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    Citation Guide

    Why reference?

    From reading academic articles and books, you should be familiar with the scholarly practice of making references in the text to other people's work and providing listings of relevant source material at the end of the text. Why is this done, and why should you adopt this approach in your own work?

    Reasons for Reference:
    • To enable someone reading the document to find the material you have referred to or consulted;
    • To demonstrate your width of reading and knowledge about a subject;
    • To support and/or develop points made in the text;
    • To avoid accusations of plagiarism: using somebody else's work without acknowledging the fact; and
    • Because you may be required to do so by your department.
    In discussions on this topic, reference is variously made to "citations", to "references lists" and to "bibliographies". Strictly speaking, these terms mean and require different things.
    Citation: a reference made in the text to a source of information. This can be in the form of a direct quotation, summarizing or paraphrasing.
    References list: an organized listing of the works cited in the text, placed at the end of the document.
    Bibliography: a full listing of all material consulted in relation to the research, including any source material not directly cited in the text, placed at the end of the document. It is therefore important, in any formal piece of work, that you are clear exactly what the requirements are for referencing and that you fulfill those requirements.

    And to learn more you can see The American Psychological Association (APA) 6th edition provides worked examples and templates showing how to apply APA.


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