It is important that you take time to learn how to refer to the work of others correctly, because scientific writing is based on previous research that someone else has done. In order for your readers to easily find your sources you have used, you must phrase your referrals in a consistent way. Probably, by now you’ve got an idea on how to arrange your reference list, want to know more, check this out. But how does it work with referring to current text? Should the reference be before or after your own text? How to do if you have a reference to a whole paragraph? What should I use for descriptive words when I refer? Should I specify pages? How do I enter a quote?
Here are some quick tips on what to consider when referring while writing.
Here at the library we use the Harvard system and have a detailed guide and guide on our website but it is only in swedish. Anglia Ruskin University has an excellent Harvard guide in english you can use otherwise. Most of the courses at Borås University use the Harvard system but not all, check with your tutor and teacher what is applicable.
How should a reference in current text appear? Here are some common examples:
Dahlberg (1997) points out that …
… these rules of Dahlberg (1997) are well established …
Allemansrätten is another aspect that strongly influences the conditions for outdoor life and nature tourism (Kaltenborn et al., 2001; Sandell & Sörlin 2000; Sandell, 1997).
When you talk about multiple authors in current text, use the word and. However, you should use the character & when you enter the authors in brackets and also in the source list.
Should the reference be before or after your own text?
As in the examples above, the reference can be given in different places depending on how it fits in. Usually it is placed after the paragraph referring to the source in question, but the text reference can also be woven into the text. It consists of an parenthesis that usually contains the author’s last name and source’s release year (and page number). Here are examples of how it may look like:
… a model called constructive alignment (Biggs 1999).
… constructive alignment developed by John Biggs (1999) is a well-established model that …
How to do if you have a reference to a whole paragraph?
When you want to refer to one and the same source for an entire paragraph, it suffices to have it once, and then please in the beginning. If the paragraph is very far you can specify the source further sometime towards the end, so the reader should not have to look for the reference.
Page in the text reference
Practices vary in different subject areas, also when it comes to specifying which page in the source the information is retrieved from or not. When referring to long texts, some consider it a service for the reader to indicate where in the book information you have used exists, while others only want pageviews for quotes. Follow practice within your subject area. The examples in this guide include page views listed sometimes.
Some teachers are what McGuinness (2007, p. 30) calls “heavy users” of the library …
Some teachers are what McGuinness (2007, pp. 30-33) calls “heavy users” of the library …
Some teachers are what McGuinness (2007, Rev. 30, 33) calls “heavy users” of the library …
What should I use for descriptive words when I refer?
Sometimes it may be difficult to vary the language when you refer, but it makes the text a bit more fun if you vary the terms when you refer. For example. writes, suggests, suggests, instructs, questions, expresses doubts, has a different explanation, and so on, There are always synonyms to add but sometimes you may also search for another word that actually gives the statement a little different meaning. Try it out! Karolinska institutet (KI) has a useful frasbank where you can get more tips on phrases to use.
How do I enter a quote?
A quote must be accurately rendered and the reference should also contain a page number. Shorter quotes should be written directly in the quote text (“”). If you exclude text within a quote, mark this with […].
“Communication becomes the tool by which the incomprehensible becomes understandable for that learning, but also for the teaching” (Jonsson 2004, p. 117).
Longer quotes should usually be given a clearer mark and written as a separate paragraph with indentations in the right and left hand lines with an empty line between quotes and your own text.
There is no easy answer. Until a satisfactory solution is found, most people can agree that there is a need for greater social networking savvy […]. Social media is not going away nor should it. All of us need to think twice, however, before we post personal content.
(Moore 2012, p. 91)
Hope you have gotten some stuff about referring in current text. If not, come to us in the information desk and we’ll help you! Also, do not forget that the library on Thursdays has a craftsman with drop in, where language support is also represented. To make sure that you refer correctly and do not run the risk of being charged with plagiarism, check out the university’s anti-placement guide
Text: Lena Holmberg