White Paper Style Guide

Integral and Non-integral Citations


Citation in technical papers, including white papers, are referred to as intertextual because they reference a text ("the logic or specific details"), outside the immediate text under study. The citation style for a white paper is dependent upon context; the purpose and audience for the paper.

The examples below are taken from The IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields, by David Kmiec, Bernadette Longo.

35. Data collected by Warren and Johnson suggests that applying a tensioned stabilizer should enable us to reclaim 0.7% of product waste [9].

36. Applying a tensioned stabilizer should enable us to reclaim 0.7% of product waste [9].

Both of these sentences refer to another text. The [9] that comes at the end of the sentence indicates that the reader should find a numbered entry corresponding to this [9] at the end of the document. The syntax of sentence 35 is called integral because it relies on the reference to the names of the researchers within the sentence to endorse the information contained there. Sentence 36 is called non-integral because the entire citation is outside the sentence, and no reference is made to the content of the citation within the sentence.

Each type of citation affects the argument of the paper differently. Non-integral citations are the customary format for most research writing in technical fields, including white papers. However, they also create the effect of concurrence between the writer of the text and the cited information. Sentence 36 creates this effect of agreement between writer and the fact cited.

In sentence 35, the integral citation, the fact cited, (0.7% of waste will be reclaimed) does not seem one which the writer wholly endorses. This mode of citing opens doubt as to whether the writer is in agreement with the fact cited, attributing it solely to the two researchers named.

Mentioning the names of researchers in the field opens the door for disagreement on the part of the writer with the results of the research named. Depending on the purpose of the white paper, this might be an effective technique.

(the text above adapted from the IEEE Guide to Writing in the Engineering and Technical Fields by David Kmiec and Bernadette Longo)