Exercise 10: Where to Document

Read the following paragraph by FORUM/East student Lucy Shaw, used with permission, and decide what you would document.

STUDENT PARAGRAPH (1) Women nurses, for the first time, began to staff the army hospitals. (2) Dorthea Dix was appointed superintendent of women nurses for the U.S. Army. (3) She barred any applicant she thought interested only in romantic adventure. (4) She required the nurses to be plain-looking women and at least thirty years old. (5) They were to wear brown or black dresses, and ". . . no bows, curls, jewelry, or hoop skirts were allowed." (6) Nursing became a respectable way for energetic women to be useful in a time of crises, and to escape the restrictive environment of their homes and their predictable lives. (7) Women were permitted to become nurses simply because nursing was an extension of the mothering role for which they were believed to be uniquely fitted. (8) Some 3000 women on both side of the Civil War served as nurses, most without training or skills, since the main prerequisite for Civil War nursing was a capacity for self-sacrifice and solicitude. (9) Much of their time was spent as housekeepers, for they were often expected to cook, clean, and do laundry for the patients. (10) Many nurses worked without pay.

What sentence numbers need to be documented?

You need to document sentences 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10.

There seems to be a lot of specific information that is not common knowledge. For example, sentences 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10 offer very specific information that the writer must have gotten from another source. But what source? Was the information from different sources--or all one source? Adding a phrase such as "According to historian June Sochen..." would let the reader know where information from a particular source began. Sentences 1, 6, and 7 are common knowledge. Sentences 6 and 7 offer the writer's own interpretation about why women who grew up in a restrictive culture might be interested in pursuing a career in nursing. Sentence 5 must be documented because it is a direct quotation. This paragraph is one that needs quite a bit of documentation.

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