There are two parts to referencing:
If you have read something and wish to refer to the ideas/research expressed in that work, you might summarize it or put it into your own words, as a citation. For example:
There is some dispute about who invented the Internet, but usually the same three names are mentioned (Jones, 2002).
This demonstrates that this idea was by Jones and was published in 2002. The student has read the whole work, and has summarised it in their own words, so it is not a quote.
Alternatively, you may wish to include the author’s name in your text. For example:
There is some dispute about who invented the Internet, but usually the same three names are mentioned by Jones (2002).
Both examples are correct. You may choose one over the other depending on the flow of the sentence or writing style.
You may wish to directly quote somebody else by using their exact words. The following is a direct quote from Brown, 1997, and is distinguished as such by using “quotation marks”. For example:
“The most important invention in Man’s evolution is not the Internet, but the bicycle.” (Brown, 1997, p.69).
However, if you were to use the above without quotation marks and without acknowledging the source then the following could be identified as plagiarism:
It could be said that the most important invention in Man's evolution is not the Internet, but the bicycle as it has made
such an enduring environmental impact on human society.
Short quotations can be included as a running part of your text. Longer quotations should be separate and indented from the main body of your text.
When directly quoting you should also include the page number from where you found it - this will help those reading your work to easily locate it.
Be careful not to use too many direct quotations. Remember, you are being marked for your work - the more quotations you add, the less there is of your work to mark.
The reference list at the end of your work will include details of all the citations used in your text. If you have read something but not explicitly referred to it in the text, this should go in your bibliography.
Sometimes you will be asked only for a reference list, not a bibliography, so check the instructions for each piece of work.
Imagine yourself as the person reading your work:
When writing assignments it is important to reference your work properly. Why?
There are many referencing styles, so it is important you know which to use for your assignment. Your module guide (or supervisor if you are a research student) or module leader will be able to confirm this for you.
Module/course handbook: Always check this first, or ask your module leader. Make sure you know which referencing style you should be using and follow any advice your subject gives you.
LibSmart: drop-ins: See box below
Academic Liaison Librarians are available to chat between 1pm-4pm, Monday to Friday term-time about using library resources and referencing.
You can join us in person at the LibSmart Point desk on the first floor of the Library between 1-2pm on weekdays, and chat to us online via the LibSmart Chat between 2-4pm.
Occasionally, and outside of these times, your query will be picked up by another member of Brunel Library staff or our friendly co-op support staff, who provide us with 24/7 chat coverage.
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