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10 Great Essay Writing Tips
Knowing how to write a college essay is a useful skill for anyone who plans to go to college. Most colleges and universities ask you to submit a writing sample with your application. As a student, you’ll also write essays in your courses. Impress your professors with your knowledge and skill by using these great essay writing tips.
Prepare to Answer the Question
Most college essays ask you to answer a question or synthesize information you learned in class. Review notes you have from lectures, read the recommended texts and make sure you understand the topic. You should refer to these sources in your essay.
Plan Your Essay
Many students see planning as a waste of time, but it actually saves you time. Take a few minutes to think about the topic and what you want to say about it. You can write an outline, draw a chart or use a graphic organizer to arrange your ideas. This gives you a chance to spot problems in your ideas before you spend time writing out the paragraphs.
Choose a Writing Method That Feels Comfortable
You might have to type your essay before turning it in, but that doesn’t mean you have to write it that way. Some people find it easy to write out their ideas by hand. Others prefer typing in a word processor where they can erase and rewrite as needed. Find the one that works best for you and stick with it.
View It as a Conversation
Writing is a form of communication, so think of your essay as a conversation between you and the reader. Think about your response to the source material and the topic. Decide what you want to tell the reader about the topic. Then, stay focused on your response as you write.
Provide the Context in the Introduction
If you look at an example of an essay introduction, you’ll see that the best essays give the reader a context. Think of how you introduce two people to each other. You share the details you think they will find most interesting. Do this in your essay by stating what it’s about and then telling readers what the issue is.
Explain What Needs to be Explained
Sometimes you have to explain concepts or define words to help the reader understand your viewpoint. You also have to explain the reasoning behind your ideas. For example, it’s not enough to write that your greatest achievement is running an ultra marathon. You might need to define ultra marathon and explain why finishing the race is such an accomplishment.
Answer All the Questions
After you finish writing the first draft of your essay, make sure you’ve answered all the questions you were supposed to answer. For example, essays in compare and contrast format should show the similarities and differences between ideas, objects or events. If you’re writing about a significant achievement, describe what you did and how it affected you.
Stay Focused as You Write
Writing requires concentration. Find a place where you have few distractions and give yourself time to write without interruptions. Don’t wait until the night before the essay is due to start working on it.
Read the Essay Aloud to Proofread
When you finish writing your essay, read it aloud. You can do this by yourself or ask someone to listen to you read it. You’ll notice places where the ideas don’t make sense, and your listener can give you feedback about your ideas.
Avoid Filling the Page with Words
A great essay does more than follow an essay layout. It has something to say. Sometimes students panic and write everything they know about a topic or summarize everything in the source material. Your job as a writer is to show why this information is important.
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Reference Your Essay
Referencing is a system that allows you to acknowledge the contributions and work of others in your writing by citing your sources. A feature of academic writing is that it contains references to the words, information and ideas of others.
All academic essays MUST contain references. Referencing guards against plagiarism , a serious academic offence. Plagiarism is copying someone else's words or ideas and presenting them as your own.
Make sure you are familiar with the referencing style your faculty or school requires. Most have guides specifying the system they prefer. Often Schools/Faculties don't mind which system you use as long as it is consistent . If this is the case, use the system you are most comfortable with.
Remember to list all the books and articles you use for the essay in a Reference List. This is a list of all works cited in your essay and should be the final page.
Next step: Editing your essay
Essay and assignment writing guide.
- Getting started
- Research the topic
- Organise your ideas
- Write your essay
- Reference your essay
- Edit your essay
- Hand in your essay
- Essay and assignment planning
- Answering assignment questions
- Editing checklist
- Writing a critical review
- Annotated bibliography
- Reflective writing
- ^ More support
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How to Reference Essays
Last Updated: September 15, 2022 References
This article was co-authored by Alexander Peterman, MA . Alexander Peterman is a Private Tutor in Florida. He received his MA in Education from the University of Florida in 2017. There are 14 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 313,564 times.
When you begin writing a research essay, you must take into account the format of your writing and reference pages. There are several reference styles that may be assigned to you, including MLA (Modern Language Association), APA (American Psychological Association), and Chicago. Each one has its own set of rules. There's no need to familiarize yourself with all 3 unless you have to, but you do need to learn at least one if you’re in any field involving academic writing. Here are summaries of each style to help you start your essay on the right track.
- You will need a citation directly after every sentence (or group of sentences if you're citing the same source in multiple consecutive sentences) containing information you didn't think of yourself. These include: paraphrases, facts, statistics, quotes, and examples.
- An in-text citation using MLA will simply have the author last name (or title if no author) followed by the page number. No comma between author and page number. For example: (Richards 456) Richards is the author last name, and 456 is the page number.
- If you have an author name (or title, if no author) but no page number, simply use author last name (or title).
- The easiest way to keep track of MLA citations while doing research is to copy and paste copyright information into a word processing document as you go, or to write it down in a notebook.
- Things to include for any source are author(s), date published, publisher, page number, volume and issue number, website, date accessed, anything that appears on the copyright page or indicates how to find it again.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- As an example, the format for a standard book citation using MLA style is as follows: Last name of author, First name. Title of Book. City published: Publisher Name, Year published. Source Medium.
- An MLA website citation looks like the following. If there's no author listed, begin citation with the name of the page: Last name, first name. "Page Title." Website Title. Publisher. Date published. Source Medium. Date accessed.
- An MLA scholarly article citation looks like the following: Last name, First name. "Title of Article." Title of Journal . Volume.Issue (Year): page numbers. Source Medium.
- Write the title of the main work (book, magazine, journal, website, etc.) in italics, or underline if you’re writing references by hand.
- Chapter or article titles should be in quotation marks.
- If there is no author listed, as is common on websites, simply skip the author’s name and begin the entry with the title of the work.
- Alphabetize by the first letter that appears in the entry, whether it has an author name or not.
- The formatting should be in Times New Roman font, size 12, with “Works Cited” centered at the top of a new page.
- Each entry should have hanging indent, meaning all lines below the first line are indented by half an inch.
- Make sure there is a period after each section of the citations. A period should always end the citation.
- Place a parenthetical citation at the end of every sentence (or group of sentences if you're using the same source for multiple consecutive sentences) containing information you didn't know before doing research.
- An in-text citation using APA will simply have the author last name (or title if no author) followed by the year it was published. No comma between name and year. For example: (Richards 2005) Richards is the author last name, and 2005 is the year.
- If you have an author name (or title if no author) but no page number, simply use author last name (or title). This is common when citing websites.
- APA document formatting is very important. APA papers are divided up into 4 sections: the title page, the abstract, the main body, and the references page. The citations of a research paper using APA appear in the References section, the last portion of an APA document.  X Research source
- To form APA reference page citations, you will need such information as author name(s), date published, website URL, date you accessed the website, title of work, and so on.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- For example, the format for an APA reference of a scholarly journal article is as follows: Author last name, First initial. (Year published). Article or chapter title. Journal or book title, Issue number , page number range.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- The format for an APA book reference looks like: Last name, First name. (Year.) Title of Book: Capital letter also for subtitle . Location: Publisher.
- The format for an APA website reference looks like: Author, A.A. First name, & Author, B.B. (Date published.) Title of article. In Title of webpage or larger document or book (chapter or section number). Retrieved from URL address
- Capitalize the author's last name and first initial, followed by a period.
- Only capitalize the first word of a journal article title, unless the title contains a proper noun (called sentence case). Titles of books should preserve the published capitalization.
- Capitalize the city of publication, and use correct state abbreviations for states. Also capitalize the name of the publisher and end the reference with a period.
- The title of larger works, whether a book, journal, website, or magazine, is in italics (or underlined if handwriting), as is the issue number that appears right after the title. Titles for shorter works like articles and chapters should not have any indicative punctuation in an APA entry.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- A period should end all citations.
Using Chicago Manual of Style
- For Notes and Bibliography, you will use a superscript at the instance of each quote in the text with a corresponding footnote at the end of the page. All footnotes are compiled into endnotes at the end of the work, on the bibliography page.  X Trustworthy Source Purdue Online Writing Lab Trusted resource for writing and citation guidelines Go to source
- For Author Date, you will use parenthetical in-text citations that include author last name and year published, using no punctuation between name and year. The full version of each parenthetical citation is listed alphabetically on the references page. For example: (Simon 2011) Simon is the author last name, and 2011 is the year.
- You will need a citation directly after every sentence (or group of sentences if you're using the same source for multiple consecutive sentences) containing information you didn't think of yourself. These include: paraphrases, facts, statistics, quotes, and examples.
- If using a book, write down all pertinent information found on the copyright page, including the name of the publisher and the city and year of publication.
- For other sources, look for this information near the title of the piece you’re looking at. Publication date is often at the bottom of webpages.
- Title your references page “Bibliography” centered at the top of the page. Leave 2 blank lines between this title and the first entry, and one blank line between entries.
- Notes and Bibliography style uses footnotes for page endings and endnotes for chapter endings. The bibliography page will be an alphabetized list of all sources in hanging indent.
- An example format for a book is as follows: Last name, First name. Book Title . City: Publisher, Year.
