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Referencing & Plagiarism Awareness: 3. How to insert citations into your assignment.

What is citing?

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Citing is identifying the sources you have used in the text of your assignment.  This may be done as;

  • a direct quotation

  • paraphrasing

  • summarising

In-text citations give brief details about the source that you refer to.

This is an example citation (Harvard referencing style):

(Pears and Shields, 2013) 

Further citation examples from the different referencing styles used at Aberystwyth University can be found here.

The citations will allow the person reading your assignment to locate the full details of the source you have used in the reference list located at the end of your work.

Example:

Reference list (Harvard Style)

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. London: Palgrave.

 

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013). Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. London: Palgrave.

How to use quotes in your assignment.

When you use quotations they should be relevant.  Try not to use too many as they can break the flow of your text.  You will need to balance quotations with your own understanding of the sources used.

Don't forget - quotes are included in your word count!

A few tips:

  • Enclose any quotes in "quotation marks" - be consistent. Check out the further examples to see whether your chosen referencing style uses single or double quotation marks.

  • If using long quotes that are more than a few sentences, add these as a separate paragraph. This should be indented and there is no need to use quotation marks. (Please note: The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences stipulate that long, indented quotations require quotation mark at the beginning and the end of the quotation).

  • Depending on the referencing style you are using, give the author, date and page number that the quote is from.

  • The full details of the source of the quote are then added into the reference list at the end of your assignment.

 

Example (Harvard Style):

In-text citation

"There are several ways in which you can incorporate citations into your text, depending on  your own style and the flow of the work" (Pears and Shields, 2013, p. 8)

Reference list

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. London: Palgrave

How to paraphrase.

Paraphrasing involves expressing another author’s ideas or arguments in your own words, without direct quotation but with due acknowledgement.  It entails reformulating key points or information accurately, so that nothing important is lost but the means of communication is new.

For instance:


Quotation    ‘It is impossible to step twice into the same river’ (Heraclitus)

Paraphrase    Heraclitus argues that, just as a river is always in motion, the world is always changing so that nothing stays the same.

 

Paraphrasing can help with the flow or continuity of your written work and is a good way of demonstrating your understanding.

A few tips:

  • Read your source a few times to ensure you understand the meaning

  • Restate the key point(s) from the source in your own words, but without distorting the original meaning

  • Ensure you cite and reference the source.

Please note: When paraphrasing, you should NOT copy a passage from your source and then seek to change some of its wording. Use your own words and phrases from beginning to end when paraphrasing.

How to summarise.

This method provides the key points from an article, book or web page as a brief statement.

A few Tips;

  • Summaries should be your own work. It is NOT permitted to use online summary tools or other software for this purpose.

  • Ensure you cite and reference the source

  • Only list the main topics

 

Example (Harvard Style):

In text citation

Importantly, one particular book (Pears and Shields, 2013) looks at the different citation methods when including them in an assignment.

Reference list

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. London: Palgrave.