Your subject-specific guide to using library resources.
When you refer to another source of information, you need to reference it. To do this, you simply need to insert a citation in your text and then expand on that citation in a footnote or full list of references at the end of your work. Sound easy? It is – read on to find out more...
There are two principal ways of adding an in-text citation...
Whichever method you use, the citation will appear within or immediately after the referenced information.
Next, you need to expand on your citations in a detailed list of references – or bibliography as it’s sometimes called – at the end of your work. Each citation should have a full reference that includes the name of the information source, the name of its author or creator (and there’s often more than one), the date it was published, and where exactly it can be found. If you use author-date format, this will appear as below...
Depending on the source, you might also need to include other information such as the volume number, publisher name, and place of publication. If you use numeric format, this will appear similar to below...
If it’s an electronic resource, you’ll need to include its URL and when you last accessed it. And depending on your subject, you might even need to include relevant background literature that you’ve read but not explicitly cited.
You might want to quote a written source word-for-word, so the reader can see the original text that you’re commenting on. To do this, you’ll need to put speech marks around the quoted text. This is known as a direct quotation and tells the reader that the text is identical to its original source. When quoting short phrases, you should also “incorporate them into your sentences”.
You can even put large quotations in their own indented paragraph if you want – but try to avoid quoting too much text at any one time.
If you’d rather reword text from another source, you can also paraphrase it. This demonstrates your understanding of the text, and allows you make it more concise and focused. It doesn’t matter if you think your version isn’t as polished – what matters is that the reader can see how well you’ve understood and interpreted it.
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