- An example format for a chapter in a print scholarly journal is as follows: Author last name, first name. "Title of Chapter or Article." Book or journal Title Issue Number (Year): Page number range. (For an online scholarly journal article, tack on the following at the end: Date accessed. URL address.)
- When there is no known author, the entry should begin with the title of the document, whether it's a webpage, chapter, article, and so on.
- When there are multiple authors, the first listed author appears last name, first name, so that the citation is alphabetized by this author's last name. Subsequent authors are listed by first name, like this: Alcott, Louisa May, Charles Dickens, and Elizabeth Gaskell.
- Always end a citation with a period.
- When using Author Date style, title your references page “References” centered at the top of the page. Leave 2 blank lines between this title and the first entry, and 1 blank line between entries.
- Author Date style bibliographies should be organized alphabetically by last name (or by title if no author) in hanging indent.
- An example format for a book is as follows: Last name, first name. Year. Book Title . City Published: Publisher.
- An example format for a chapter in a print scholarly journal is as follows: Author last name, first name. Year. "Title of Chapter or Article." Book or journal title issue number: page numbers. (for an online scholarly journal article tack this onto the end: Date accessed. URL address.)
- An example format for a website is as follows: Name of Website. Year. "Page Title." Date last modified. Date accessed. URL address.
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- You don't have to write each bibliography or reference entry on your own. You can download citation management software like Endnote  X Research source (purchase required on this one), Zotero  X Research source (it's free), or use websites like http://www.bibme.org/ and http://www.easybib.com/ . Select the name of your style manual before you begin creating citations. Copy and paste the citation into your bibliography or references list. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- If you are assigned to write a paper or other written document in one of these styles, you need to purchase the style manual. It will contain nearly every instance not only of source citation, but paper formatting as well as grammar and punctuation that is unique to that style. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- This article only lists how to cite research for each style manual. Each style has its own instructions for setting up the format of the essay, including heading, spacing, margins, font, and so on. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_in_text_citations_the_basics.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_formatting_and_style_guide.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/mla_style/mla_formatting_and_style_guide/mla_works_cited_page_books.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/in_text_citations_author_authors.html
- ↑ https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_electronic_sources.html
- ↑ https://libguides.jcu.edu.au/apa/reference-list
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_author_authors.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/reference_list_basic_rules.html
- ↑ https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
- ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/chicago_manual_17th_edition/cmos_formatting_and_style_guide/chicago_manual_of_style_17th_edition.html
- ↑ http://guides.nyu.edu/c.php?g=276562&p=1844734
- ↑ http://endnote.com
- ↑ https://www.zotero.org
About This Article
To reference an essay using MLA style, add a citation after any information you found through a source, like facts or quotes. When citing the reference, include the author’s name and the page number you pulled the information from in parenthesis, like “(Richards 456).” Once you’ve finished your essay, add a Words Cited page with all of the information you used to research your essay, like books or articles. To create a Works Cited page, list the sources in alphabetical order using the author’s last name, and include additional information, like year published and the medium. For more tips from our Writing reviewer, like how to reference an essay using APA style, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Writing Better University Essays/Referencing
By referencing the sources you use in your essay, you do a number of things. First of all, you comply with an academic convention. Secondly, you make your essay look more professional. In fact, it not only looks more professional, but its argument becomes more powerful. Thirdly, you allow others to check your sources. This is often only a hypothetical issue, but a look through the list of your references will allow others to judge your argument quickly. Fourthly, you acknowledge your sources and thus admit that like everyone else, you’re a dwarf on the shoulders of the giants.
The essential bits of referencing require you to provide enough information to others so that they can identify the source. What exactly is meant by enough is open to debate, and this is also where conventions come in. Essential is that you do provide references. Ideally, you would do so properly. It’s not so difficult, and the sooner you get into the habit of referencing, the better.
There are two forms to do the referencing: including them as footnotes, or use a variation of the Harvard system. Your institution may have a preference, or even a house style. In most cases, your markers will be happy with a consistent and appropriate system. The Harvard system is also known as author/date, and will be described here in more detail.
- 1 Inside the Text
- 2 At the End
- 3 Problem Cases
- 4 Plagiarism
- 5 Citations and Quotations
- 6 When to Put the References
Inside the Text [ edit | edit source ]
Within your essay, whenever you make a statement that is essentially based on somebody else’s work, you should attribute the source. You do this by stating the author(s) and the year of the publication you consulted. Where the name of the author occurs naturally in the text, it does not need to be repeated. The references are usually included at the end of a sentence, or where inappropriate in a place where the text flow is not interrupted too much, such as in front of a comma. This may be necessary, for example, if only the first half of your sentence is based on someone else’s work.
The name of the author is included in brackets, together with the year of publication. Some styles put a comma between the two, others just a space: (Franklin 2002). Where there are two authors, both names are included: (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). Some styles prefer the word and , others prefer the ampersand (& symbol). Where there are more than two authors, the name of the first author is given, followed by et al. (which literally means and others ): (Almeder et al. , 2001). Some styles put et al. into italics, others don’t.
If you have two or more references for the same argument, you should separate the references with a semicolon (; symbol): (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994; Steinberg, 1999). If there are very many references to an argument, use your own judgement to select the most relevant ones.
What should you reference? Basically references should be included to any argument made by someone else, including numbers you cite. However, statements of general nature need not be attributed to anyone. A statement that the sky is blue alone does not require a reference. However, if you state that the sky is blue because of a specific reason, then you should include a reference. If you use the exact words of an author (quotation), you’ll need to give the number of the page where you copy from. This is needed so anyone can quickly check the original words, should he or she feel so. See the separate section on quotes.
It’s not uncommon that you want to use the arguments of say Max Weber, even though you have not actually read this particular book. Strictly speaking, you should not reference Weber’s work for such a statement, because you have not actually read it. Can you really be sure this is what Weber said or meant? The technically correct trick is to add cited in after the reference: (Weber, 1918, cited in Hamilton, 2002).
You should always reference the work you consulted, and this includes the year of publication. Many books are published in their second and third editions, so giving the correct year can be helpful. Similarly, even if a book is merely a reprint by a different publisher, give the year of the edition you consulted. The page numbers may differ. If it’s just a second print of the exact same book, use the original date. Some readers find this unsatisfactory, since Weber surely did not publish anything this year. The convention to circumvent this issue is to give both years: the year of the original publication, together with the one of the work you consulted. Sometimes slashes are used between the dates (/ sign), others prefer the used of square brackets ([ and ] sign): Burke (2004/1774) or Burke (2004 ).
Another small issue occurs where an author published more than one book or article in a single year, and you want to cite more than one of them. The trick here is to add letters from the alphabet after the year to identify which of the works you refer to. Use the letter a for the first of your references, the letter b for the second and so on: (McManus, 1994a) and (McManus, 1994b) are two different works.
To sum it up, inside the text, you give the family name of the author, followed by the year of the publication. Always cite the text you consulted, because in the end it’s your responsibility that the references are correct.
At the End [ edit | edit source ]
At the end of your essay you should include a list of references. Such a list of references provides more details than just the name of the author and the year of publication. It’s this list that allows identifying the work cited. Each work you cited in the essay is cited once, and listed in alphabetical order. Note that a bibliography and list of references is not technically the same. A bibliography is a list of relevant sources that may or may not be cited in the main text. References are the sources you cited, even if they are rather trivial. Use the heading references for your references.
For books, you put the family name of the author(s) and their initials, followed by the year of publication in brackets, the title in italics, the place of publication, and finally the name of the publisher. If there are editors, give their names instead of the authors’. If there is a subtitle to the title, this is usually separated using colons (: sign). Where there are more than four authors, it’s common to use et al. after the first three, but some styles insist on citing all authors. Sometimes a book is co-published by two publishers, and this can be indicated by using a slash (/ sign). Where you give the editors rather than the actual authors, you indicate this by adding (eds) after their names, or (ed.) if there is only one. The title is capitalized. For example:
Chapters in a book are cited separately, especially if the book is edited. You give the family name of the author and his or her initial, the year, the name of the chapter in single speech marks (‘ and ’ sign; not capitalized), followed by the word in , and the name and year of the editor(s). If you cite only one chapter, you can give the whole reference at the end; otherwise it’s enough to give the name and year of the editor. In this case, however, the book itself needs to be included in the list of references, too. For example:
An entry in a printed encyclopaedia or a dictionary can be cited if it was a chapter in a book. The editors are often given on the front of the reference book. For example:
Journal articles are cited in a way that is quite similar to chapters in a book. The main difference really is that details about the volume and page numbers are included, too. The reference starts with the name and initial of the author, the year in brackets, the title of the article in single speech marks (not capitalized), followed by the name of the journal in italics (capitalized), and further details. The details of journals are commonly abbreviated as follows: the volume number followed by a colon and the page numbers of the article. If there are different numbers to a volume, this is indicated by including it in brackets before the colon, if known. Online journals may not have page numbers. For example:
Pages on the internet should be cited where used. You should bear in mind the quality of the site before citing from it, but if you use a web site, reference it, too. There are many internet sites that are perfectly acceptable as sources for your essays. The reference includes the name of the author and initial, the year in brackets, the title of the document in italics, the word online in square brackets, the place of publication, the publisher, the words available from : followed by the URL, and the date when the document was accessed in brackets. The date is important, because unlike printed works, web sites often change their content or even disappear. Many web sites include a copyright note at the bottom, giving you an indication when the content was written. For example:
Newspaper articles are very similar to journal articles in the way they are cited. The key difference is that rather than the volume, the date is given. The reference therefore includes the name and initial of the author, the year of publication in brackets, the title in single speech marks, the name of the newspaper in italics (capitalized), the date, and finally the page where the article was found. For one page it’s customary to use the abbreviation p. , for articles running over two or more pages, the abbreviation pp. is common. For example:
Handouts from a lecture can be referenced and should be referenced if they are used as the basis of what you write. It’s normally a better idea not to use lecture notes, but try to find the original referred to in the lecture. Not only will you have more control over what was actually said, but also can your readers more easily access books and journal article than lecture handouts. The reference to a lecture handout includes the name and initial of the lecturer, the year in bracket, the title of the handout in single speech marks, the words lecture notes distributed in followed by the name of the course in italics, the word at and the name of your institution, the place, and date of the lecture. For example:
Personal conversations are not commonly considered good sources, but if they are what you use as the basis of your essay, you should include such conversations. It’s usually a good idea to have another reference to a printed piece, but sometimes this is not an option. In terms of giving the reference, personal conversations are very easy: the name of the person you spoke to, the year in brackets, the words conversation with the author and the date of the conversation. For example:
The same format can also be used for personal e-mail, or instant messengers. Once again, bear in mind the credibility of your sources. With e-mail messages it’s customary to include the e-mail address of the sender in brackets after the name, but it’s essential that you obtain consent from the author. The subject line of the e-mail is often included as the title. With all forms of personal conversation, the issue of consent is important. It’s always a very good idea to check with the author first.
