Referencing an author in an essay


Using In-text Citation

In-text citations give brief details of the source that you are quoting from or referring to. These citations will then link to the full reference that will be found in your reference list at the end of your work.

9.3 Making Your Quotes Fit

The reference list is always arranged in alphabetical order by author. If you have cited a work in an appendix, but not in the main body of your text, this should still be included in the reference list. The list of references is not included in the word count. There are many ways in which citations can be used in your work, but your tutor or supervisor should advise you on which format they prefer. If you have used a direct quote or an idea from a specific page, or set of pages, you should include the page numbers in your citations.


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The abbreviation for page is p. See the examples below to see how they are used correctly. These can be listed separated by semicolons. The publications should be cited in chronological order. However, it is clear that this was not the only strength of the original author b. Harris, S. London: Evolutionary Press.

Similarly you may refer to a primary source, e. In both cases you should acknowledge the use of a secondary source. If placed in the proper context, r eferencing other people's research is never an indication that your work is substandard or lacks originality. In fact, the opposite is true.

If you write your paper without adequate references to previous studies, you are signaling to the reader that you are not familiar with the literature about the topic, thereby, undermining the validity of your study and your credibility as a researcher. Including references in academic writing not only defends you against allegations of plagiarism, but it is one of the most important ways to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of previous investigations about the research problem.

It is the intellectual packaging around which you present your study to the reader. What should I do if I find that my idea has already been examined by another researcher? Do not ignore another author's work because doing so will lead your readers to believe that you have either borrowed the idea or information without properly referencing it [this is plagiarism] or that you have failed to conduct a thorough review of the literature.

You can acknowledge the other research by writing in the text of your paper something like this: [see also Smith, ], then citing the complete source in your list of references. Use the discovery of prior research as an opportunity to demonstrate the significance of the problem being investigated and, if applicable, as a means of delineating your analysis from those of others [e.


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  5. What should I do if I want to use an adapted version of someone else's work? You still must cite the original work.

    Referencing and bibliographies

    For example, maybe you are using a table of statistics from a journal article published in by author Smith, but you have altered or added new data to it. Reference the revised chart, such as, [adapted from Smith, ], then cite the complete source in your list of references. You can also use other terms in order to specify the exact relationship between the original source and the version you have presented, such as, "based on Smith [] What should I do if several authors have published very similar information or ideas?

    You can indicate that the idea or information can be found in the work of others by stating something similar to the following example: "Though in fact many scholars have applied this theory to understanding economic relations among nations [for example, see Smith, ; Jones, ; Johnson, ; Anderson, ], little attention has been given to applying the theory to examining the actions of non-governmental organizations in a globalized economy.

    Referencing all relevant authors of prior studies gives your readers a clear idea of the breadth of analysis you conducted in preparing to study the research problem. If there has been a lot of prior studies on the topic, describe the most comprehensive and recent works because they will presumably discuss and reference the older studies; but note, as in the above example, that there has been significant scholarship devoted to the topic so the reader knows that you are aware of this.

    What if I find exactly what I want to say in the writing of another researcher? In the social sciences, the rationale in duplicating prior research is generally governed by the passage of time, changing circumstances or conditions, or the introduction of new variables that necessitate a new investigation. If someone else has recently conducted a thorough investigation of precisely the same research problem as you, then you likely will have to revise your topic, or at the very least, review the literature to identify something new to say about the problem.

    Referring to sources (citing) within the text

    However, if it is someone else's particularly succinct expression, but it fits perfectly with what you are trying to say, then you can quote it directly, referencing the source. Do not see this as a setback or become discouraged if you discover that your brilliant idea or important insight has already been identified by someone else.

    Identifying an author who has made the same point as you can be an opportunity to add legitimacy to, as well as reinforce the significance of, the research problem you are investigating. The key is to build on that idea in new and innovative ways. If you are not sure how to do this, consult with a librarian! Should I cite a source even if it was published long ago?

    Obviously, any resource used in writing your paper should be cited, regardless of when the study was written. However, in building a case for understanding prior research about your topic, it is generally true that you should focus on citing more recently published studies because they presumably have built upon the research of older publications.

    When referencing prior studies, use the research problem as your guide when considering what to cite. If a study from forty years ago investigated the same research problem, it probably should be examined and considered in your list of references because the research may have been foundational or groundbreaking even if its findings are no longer relevant to current conditions or reflect current thinking [one way to determine if a study is foundational or groundbreaking is to examine how often it has been cited in recent studies using the "Cited by" feature of Google Scholar ].

    However, if an older study only relates to the research problem tangentially or it has not been cited in recent studies, then it may be more appropriate to list it under further readings. Department of Biology. Bates College; Lunsford, Andrea A.

    How to Give References | Academic Writing in English, Lund University

    Martin's Handbook. New York: St. Martin's Press, ; Mills, Elizabeth Shown.

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    Purdue University; Using Evidence. Indiana University. The following USC Libraries research guide can help you properly cite sources in your research paper:. The following USC Libraries research guide offers basic information on using images and media in research:. Listed below are particularly well-done and comprehensive websites that provide specific examples of how to cite sources under different style guidelines.

    This is a useful guide concerning how to properly cite images in your research paper. This guide provides good information on the act of citation analysis, whereby you count the number of times a published work is cited by other works in order to measure the impact of a publication or author. The links below lead to systems where you can type in your information and have a citation compiled for you. Note that these are not foolproof systems so it is important that you verify that the citation is correct and check your spelling, capitalization, etc.

    However, they can be useful in creating basic types of citations, particularly for online sources.

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