and the other showed me where he followed the format in another book. My field requires APA format. The APA manual is what I tell my students to go by. I showed the young man (who has the girlfriend) the format in the APA manual and he saw where she was wrong. The student who used another book which was used in his technical writing class showed me what the book called APA format. So I showed him in the APA manual the correct format. The book did not agree with the APA manual.

    The software only formats what you input. You do need to know how to correctly input the names, etc. There are cases when the software will not do what you need it to do. Even the APA manual does not cover everything.

    The software does help a lot to speed up the process. MS Word 2007 will spit out a bibliography with one click of a mouse. However it is wrong under APA in that it does not give the proper heading of "References". For APA it only lists "Bibliography". There is a difference between a references list and a bibliography.
     
  10. Havensdad

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    Tom,

    I know that Style Ease, at least, is actually mandated by many Seminaries, including Southwestern, because it IS accurate. Style Ease is not JUST a citation software: it formats your entire paper to Turabian/Chicago. The correct cover pages, Table of contents, automatic footnotes, etc. etc.


    It is accurate to the formats. I just don't know if the "Seminary Style" or the standard Turabian/Chicago is better for Liberty, nor do I know how much time it will save. I DO know that it takes me hours to properly format and comb through a research project, and if this program will save me even 1 hour, it is worth it.
     
  11. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I think it is absolutely worth it. I've listed several reasons above. I'll expand a bit more now.

    1. You save ridiculous amounts of time formatting and dealing with mind-numbing, time wasting minutiae that could be used researching or doing more productive things.

    2. This doesn't mean you just type your paper, add foot/endnotes, know the bibliography is being sorted by the program, print and turn in. You have to edit at some point. I just don't like wasting time looking at every reference to make sure this period goes here, there is the semicolon, and the parenthesis contains the editor...no wait, the publisher...no wait, the year published...that drives me crazy.

    3. In seminary and post-graduate work you end up using a multitude of resources that will be cited in numerous works and, honestly you need to remember. When I did my dissertation I pulled from all of my seminar papers in some manner and being able to have one centralized database of resources, fully documented, was huge.

    4. I have a colleague who works in biology. She is constantly working with biologists on research and articles and being able to have a common citation software to share info, references, and work on shared papers from across the country and globe is essential. In working on my dissertation my major professor and I shared resources through the built in collaborative tool in Endnote. Made it really effecient during the editting phase.

    5. I don't always recommend these for undergrad students. Sometimes you need to learn the nuts and bolts of something. But for graduate and post-graduate students these resources are vital imho. If for no other reason I can open my laptop, pull up my reference list, do a search and let a student or peer know what major works I recommend on, say, immutability. I don't have to carry that stuff around in my head and don't have to worry about giving wrong information.

    Yeah again if you just type, print, staple, hand in you're asking for failure. At all of the seminaries and graduate schools I know the faculty are required to use the same style guide. Most every seminary I know uses Turabian, or Chicago style, for their citation info. When you get the right info and lock it in you are good to go.

    One great benefit, as I mentioned above, is that these programs do allow for complete reformatting of citations in a paper just by clicking the style and update. I know that Endnote does this for me. If I'm submitting a paper in Turabian to one journal and in APA to another all I need to do is save the paper in Turabian, edit, print then go to Endnote switch styles and wait a second for it to update in Word. Then edit, print, and there you go.

    Again, if you are just typing and printing you're bound for failure. Its like getting in your car, putting it in drive, and believing it will take you to Chick-fil-a...sooner or later you've got guide the sucker otherwise you've got problems.

    In some education schools I know of this is case. But the professor usually states this so plainly it can't be missed.

    Just my take on Endnote. I use it nearly every day. I have fifteen unique libraries depending on my research. I can drag and drop references between and when I update one it updates all the others (in regards to references.) When I'm out buying books or looking at additions to my personal library I can just pull up my Endnote personal library and make sure I don't already have that volume. (This happens frequently as I have a significant personal library.)

    It is a gift from God imho. I don't know about the integration between the latest version of Endnote and Word 2007. I hear it is fabulous, but can't say yea or nay.

    Hope this info helps. Seriously I do encourage people to check out all the options. I settled on Endnote because it worked the best for me. It might not be best for you.:thumbs:
     
  12. TomVols

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    Some seminaries have different title page requirements. How would StyleEase compensate for that? I haven't heard of a seminary yet that mandated them. I have heard of one or two that forbid them.

    I'm not poo-pooing these packages. I'm just wondering if they're not redundant.
     
  13. preachinjesus

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    Just my take, I never use a preformatted title page. I just do it myself.

    I think the packages could be redundant if Word 2007 has a thorough citation system built in. I'm not certain. You've got some great questions! :D
     
  14. Havensdad

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    From Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary....

    "IMPORTANT: If you do not have a copy of the Southwestern Style Manual with Style Ease CD, please contact Web-Based Education at [email protected] as soon as possible to get one if you are not able to get one on campus on your own! You DO need this to complete your written assignments."

    Found here...

    http://www.swbts.edu/index.cfm?pageid=1636
     
  15. greek geek

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    I agree with a previous poster - use Zotero. I've used Endnotes for years and merely endured it - always had problems with it. But I found Zotero recently and I love it. First, it's free (always a good thing). Second, it works better with Word and OpenOffice than EndNote ever did for me. I imported my Endnotes library easily. And it's extremely easy to add citations from any webpage. If you're looking at your library's website and you have a page of books on the webbrowser, there is a little icon you click and you can quickly and easily add all or just one of the books on the page. The ease of adding sources is definately worth it. And did I mention that it's free?
     

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