Problem Cases [ edit | edit source ]
There are sometimes cases that are not so straightforward as the average book or journal article. For everything there is a solution in the academic conventions. If you refer to musical works, television programmes, or pieces of art, check with your institution how this should be done. If everything else fails, remember the function of referencing, and provide a reasonable amount of information for others to chase the work. Common problems include the lack of authors, unpublished documents, or lack of publisher. Where there is no author, often there is an organization. Put the name of the organization. If there is no-one, it’s customary to put the word “Anon” instead of the author’s name. For example:
Sometimes the year of a document is not known. Where you have a rough idea, you can put a c before the date, such as in (c.1999). Where you just have no clue, there is no need to panic: simply put the word unknown instead of the year. Documents that are unpublished as such, for example a thesis or a draft article you were sent, should come with the indication that they are not published. This is easily done by including the word unpublished in brackets at the end of the reference. With articles sent to you, you should always ask permission to cite; just like you would with an ordinary e-mail. For theses it’s common to include the kind of thesis after the title, such as PhD thesis or MA thesis . Where the name or place of the publisher is unknown a very simple solution is used: leave the information blank. This is particularly an issue with internet sites. Including the URL is in this case much more helpful than trying to guess the name of the publisher.
Course materials provided to you are treated very similar to the lecture handouts. Give the name of the author, the year in brackets, the course code if there is one, the course title in italics (capitalized), the kind of material and its title in single speech marks, place of publication, and publisher. For example:
The capitalization of titles may seem a bit confusing, but it follows a simple logic: it’s the main title that is capitalized. In the case of a book, the main title is that of the book. In the case of journal articles, on the other hand, the main title is thought to be that of the journal itself. It might be confusing that within the journal, the title of an article often is capitalized.
Capitalization is not very hard to achieve. Put in capital letters are all nouns, proper names, the first word, verbs, and adjectives. This is in fact almost everything. Not put in capital letters are words like and , in , or , or with . Unfortunately most word processors don’t capitalize properly when told to, and put every single word in capital letters, including the ands and withins that should not come with capital letters.
Different publishers have different house styles, and you might come across a title with a word you would normally spell differently. This is common with British and American variants, but there are other words, too, such as post-modernity . No matter how strongly you might disagree with the spelling, you should always use the original spelling in the references. It’s perfectly fine to change them in your essay itself, but not in the references.
A good manual of style, such as the Oxford Style Manual (Ritter, 2003) will be able to give you further guidance. Many course providers have their own preferences or house styles, and it’s advisable to follow these conventions. Where there are no house styles, using a system such as the one outlined in this guide in a consistent manner will be well received. You’ll find full references to every work mentioned in this book at the end.
Plagiarism [ edit | edit source ]
It’s difficult to write about referencing without mentioning plagiarism. Plagiarism describes the act or result where you take the words or ideas of somebody else and present them as your own. Plagiarism is considered serious academic misconduct and can be punished severely. Most importantly, however, your reputation is on the line.
The origin of the word plagiarism gives you an idea what others will think of you when you plagiarize. The word goes back to the Latin plagiārius , a thief and kidnapper—in particular a child snatcher and somebody abducting slaves. The modern use in academia brands you a literary thief (OED, 2005).
There are a number of reasons why plagiarism occurs. The worst case is deliberate plagiarism (for whatever reason). Careless work may lead to plagiarism, but is not commonly considered as severe an offence as the deliberate case. Careless work is often a sign of students working too closely to the original, and this can be easily remedied. Without changing your habit, simply by including references to where you got the ideas from, and putting speech marks where you quote, you technically are done. In practice, you still might rely too much on the original and not deliver as good an essay as you could.
Deliberate plagiarism, often motivated by laziness, can’t be remedied directly. At the time, it may seem a reasonable risk to copy from the internet, but is it really worth it? Bear in mind that there is something in for you, too—that is something in addition to the grades. The more you write, the easier it gets.
If you work too closely to the original, there is a simple solution: don’t write the essay with the books in front of you. By so doing, there is very little danger that you copy word by word. In a way, you force yourself to make the material your own: and that is a good thing—it makes a better argument, your essay will be more original, and not least, you’ll also get better grades. Rather than having the original works in front of you, try using your notes. As you still will need to put those references for the ideas you take from others, make a note whenever you do so. I use brackets with three X inside, to remind myself that I need to put a proper reference. Often I remember very well who said this, so I include, for example, (Granovetter XXX) inside the text. When checking the essay, it’s hard not to notice the triple X; and there is always the search facility in the word processor. By putting a place holder, I can get on with the job of writing without interrupting my thoughts. Equally important, I leave some traces indicating to myself that there is some more work to be done: finding the proper reference, for example.
If you think plagiarism is hard to detect by your marker, think again. There are a great number of signs that give plagiarized work away. Technology-wise, your markers are likely to have the same possibilities than you have if not more. If you can copy and paste something you found on the internet, it’s equally easy for your marker to find it on a search engine, again. It would, of course, be possible, to change plagiarized work to the extent that the deed is no longer easy to spot. Usually, however, this is just as much work as writing the essay yourself.
Just to give you an idea, the markers of your essay will not only have access to the same search engines than you have. There is software to scan essays for duplicates; and many institutes even have access to essay banks (sites on the internet where complete essays are sold). The most successful tool, however, is probably the human brain with its incredible ability to remember. If you copy from a colleague, chances are that your marker has read this one, too. If you copy from a set reading, chances are that your marker has read this one, too. Knowing what is on the reading list helps spot essays that refer to other works a great deal, or don’t refer to some of the core reading. Your marker can estimate how many readings you had time to read, or whether you’re likely to have read a great number of papers on the Belgian perspective of whatever issues is set in the question. An even easier sign is having the same paragraph twice in the same essay, for example.
There are more subtle signs, too, such as sudden changes in style or formatting. Many people are unaware of how idiosyncratic one’s writing style is. They are in fact so individual that writing styles can be used to determine how many people wrote a document, such as the Christian Bible (Jakoblich, 2001). Writing style includes the tenses we use, the level of formality, our own choice of words, the kinds of metaphors we put, whether we use American or British English, choices over punctuation, the length of sentences, or the use of specialist terms. Typographic signs include font size, choices of where to break paragraphs, spaces in between lines, and things like proper m- and n-dashes (when copying from electronic articles).
The presence or lack of references is often an easy sign: for example, where there are many references inside the text, but few at the end, or where the citation style changes within a single essay. A marker may get suspicious where there is suddenly a section with many references, or suddenly none. Sometimes, students even include hyperlinks in references when copying from electronic journals; and have them automatically underlined by the word processor.
Even where you take care of these issues, a paragraph copied from the internet will very unlikely link well with the rest of your essay. The style may be inappropriate, or just different. Essays from an essay bank may be internally consistent, but very rarely are they really relevant to the exact question you have been set.
In summary, you can avoid plagiarism easily. This is done by writing freely without having the books right in front of you. Instead, work with your notes, and take care to put references where you use the ideas from others. Don’t use the internet to copy from, no matter how tempting it is. It will hardly ever be worth it.
Citations and Quotations [ edit | edit source ]
There is an important difference between citations and quotations. Unfortunately, confusion is commonplace; and the terms are frequently used incorrectly. Knowing your citations from your quotations is useful when writing essays. It’s essential, in fact, if you want to reference properly.
Citations are about ideas you take from others. Quotations are about the exact words used by others. This is really the whole distinction. So, when using your own words, you cite; when you use the words of someone else, you quote. “Why can’t a man be more like a woman?” (Blankenhorn, 1995, p.117) is a quotation, because I use the exact same words Blankenhorn did. However, when stating that families in the US are increasingly defined by the absence of a father (Blankenhorn, 1995), I only use the idea, not the exact words.
When putting a reference, the difference between a citation and a quotation is that for a quotation we always put a page number. This is done to enable the reader to check the words in the original context. In the list of references at the end of the text, there is no difference.
Short quotations are included in the text, and enclosed by speech marks. Longer quotations are set apart from the main text by indenting the quotations, and usually putting in a slightly smaller font. Longer means about 3 to 4 lines or more. For example:
When quoting someone else, you should take great care to copy the words exactly. Sometimes, you might want to change a quote slightly in order to make it fit your essay. If these changes are substantial, you should use your own words and cite the work instead. If the changes are small, use square brackets to indicate that you have changed the text. For example, you might quote Rawls (1999, p.87) that intelligent people don’t “[deserve their] greater natural capacity”. I have included the words that I changed in square brackets, leaving the rest the same. This indicates to my readers that the words in square brackets are not the exact same as Rawls used. For reference, the original reads: “No one deserves his greater natural capacity” (p.87). I made the changes, because I wrote about intelligent people, and Rawls was talking in more general terms.
Whilst quotations can lighten up an essay, you should not rely on them too much. Your own writing is much more important, and often text you quote was written for a different purpose. The consequence is that the quotations may be relevant in content (what is being said), but in terms of style don’t fit well with what you wrote. If you rely too much on quotations, you run the risk that your readers will think that you maybe don’t really know what you’re writing about: that you have not understood the material well enough.
When to Put the References [ edit | edit source ]
When writing an essay, particularly when writing an extended essay, it’s easiest to put the references whilst you write. This is the case, because you still know where you got the idea from. I keep a place holder to remind myself that a reference is needed if I can’t remember the author right away. Often, I will know at least some of it, and write this down. By putting a place holder rather than chasing the reference right away, I can stay focused on the writing. However, I also indicate that the essay is not completed. Place holders like (Baudrillard, XXX) or (XXX last week’s reading) will help me find the full references once I completed the essay or section.
References are needed whenever you write an academic piece of writing. Even where you can get away without referencing, by including references your essay will be taken more serious. It’s a good habit to put references all the time, so when you really need to—such as in your thesis—you’ll not struggle, or spend days trying to find out how to reference a chapter in a book.
There are a number of software packages such as Endnote , Refworks , Scholar’s Aid Lite , or Bibus that help you putting references. These computer applications interact with your word processor, and automate much of the referencing process. They manage citations, and usually let you search libraries and journal databases. Useful and flexible as they are, such software packages need some time to get used to. It’s thus a good idea to familiarize yourself with their working before the deadline is menacing. For example, make sure you know how to put page numbers for quotations.
Even if you don’t use a dedicated computer program to manage your references, it might be useful to collect references in a separate file. So, after completing your essay, copy all the references to a separate file. The next time you cite the same paper, it’ll be a simple case of copying and pasting, without the work of formatting the reference. Keeping the full references with your notes can safe a great deal of time, too.
Next: Exam essays
How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)
Are you feeling overwhelmed by referencing?
When you’re first asked to do referencing in an essay it can be hard to get your head around it. If it’s been a while since you were first taught how to reference, it can be intimidating to ask again how to do it!
I have so many students who consistently lose marks just because they didn’t get referencing right! They’re either embarrassed to ask for extra help or too lazy to learn how to solve the issues.
So, here’s a post that will help you solve the issues on your own.
Already think you’re good at referencing? No worries. This post goes through some surprising and advanced strategies for anyone to improve no matter what level you are at!
In this post I’m going to show you exactly how to reference in an essay. I’ll explain why we do it and I’ll show you 9 actionable tips on getting referencing right that I’m sure you will not have heard anywhere else!
The post is split into three parts:
- What is a Reference and What is a Citation?
- Why Reference? (4 Things you Should Know)
- How to Reference (9 Strategies of Top Students)
If you think you’ve already got a good understanding of the basics, you can jump to our 9 Advanced Strategies section.
Part 1: What is a Reference and What is a Citation?
What is a citation.
An in-text mention of your source. A citation is a short mention of the source you got the information from, usually in the middle or end of a sentence in the body of your paragraph. It is usually abbreviated so as not to distract the reader too much from your own writing. Here’s two examples of citations. The first is in APA format. The second is in MLA format:
- APA: Archaeological records trace the original human being to equatorial Africa about 250,000–350,000 years ago (Schlebusch & Jakobsson, 2018) .
- MLA: Archaeological records trace the original human being to equatorial Africa about 250,000–350,000 years ago (Schlebusch and Jakobsson 1) .
In APA format, you’ve got the authors and year of publication listed. In MLA format, you’ve got the authors and page number listed. If you keep reading, I’ll give some more tips on formatting further down in this article.
And a Reference is:
What is a Reference?
A reference is the full details of a source that you list at the end of the article. For every citation (see above) there needs to be a corresponding reference at the end of the essay showing more details about that source. The idea is that the reader can see the source in-text (i.e. they can look at the citation) and if they want more information they can jump to the end of the page and find out exactly how to go about finding the source.
Here’s how you would go about referencing the Schlebusch and Jakobsson source in a list at the end of the essay. Again, I will show you how to do it in APA and MLA formats:
- APA: Schlebusch, C. & Jakobsson, M. (2018). Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa. Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics , 11 (33), 1–24.
- MLA: Schlebusch, Carina and Mattias Jakobsson. “Tales of Human Migration, Admixture, and Selection in Africa.” Annual Review of Genomics and Human Genetics , vol. 11, no. 33, 2018, pp. 1–24.
In strategy 1 below I’ll show you the easiest and fool proof way to write these references perfectly every time.
One last quick note: sometimes we say ‘reference’ when we mean ‘citation’. That’s pretty normal. Just roll with the punches. It’s usually pretty easy to pick up on what our teacher means regardless of whether they use the word ‘reference’ or ‘citation’.
Part 2: Why Reference in an Essay? (4 Things you Should Know)
Referencing in an essay is important. By the time you start doing 200-level courses, you probably won’t pass the course unless you reference appropriately. So, the biggest answer to ‘why reference?’ is simple: Because you Have To!
Okay let’s be serious though … here’s the four top ‘real’ reasons to reference:
1. Referencing shows you Got an Expert’s Opinion
You can’t just write an essay on what you think you know. This is a huge mistake of beginning students. Instead this is what you need to do:
Top Tip: Essays at university are supposed to show off that you’ve learned new information by reading the opinions of experts.
Every time you place a citation in your paragraph, you’re showing that the information you’re presenting in that paragraph was provided to you by an expert. In other words, it means you consulted an expert’s opinion to build your knowledge.
If you have citations throughout the essay with links to a variety of different expert opinions, you’ll show your marker that you did actually genuinely look at what the experts said with an open mind and considered their ideas.
This will help you to grow your grades.
2. Referencing shows you read your Assigned Readings
Your teacher will most likely give you scholarly journal articles or book chapters to read for homework between classes. You might have even talked about those assigned readings in your seminars and tutorials.
Great! The assigned readings are very important to you.
You should definitely cite the assigned readings relevant to your essay topic in your evaluative essay (unless your teacher tells you not to). Why? I’ll explain below.
- Firstly, the assigned readings were selected by your teacher because your teacher (you know, the person who’s going to mark your essay) believes they’re the best quality articles on the topic. Translation: your teacher gave you the best source you’re going to find. Make sure you use it!
- Secondly, by citing the assigned readings you are showing your teacher that you have been paying attention throughout the course. You are showing your teacher that you have done your homework, read those assigned readings and paid attention to them. When my students submit an essay that has references to websites, blogs, wikis and magazines I get very frustrated. Why would you cite low quality non-expert sources like websites when I gave you the expert’s article!? Really, it frustrates me so, so much.
So, cite the assigned readings to show your teacher you read the scholarly articles your teacher gave to you. It’ll help you grow your marks.
3. Referencing deepens your Knowledge
Okay, so you understand that you need to use referencing to show you got experts’ opinions on the topic.
But there’s more to it than that. There’s actually a real benefit for your learning.
If you force yourself to cite two expert sources per paragraph, you’re actually forcing yourself to get two separate pieces of expert knowledge. This will deepen your knowledge!
So, don’t treat referencing like a vanity exercise to help you gain more marks. Actually view it as an opportunity to develop deeper understandings of the topic!
When you read expert sources, aim to pick up on some new gems of knowledge that you can discuss in your essays. Some things you should look out for when finding sources to reference:
- Examples that link ideas to real life. Do the experts provide real-life examples that you can mention in your essay?
- Facts and figures. Usually experts have conducted research on a topic and provide you with facts and figures from their research. Use those facts and figures to deepen your essay!
- Short Quotes. Did your source say something in a really interesting, concise or surprising way? Great! You can quote that source in your essay .
- New Perspectives. Your source might give you another perspective, angle or piece of information that you can add to your paragraph so that it’s a deep, detailed and interesting paragraph.
So, the reason we ask you to reference is at the end of the day because it’s good for you: it helps you learn!
4. Referencing backs up your Claims
You might think you already know a ton of information about the topic and be ready to share your mountains of knowledge with your teacher. Great!
So, should you still reference?
You need to show that you’re not the only person with your opinion. You need to ‘stand on the shoulders of giants.’ Show what other sources have said about your points to prove that experts agree with you.
You should be saying: this is my opinion and it’s based on facts, expert opinions and deep, close scrutiny of all the arguments that exist out there .
If you make a claim that no one else has made, your teacher is going to be like “Have you even been reading the evidence on this topic?” The answer, if there are no citations is likely: No. You haven’t.
Even if you totally disagree with the experts, you still need to say what their opinions are! You’ll need to say: “This is the experts’ opinions. And this is why I disagree.”
So, yes, you need to reference to back up every claim. Try to reference twice in every paragraph to achieve this.
Part 3: Strategies for How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)
Let’s get going with our top strategies for how to reference in an essay! These are strategies that you probably haven’t heard elsewhere. They work for everyone – from beginner to advanced! Let’s get started:
1. Print out your Reference Style Cheat Sheet
Referencing is hard and very specific. You need to know where to place your italics, where the commas go and whether to use an initial for full name for an author.
There are so many details to get right.
And here’s the bad news: The automated referencing apps and websites nearly always get it wrong! They tell you they can generate the citation for you. The fact of the matter is: they can’t!
Here’s the best way to get referencing right: Download a referencing cheat sheet and have it by your side while writing your essay.
Your assignment outline should tell you what type of referencing you should use. Different styles include: APA Style, MLA Style, Chicago Style, Harvard Style, Vancouver Style … and many more!
You need to find out which style you need to use and download your cheat sheet. You can jump onto google to find a cheat sheet by typing in the google bar:
Download a pdf version of the referencing style cheat sheet, print it out, and place it on your pinboard or by your side when writing your essay.
2. Only cite Experts
There are good and bad sources to cite in an essay.
You should only cite sources written, critiqued and edited by experts. This shows that you have got the skill of finding information that is authoritative. You haven’t just used information that any old person popped up on their blog. You haven’t just gotten information from your local newspaper. Instead, you got information from the person who is an absolute expert on the topic.
Here’s an infographic listing sources that you should and shouldn’t cite. Feel free to share this infographic on social media, with your teachers and your friends:
3. Always use Google Scholar
Always. Use. Google. Scholar.
Ten years ago students only had their online university search database to find articles. Those university databases suck. They rarely find the best quality sources and there’s always a big mix of completely irrelevant sources mixed in there.
Google Scholar is better at finding the sources you want. That’s because it looks through the whole article abstract and analyses it to see if it’s relevant to your search keywords. By contrast, most university search databases rely only on the titles of articles.
Use the power of the best quality search engine in the world to find scholarly sources .
Note: Google and Google Scholar are different search engines.
To use Google Scholar, go to: https://scholar.google.com
Then, search on google scholar using keywords. I’m going to search keywords for an essay on the topic: “What are the traits of a good nurse?”
If you really like the idea of that first source, I recommend copying the title and trying your University online search database. Your university may give you free access.
4. Cite at least 50% sources you found on your Own Research
Okay, so I’ve told you that you should cite both assigned readings and readings you find from Google Scholar.
Here’s the ideal mix of assigned sources and sources that you found yourself: 50/50.
Your teacher will want to see that you can use both assigned readings and do your own additional research to write a top essay . This shows you’ve got great research skills but also pay attention to what is provided in class.
I recommend that you start with the assigned readings and try to get as much information out of them, then find your own additional sources beyond that using Google Scholar.
So, if your essay has 10 citations, a good mix is 5 assigned readings and 5 readings you found by yourself.
5. Cite Newer Sources
As a general rule, the newer the source the better .
The best rule of thumb that most teachers follow is that you should aim to mostly cite sources from the past 10 years . I usually accept sources from the past 15 years when marking essays.
However, sometimes you have a really great source that’s 20, 30 or 40 years old. You should only cite these sources if they’re what we call ‘seminal texts’. A seminal text is one that was written by an absolute giant in your field and revolutionized the subject.
Here’s some examples of seminal authors whose old articles you would be able to cite despite the fact that they’re old:
- Education: Vygotsky, Friere, Piaget
- Sociology: Weber, Marx, C. Wright Mills
- Psychology: Freud, Rogers, Jung
Even if I cite seminal authors, I always aim for at least 80% of my sources to have been written in the past 10 years.
6. Reference twice per Paragraph
How much should you reference?
Here’s a good strategy: Provide two citations in every paragraph in the body of the essay.
It’s not compulsory to reference in the introduction and conclusion . However, in all the other paragraphs, aim for two citations.
Let’s go over the key strategies for achieving this:
- These two citations should be to different sources, not the same sources twice;
- Two citations per paragraph shows your points are backed up by not one, but two expert sources;
- Place one citation in the first half of the paragraph and one in the second half. This will indicate to your marker that all the points in the whole paragraph are backed up by your citations.
This is a good rule of thumb for you when you’re not sure when and how often to reference. When you get more confident with your referencing, you can mix this up a little.
7. The sum total of your sources should be minimum 1 per 150 words
You can, of course, cite one source more than once throughout the essay. You might cite the same source in the second, fourth and fifth paragraphs. That’s okay.
But, you don’t want your whole essay to be based on a narrow range of sources. You want your marker to see that you have consulted multiple sources to get a wide range of information on the topic. Your marker wants to know that you’ve seen a range of different opinions when coming to your conclusions.
When you get to the end of your essay, check to see how many sources are listed in the end-text reference list. A good rule of thumb is 1 source listed in the reference list per 150 words. Here’s how that breaks down by essay size:
- 1500 word essay: 10 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
- 2000 word essay: 13 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
- 3000 word essay: 20 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
- 5000 word essay: 33 sources (or more) listed in the reference list
8. Instantly improve your Reference List with these Three Tips
Here’s two things you can do to instantly improve your reference list. It takes less than 20 seconds and gives your reference list a strong professional finish:
a) Ensure the font size and style are the same
You will usually find that your whole reference list ends up being in different font sizes and styles. This is because you tend to copy and paste the titles and names in the citations from other sources. If you submit the reference list with font sizes and styles that are not the same as the rest of the essay, the piece looks really unprofessional.
So, quickly highlight the whole reference list and change its font to the same font size and style as the rest of your essay. The screencast at the end of Step 8 walks you through this if you need a hand!
b) List your sources in alphabetical order.
Nearly every referencing style insists that references be listed in alphabetical order. It’s a simple thing to do before submitting and makes the piece look far more professional.
If you’re using Microsoft Word, simply highlight your whole reference list and click the A>Z button in the toolbar. If you can’t see it, you need to be under the ‘home’ tab (circled below):
You’ve probably never heard of a hanging indent. It’s a style where the second line of the reference list is indented further from the left-hand side of the page than the first line. It’s a strategy that’s usually used in reference lists provided in professional publications.
If you use the hanging indent, your reference list will look far more professional.
Here’s a quick video of me doing it for you:
9. Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style
The top students edit their essays three to five times spaced out over a week or more before submitting. One of those edits should be specifically for ensuring your reference list adheres to the referencing style that your teacher requires.
To do this, I recommend you get that cheat sheet printout that I mentioned in Step 1 and have it by your side while you read through the piece. Pay special attention to the use of commas, capital letters, brackets and page numbers for all citations. Also pay attention to the reference list: correct formatting of the reference list can be the difference between getting the top mark in the class and the fifth mark in the class. At the higher end of the marking range, things get competitive and formatting of the reference list counts.
A Quick Summary of the 9 Top Strategies…
Follow the rules of your referencing style guide (and that cheat sheet I recommended!) and use the top 9 tips above to improve your referencing and get top marks. Not only will your referencing look more professional, you’ll probably increase the quality of the content of your piece as well when you follow these tips!
Here’s a final summary of the 9 top tips:
Strategies for How to Reference in an Essay (9 Strategies of Top Students)
- Print out your Reference Style Cheat Sheet
- Only cite Experts
- Always use Google Scholar
- Cite at least 50% sources you found on your Own Research
- Cite Newer Sources
- Reference twice per Paragraph
- The sum total of your sources should be minimum 1 per 150 words
- Instantly improve your Reference List with these Three Tips
- Do one special edit especially for Referencing Style
Chris Drew (PhD)
Dr. Chris Drew is the founder of the Helpful Professor. He holds a PhD in education and has published over 20 articles in scholarly journals. He is the former editor of the Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education.
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ What do Portuguese People Look Like? (10 Features & Stereotypes)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ What do Spanish People Look Like? (Features & Stereotypes)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 10 Italian People Features & Stereotypes (What They Look Like)
- Chris Drew (PhD) https://helpfulprofessor.com/author/admin/ 10 Polish people Features, Characteristics and Stereotypes
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Understanding How, When and Why to Reference
Learn how to acknowledge your sources of information
It is important that you acknowledge your sources of information in your academic writing. This allows you to clearly show how the ideas of others have influenced your own work. You should provide a citation (and matching reference) in your essay every time you use words, ideas or information from other sources. If you would like to learn how, when and why to reference by watching a video, you can do so on Capstone Editing's YouTube channel .
Not referencing correctly can be perceived as plagiarism. It is expected and required at the university level that all your assignments will contain references. Otherwise, you are saying that the essay is made up entirely of your own original ideas, and that you have not engaged critically in any way with the literature. A passing grade requires that you use a minimum number of references (check your assignment marking criteria or ask your lecturer), and a good grade requires many more references than this. The purpose of referencing is to demonstrate the depth and breadth of your research, to show that you have read and engaged with the ideas of experts in your field. It also allows you to give credit to the writers from whom you have borrowed words or ideas. For your reader, referencing allows them to trace the sources of information you have used and to verify the validity of your work. For this reason, your referencing must be accurate and provide all necessary details to allow your reader to locate the source. It is therefore a good idea to keep careful records of all the sources you accessed when researching your assignment. This way, you do not have to hunt for these details after you have finished writing.
How to incorporate the ideas of others into your essay
It can be difficult for new academic writers to know how to incorporate others’ work into their own writing. By learning how to use quotations effectively, and how to summarise and paraphrase the words and ideas of others, you can better avoid unintentional plagiarism.
A quotation is a word-for-word reproduction of someone else’s words, either spoken or written. When quoting from another source, you must:
- Exception: For long quotations (e.g. over 40 words in APA or over 30 words in Harvard), indent the quotation instead of using quotation marks. The quotation should be introduced by a colon and followed by a citation.
- Use quotation marks even if only borrowing a single phrase or word from another source.
- Exception: If the source does not have numbered pages (e.g. a website, an interview), no page number is needed. However, if there is some other way of pointing to the specific location from which the quotation was taken (e.g. paragraph number, clause number, line in transcript), include that in the citation.
Quotations should be logically integrated into your text. One way to do this is to lead into the quotation or paraphrase by using the author’s name (e.g. ‘According to Lines,’) followed by the quotation from Lines or a summary of Lines’s ideas.
Quotations must fit grammatically into your text. It is allowable to modify quotations slightly to ensure a good fit. However, it is essential that these changes are clearly marked using square brackets ([ ]). It is also possible to omit words from a quotation, shown using an ellipsis (…). Note that if you omit words, you must be sure that the original meaning of the quotation is retained. You should never omit words to change the meaning of a quotation.
The below examples show ways to integrate the original quotation ‘Most of the time, they don’t, and I mean really don’t, behave well’, showing changes to 1) the verb and 2) a pronoun. Notice the use of the square brackets to show your modifications to the quotation, and the ellipsis to show omitted words.
- The teacher reported that the children were not ‘behav[ing] well’.
- According to the teacher, ‘Most of the time, [the children] don’t … behave well’.
Finally, you should avoid using quotations that have not been adequately introduced. If a quotation is inserted without appropriate integration into your text, this can negatively affect the logical and grammatical flow of your work, and lower the quality of your writing. Not introducing quotations or incorporating them into your own sentences usually also means you are relying too heavily on the words of others, and your grades can suffer as a result.
Summarising and paraphrasing
Another option for integrating others’ ideas into your own assignments is by summarising and paraphrasing. Summarising means giving an overview of the main ideas in condensed form. Paraphrasing means putting an idea (usually in detail) into your own words.
To summarise or paraphrase well, you need to read carefully and understand the ideas in the source. Then, you can think about what those ideas mean in the context of your assignment and write them in your own words, integrating them well into your own writing. If you take sentences completely from the original source and just change a few words, this is not paraphrasing, and may be considered plagiarism.
For some students, the temptation to use a source’s original wording is high. To avoid this, after reading and understanding the author’s ideas, write just the keywords on a separate piece of paper. See if you can change some of the keywords to other words, while keeping the original meaning. Then, think about whether you can reorganise the order of the keywords, to write sentences that keep the original meaning, but that are quite different to the original. Using your keywords, and without referring to the original source, write your new sentences. It takes a while at first, but the process becomes automatic with practice.
The importance of writing in your own words
Putting others’ work into your own words will not only ensure the material is effectively integrated into your writing, it also demonstrates to your reader (e.g. your lecturer) that you have understood, absorbed and interpreted the information. This is a key purpose of essay writing at university and will help you to get a better grade. In addition, the better you get at putting complex ideas into your own words, the more developed your writing style will become.
Acknowledge every source
Remember that the need to reference is not limited to academic sources like books and journal articles. You need to reference ALL words, ideas or information taken from ANY source.
These sources might include:
- books and journal articles
- newspapers and magazines
- pamphlets or brochures
- films, documentaries, television programs or advertisements
- computer programs
- diagrams, illustrations, charts or pictures
- letters or emails
- personal interviews
- lecturers or tutors. (This is not always necessary, but check with your lecturer or tutor about his or her preferences before you draw on his or her ideas.)
Note that if the source you are citing is retrievable (i.e. can be located by another person using the information you provide in the reference list), you must provide a reference for the source. However, if the source is only available to you (e.g. a personal interview or email, or a private Facebook post), you should cite all necessary details in the text, but should not provide a reference in the reference list. ONLY irretrievable sources are not included in the reference list, and even these are still cited in the text.
The only times you would not reference are:
- when referring to your own observations (e.g. a report on a field trip) or experiment results
- when writing about your own experiences (e.g. a reflective journal)
- when writing your own thoughts, comments or conclusions in an assignment
- when evaluating or offering your own analysis (e.g. parts of a critical review)
- when using ‘common knowledge’ (facts that can be found in numerous places and are likely to be known by a lot of people) or folklore
- when using generally accepted facts or information (this will vary in different disciplines of study. If in doubt, ask your tutor).
If you are concerned that you may not have referenced correctly, you should ask your tutor, lecturer or Academic Learning Advisor for their advice before submitting your assignment. Capstone Editing can also edit your work to correct your referencing and provide advice about how to reference correctly in the future.
Other guides you may be interested in
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APA In-Text Citations and Sample Essay 7th Edition
This handout focuses on how to format in-text citations in APA.
Proper citation of sources is a two-part process . You must first cite each source in the body of your essay; these citations within the essay are called in-text citations . You MUST cite all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized words, ideas, and facts from sources. Without in-text citations, you are technically in danger of plagiarism, even if you have listed your sources at the end of the essay.
In-text citations point the reader to the sources’ information on the references page. The in-text citation typically includes the author's last name and the year of publication. If you use a direct quote, the page number is also provided.
More information can be found on p. 253 of the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Direct quotation with the author named in the text.
Heinze and Lu (2017) stated, “The NFL shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly as the field itself evolved” (p. 509).
Note: The year of publication is listed in parenthesis after the names of the authors, and the page number is listed in parenthesis at the end of the quote.
Direct Quotation without the Author Named in the Text
As the NFL developed as an organization, it “shifted its responses to institutional change around concussions significantly” (Heinze & Lu, 2017, p. 509).
Note: At the end of the quote, the names of the authors, year of publication, and page number are listed in parenthesis.
Paraphrase with 1-2 Authors
As the NFL developed as an organization, its reactions toward concussions also transformed (Heinze & Lu, 2017).
Note: For paraphrases, page numbers are encouraged but not required.
Paraphrase with 3 or More Authors
To work toward solving the issue of violence in prisons begins with determining aspects that might connect with prisoners' violent conduct (Thomson et al., 2019).
Direct Quotation without an Author
The findings were astonishing "in a recent study of parent and adult child relationships" ("Parents and Their Children," 2007, p. 2).
Note: Since the author of the text is not stated, a shortened version of the title is used instead.
When using secondary sources, use the phrase "as cited in" and cite the secondary source on the References page.
In 1936, Keynes said, “governments should run deficits when the economy is slow to avoid unemployment” (as cited in Richardson, 2008, p. 257).
Long (Block) Quotations
When using direct quotations of 40 or more words, indent five spaces from the left margin without using quotation marks. The final period should come before the parenthetical citation.
At Meramec, an English department policy states:
To honor and protect their own work and that of others, all students must give credit to proprietary sources that are used for course work. It is assumed that any information that is not documented is either common knowledge in that field or the original work of that student. (St. Louis Community College, 2001, p. 1)
If citing a specific web document without a page number, include the name of the author, date, title of the section, and paragraph number in parentheses:
In America, “Two out of five deaths among U.S. teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash” (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2004, Overview section, para. 1).
Here is a print-friendly version of this content.
Learn more about the APA References page by reviewing this handout .
For information on STLCC's academic integrity policy, check out this webpage .
For additional information on APA, check out STLCC's LibGuide on APA .
A sample APA essay is available at this link .
Essay Writing: In-Text Citations
- Essay Writing Basics
- Purdue OWL Page on Writing Your Thesis
- Paragraphs and Transitions
- How to Tell if a Website is Legitimate
- Formatting Your References Page
- Cite a Website
- Common Grammatical and Mechanical Errors
- Additional Resources
- Proofread Before You Submit Your Paper
- Structuring the 5-Paragraph Essay
Using In-text Citations
Narrative vs Parenthetical In-text citations:
A narrative citation gives the author name as part of the sentence .
- Narrative citation: According to Edwards (2017) , a lthough Smith and Carlos's protest at the 1968 Olympics initially drew widespread criticism, it also led to fundamental reforms in the organizational structure of American amateur athletics.
A parenthetical citation gives the source information in parentheses - first or last - but not as part of the narrative flow.
- Parenthetical citation: Although Tommie Smith and John Carlos paid a heavy price in the immediate aftermath of the protests, they were later vindicated by society at large (Edwards, 2017) .
Full citation for this source:
Edwards, H. (2017). The Revolt of the Black Athlete: 50th Anniversary Edition. University of Illinois Press.
Sample In-text Citations
Note: This example is a direct quote. It is an exact quotation directly from the text of the article. All direct quotes should appear in quotation marks: "...."
Try to keep direct quotes to a minimum in your writing. You need to show that you understand the material from your source by being able to paraphrase and summarize it.
List the author’s last name only (no initials) and the year the information was published, like this:
(Dodge, 2008 ). ( Author , Date).
If you use a direct quote, add the page number to your citation, like this:
( Dodge , 2008 , p. 125 ).
( Author , Date , page number )
What is Plagiarism?
Avoid plagiarism cite your sources .
Using in-text citations:
- shows the reader that you have done your research
- shows that you know how to credit the sources of your information.
- points your reader to the full citation on your References page for more information.
Defining and Understanding Plagiarism - an important concept in the research and writing process.
From the Plagiarism.org Website:
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
- to use (another's production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
- turning in someone else's work as your own
- copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
- failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
- giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
- changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
- copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)
Should I Cite This?
- Should I Cite This? Citation advice from the Purdue OWL
Links to cite it for you:
Citefast recommended .
CiteFast citation generator provides both complete APA Citations and also pre-formatted In-text Citations.
- BibMe - APA Citation Generator and Plagiarism Checker from Chegg
- CiteThisForMe - APA Citation Generator from Harvard University
- KnightCite Citation Service - provided by the Hekman Library of Calvin College.
- Scribber - APA Citation Generator
Quick Sheet: APA 7 Citations
Quick help with apa 7 citations.
- Quick Sheet - Citing Journal Articles, Websites & Videos, and Creating In-Text Citations A quick guide to the most frequently-used types of APA 7 citations.
In-text Citation Tutorial
- Formatting In-text Citations, Full Citations, and Block Quotes In APA 7 Style This presentation will help you understand when, why, and how to use in-text citations in your APA style paper.
Download the In-text Citations presentation (above) for an in-depth look at how to correctly cite your sources in the text of your paper.
SIgnal Phrase Activity
Paraphrasing activity from the excelsior owl, in-text citation quiz.
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IOE Writing Centre
As Hyland (1999) describes, referencing is central to academic writing.
"Reference to previous work is virtually mandatory in academic articles [...] as a strategy for supporting current claims" (Hyland, 1999, p. 362).
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the purpose of referencing? When do I need a reference? What if I use paraphrasing? Are there other reasons to reference? What about my own ideas? How much referencing do I need? What if I use an author who is mentioned by another author? What if I can't find a reference for the exact point I want to make? How do I do it correctly?
What is the purpose of referencing?
The simplest way to think of referencing is to imagine that your reader might want to find out more about a piece of information, or check the facts for themselves. Your reference shows them where to look .
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When do I need a reference?
It is important to provide correct references for any information which you give in your essay. Information could include ideas, facts, phrases, or anything else.
This means that you need to include references for all information , even if it is from something which you do not consider 'academic', such as an unregulated website. (Technically, it is probably best to avoid these sources of information anyway).
What if I use paraphrasing?
You need to provide a reference whether or not you are using the exact words. Even if you change the words, someone might want to find out more about the information you are referring to.
If you use the same words as the original, you need to use quotation marks around this section, followed by the reference. If you do not use the same words, you do not need the quotation marks, you only need the reference itself. Make sure you include a list of references at the end of your essay. See the referencing guidelines for how to do all of this.
Further reading: Beginner's Guide to Paraphrasing
Are there other reasons to reference?
Referencing makes your point more convincing . Your reference shows that this information has been published somewhere, and you did not just make it up. If it is an opinion, your reference shows that other people writing in this area also share your opinion, which makes the opinion more interesting for your academic reader.
What about my own ideas?
Sometimes you might want to think of your opinion as unique. It might be a coincidence that someone else thought of the same idea as you. Even if it is a coincidence, and you thought of the opinion by yourself, putting a reference to someone who also thought this way makes your opinion seem more valid to the academic community, as it is not simply one person's idea. Sometimes, it might be the case that you are the first person to have thought of an idea. If that is the case, you need to show how your idea is different from another person's idea. In all of these situations, you still need references!
Further reading: Beginner's Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism
How much referencing do I need?
It is a good idea to have a reference for every claim you make, if possible. Do not worry about using referencing too often. As a general rule, it is better to use the references too often than not enough. This does not refer to the number of different authors/texts, but the frequency of citing those authors. It should be high-frequency overall.
You may have been given some advice not to use too many references. This advice means you don't need to have a long list of authors that you didn't read properly. Instead, it is better to use fewer texts, but read them in more detail.
You may follow the examples on this site, or you may use a slightly different format. The most important aspect is to be consistent and use the same format for all your references.
What if I use an author who is mentioned by another author?
In this situation, you need to use 'cited in'. It is often useful to describe the secondary quotation a little more, and show how it fits in with the first author. Here is an example. The writer had read Gray et al (2011) but wanted to mention another reference they used.
Example: Secondary citation
To further support their argument , Gray et al (2011:866) summarise a number of other studies which reported positive evaluations of coaching by coachees , including statistics such as "participants estimated return on investment of 5.7 times the initial cost" (McGovern et al, 2001, cited in Gray et al, 2011:866). Studies such as these appear to indicate that coaching can be worthwhile for the individual and the organisation.
Source: Anonymous UCL Institute of Education student (2013)
In this example, only Gray et al (2011) will appear in the reference list at the end of the assignment, as this is the only one that the student has read as a primary source.
What if I can't find a reference for the exact point I want to make?
You can often say that something is similar to an author's point, or connected to an author's point. You can even say that something contradicts an author's point. Using a reference doesn't only mean showing exactly where the information came from. It can also mean showing how information is connected to something that is published. It could also mean showing how an author's statement may be applied in a different context.
Here is an example of something similar to this:
Example: Using a reference to show connections
As some of Bion's (1961) work has shown , groups can be particularly resistant to learning, preferring (if we can speak of a group as having a "preference") to preserve itself. As learning often means movement and change, it can be resisted by a group. Whether or not an 'organisation' can be considered equivalent to a 'group' in this context is outside the scope of this discussion, but insights such as those from Bion's work have been applied very usefully to analyses of the way that organisations may function in particularly conservative ways (see, for example, Armstrong, 2005). It can be useful to remember this when working with various staff members within an organisation.
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How do I do it correctly?
Please refer to the links in the left hand menu for guidance.
Further reading: Reference Effectively and Avoid Plagiarism
IOE Writing Centre Online
Self-access resources from the Academic Writing Centre at the UCL Institute of Education.
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Home » In-Text Citation and Notes
In-Text Citation and Notes
Citing sources in the text of your paper.
When writers use an outside source, they must give credit to the original writer or creator of that source. This also allows a reader to easily make note of the source’s bibliographic entry. Just as each style guide has rules for creating a citation in a bibliography at the end of a text, each guide also has certain rules for citing the use of sources within the text of the essay.
The following are basic guidelines for citing sources in the text of your paper when using the MLA, APA, Chicago, ASA, or Turabian style guides. These guidelines may not account for every citation situation. Since citing sources is not a creative enterprise, you should consult the appropriate print version of the style guide when you have questions about citation.
MLA: In-Text Citations
MLA citation style requires that writers cite a source within the text of their essay at the end of the sentence in which the source is used.
General Guidance on in-text citations (or reference to your source) The parenthetical reference should be inserted after the last quotation mark but before the period at the end of the sentence.
General Form: (Author Last Name Page #)
Example: (Smith 42)
If two quotations from different sources are used in the same sentence The in-text citation associated with a particular quote should be placed as close to the quotation as possible without interrupting the flow of the sentence.
Example for two sources in one sentence: According to one researcher, “the design thinking process is not meant to be a formula,” (Spencer 58) whereas others might argue that steps and formulas are in fact important like Walker suggests: “following a specific path towards design success is necessary for achieving outlined goals,” (21).
If a paragraph includes several quotations from a single source A single in-text citation may be placed at the end of the paragraph. Page numbers should be included for each quotation organized by placement in the paragraph. In the following example, the first quotation from Smith appeared on page 43 of the text. The second quotation used in the paragraph came from page 12.
Example: (Smith 43, 12)
If the author is included more than once on the Works Cited page The following form should be used. Note that the format of the title on the Works Cited sheet should be mirrored in the in-text citation.
General Form: (Author Last, “Title Fragment” Page #) or (Author Last, Title Fragment Page #)
Examples: (Smith, “Who Moved” 42) or (Smith, Big Changes 172)
If you have more than one author:
Two: (Brown and Sullivan 42)
Three: (Brown, Sullivan, and Grayson 158)
Four or more: (Brown, et al. 38)
If there is no author A title fragment should be used to make a connection between the use of the source and the citation for the source on the Works Cited page.
General Form: (“Title Fragment” Page #) or ( Title Fragment Page #)
Examples: (“Library Links” 13) or ( Building a Bookshelf 42)
For more information related to MLA in-text citations, see the MLA Handbook , 8th ed. (pages 54-58). This title is on reserve at the circulation desk at the front of the library on the 3rd floor near the main entrance.
APA: Parenthetical In-Text Citations
To cite a source in the text of an essay, APA advocates two methods: in-text citations and attribution within the essay’s content. in-text citations should be included immediately after the quotation marks used in direct quotations or immediately after the use of the source, even if this means including the parenthetical reference in the middle of the sentence.
The following is the general form for parenthetical citations in APA style:
In-text citation: (Author Last Name, Year of Publication) Example: (Smith, 1988)
To make the citation of the source less distracting The APA also suggests mentioning the author in the essay’s content so that only the year of publication and page number may be required in the parenthetical reference.
Attribution in text: Author Last Name (Year of Publication) has argued this point. Example: Smith (1988) has argued this point.
Page numbers are not required in APA in-text citations. However, it is highly suggested that these be included. To include references to a specific part of the text, add the page number or chapter number after the year.
Examples: Smith (1988, p. 244) has written that… or Smith (1988, chap. 5) has written that…
When a work has two authors Both names should be cited every time the reference is required. Use an ampersand (&) to separate the names of authors. If a text has been authored by more than five individuals, the full listing of authors is not required in the first reference or any subsequent in-text references.
The first mention of the reference: Johnson, Smith, and Brown (1999) agree that… Subsequent mention: Johnson et al. (1999) agree that…
If a group or corporation is the author The full name of the group or corporation should be included in place of the author’s name. If an organization has a recognizable abbreviation, this may be used in subsequent references.
The first mention of the reference: (American Medical Association, 2002) Subsequent mention: (AMA, 2002)
If no author is given for a specific text Use the first couple of words of the title in place of the author’s last name. Title fragments should be formatted using the same punctuation as titles on the References page.
Examples of attribution in the text:
The recent publication Plagiarism and You (2002) offers some explanation…
In “Five Ways to Protect Yourself” (2000) one can find…
Examples of attribution at the end of the sentence: ( Plagiarism and You , 2002) or (“Five Ways to Protect Yourself,” 2000)
When no date is given for the publication of a text (as is the case with many websites) Include the abbreviation “n.d.” (which stands for “no date”) in place of the year of publication.
Example: In the article “Five Ways to Protect Yourself” (n.d.) one can find…
For more information related to in-text citations (or in-text referencing) using the APA format, see the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association , 7th ed. pages 261-269. A copy of this manual is available on the 3rd floor of the library at the circulation desk.
Chicago: Notes Style
In Chicago’s Documentation Style 1, also known as notes form, the use of research sources is indicated in the text with a numerical subscript that corresponds to an entry at the end of the paper. These are called endnotes. Although footnotes (or notes at the bottom of the page) are sometimes required, endnotes have become the predominant form of notes citations.
When using endnotes to indicate the use of research sources, writers must also include a bibliography at the end of the essay. The note and the bibliographic entry include almost identical information but in a different format.
As the formats for notes are contingent on the format of the source for which the note is written, examples of note formats are included with the bibliographic examples available through the Citing Sources link. The B: entry would be included in the Bibliography at the end of the paper, while the N: entry gives examples to be used in footnotes or endnotes.
For further information on note format or other issues related to citing sources using the Chicago style, see The Chicago Manual of Style , 16th ed.
Chicago: Author/Date Style
Documentation 2, also called the Author-Date style, requires the use of parenthetical references in the text of the essay as well as a list of References.
Parenthetical references should be placed at the end of the sentence, before the period, when a resource has been used. If the sentence is either long enough or complex enough so that the cited portion of the sentence is not obvious, the parenthetical reference may instead be inserted immediately after the use of information from the source. Page numbers should be included whenever possible.
General Form: (Author Last Name Year of Publication, Page #)
Example: (Smith 1992, 142)
The following examples illustrate parenthetical reference formats for works with more than one author.
(Smith and Johnson 1998, 14)
(Smith, Johnson, and White 2001, 42)
(Smith et al. 1998, 203)
(National Alliance for Social Consideration 1932, 11)
When organizations or corporate authors are the author of a text, the name of the organization may be shortened to its most basic title. Abbreviations for the organization are not encouraged.
In the Chicago style, daily newspapers are rarely included in a list of References. Instead, attribution may be given to information from a daily newspaper in a parenthetical reference.
General Form: ( Newspaper Name , Day Month Year of Publication, Section and Page #)
Examples: ( San Antonio Express-News , 2 June 2005, B2)
( New York Times , 2 June 2005, A2)
( Durant Daily Democrat , 2 June 2005, 3)
The Chicago style guide does not offer examples for creating parenthetical references when there is no given author. Standard practice has been to include the title of the work in place of the author. The title should be formatted in the same manner as the formatting in the References list entry.
( Plagiarism and You 2002, 142)
(“Five Ways to Protect Yourself” 2000, 33)
Electronic sources commonly lack a date of publication, as do other sources. When there is no date of publication listed for a source, include the abbreviation “n.d.” in place of the date.
(Statistics for Water Rights n.d.)
For further information on citing sources using the Chicago style, see The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.
If the author’s name is mentioned in the text, use a parenthetical reference to show the year of publication at the end of the sentence.
…Welch contends that this is not the case (1991).
If the author’s name is not mentioned in the text, it should be included with the year of publication within parentheses.
…but it has been argued that this was not the case (Welch 1991).
Page numbers should be included within parentheses after the year of publication. These are separated by a colon and no spaces.
…but it has been argued that this was not the case (Welch 1991:136).
The following forms should be used for multiple authors:
A recent study confirmed her belief (Johnson and Smith 1995:34).
This was reinforced by recent research on the topic (Johnson, Smith, and Marcus 1999)
If a text has more than three authors, the term “et al.” with no additional punctuation marks may be used after the first author listed in the publication credits.
This was not accurate according to a recent study (Johnson et al. 2003).
If multiple sources are cited for the same statement, the author and publication year should be distinguished from other texts with a colon. Cited texts should be arranged by author name or by date; arrangement should be consistent throughout the paper.
Some studies have refuted these arguments (Benson 1993; Nguyen 1999; Brown and Goggans 2000).
For additional information on in-text citation using the ASA style, see the American Sociological Association Style Guide , Third ed., pp. 45-47.
In the Turabian citation style, writers may use one of two forms in citing their resources: endnotes or author/date parenthetical references. Writers using the Turabian style may use the Chicago formats for both endnotes as references and for parenthetical references. Refer to Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers , 7th ed., pp. 143-145 (notes style) and pp. 217-220 (author-date style) for more information.
- MLA Style, 9th ed.
- APA Style, 7th ed.
- Chicago (Notes-Bibliography Style), 17th ed.
- Chicago (Author-Date Style), 17th ed.
- See also the online version of the Chicago Manual of Style
- Turabian (Notes-Bibliography Style), 9th ed.
- Turabian (Author-Date Style), 9th ed.
- ASA Style, 6th ed.
Citing Sources in the Text of a Paper
Including a list of Works Cited at the end of an essay is not enough. Learn how to cite the use of a source in the text of your paper.
Using Information from Sources in the Text of a Paper
Review five different methods for including the words of another writer or information from a research resource into the text of your paper.
Citing Creative Commons Materials
Find models and suggestions for citing Creative Commons images, video clips, music, or other materials.
Suggested Readings on Academic Integrity
Find books, articles and websites which deal with academic integrity issues.
Creating an Annotated Bibliography
Learn how to create an annotated bibliography for a class assignment or for your own use as a researcher and writer.
Learn more about Zotero – a citation management tool to help you keep track of and organize various references for papers and projects.
See Trinity University’s definitions of plagiarism and consider how to avoid these situations.
Detecting Plagiarized Material
Information and links for faculty members and others to use in detecting plagiarized materials.
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All academic essays MUST contain references. Referencing guards against plagiarism, a serious academic offence. Plagiarism is copying someone
Cite while you write. APA requires citations inside parentheses in the text of an essay, compiling them in an alphabetical References list at the end of a
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The essential bits of referencing require you to provide enough information to others so that they can identify the source. What exactly is meant by enough is
A reference is the full details of a source that you list at the end of the article. For every citation (see above) there needs to be a
It is important that you acknowledge your sources of information in your academic writing. This allows you to clearly show how the ideas of others have
You MUST cite all quoted, paraphrased, or summarized words, ideas, and facts from sources. Without in-text citations, you are technically in danger of
Narrative vs Parenthetical In-text citations: A narrative citation gives the author name as part of the sentence.
If you use the same words as the original, you need to use quotation marks around this section, followed by the reference. If you do not use the same words, you
MLA: In-Text Citations. MLA citation style requires that writers cite a source within the text of their essay at the end of the sentence in which the source is
is widely understood, you do not need to provide a reference.