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Showing posts with label referencing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label referencing. Show all posts

5 October 2017

Getting to Grips with Citing & Referencing

Academic integrity is one of the key skills you need to develop during your university studies. This includes acknowledging the work of others and disclosing the sources of your research. Bei-En Zou, a learning skills adviser, writes about the importance of citing and referencing and offers some tips to mastering this skill. 

Before we talk about the importance of citing and referencing, we need a few definitions! Most people often use these terms interchangeably, but they do in fact refer to two different things.

Citations are sources that you mention within your research. They're accompanied by a footnote or an in-text reference. A citation can be a key piece of information that you've drawn from someone else's work or a direct quote from a text. 

Referencing, on the other hand, refers to a list of all the resources you've used in your research at the end of an essay or article. This is also known as a bibliography.

Why do we need to cite and reference?


You probably know that it's a requirement to cite and reference properly in your assignments, but why is it important? Citing and Referencing is important because universities want to train you in thinking originally, and to contribute your own ideas about your subject areas and to produce original work. It's therefore important to distinguish which is your work, and which is the work of others. 

Acknowledging the sources that you have used in your work highlights where you have contributed your own ideas and research. 

Citing and referencing have other important roles too! Referencing is a way of providing evidence to support the claims that you are making in your essay. You can use the work of experts in your field to lend weight to your own research, to show how your work is built upon previous intellectual endeavours or how your work challenges and deviates from the traditional understanding in your field. An essay or report with appropriate and accurate references is always more convincing and persuasive than one without any!

A good set of citations and references also enables your marker to track down all the material you used and get a sense of how widely you've researched. You are showing your marker that you are aware of the breadth and depth of your field. Referencing also gives you a chance to acknowledge the hard work of others before you. 

Using different citing and referencing styles. 


Harvard, Chicago, IEEE, APA... there are at least a dozen citing and referencing styles that are used at Monash. Each faculty has their own preferences, and even within the one course, you might find yourself using different styles for each of your subjects! You can usually find all the information you need about citing and referencing styles in the Unit Guide for your subject, or by asking your tutor, demonstrator or lecturer. The key is to maintain consistency and watch out for the finicky little details in the commas, italics and ampersands. 

Resources to help you.


Referencing can be a fiddly and frustrating process, as you come to grips with all the intricacies and variations among different styles. The library has created a number of excellent resources to help you navigate all elements of citing and referencing. 

Here are our top links:

This is your go-to place for all things citing and referencing. Bookmark it on your computer and refer to it frequently for all examples and explanations of all the referencing conventions for you to follow. 

If you're feeling a little unsure about citing and referencing, this is a great tutorial that will explain the basic principles, and you can test out your knowledge at the end with quizzes.

One of the most common citing and referencing styles used at Monash is APA (American Psychological Association). If that's you, APA Central is a great resource. It contains videos, quizzes, templates and quick guides for you to get on top of APA style. 

  • Research and learning point - drop-in sessions
Drop in without an appointment to see a librarian or learning skills advisor for some advice on researching for your assignment, including citing and referencing. You can find a list of session times here. 

(*) Please use either Firefox or Internet Explorer to complete this tutorial. 

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30 August 2016

Why do citing and referencing and how not to freak out

It’s that time of the semester where lines start to form at the Research and Learning point. Many of the questions we get are about citing and referencing: “Do I need to include a reference for this?”, “Am I doing this correctly?”, “What on earth is ‘Turabian Style’?”. There’s no doubt citing and referencing can be confusing. Don’t freak out! Romany Manuell is here to help...

Why do I need to do it?
Well, I don’t want to make you panic, but when writing a piece of work at university, you actually have some pretty serious moral and legal responsibilities in terms of giving appropriate credit to the ideas of others.

Throughout your time at university, you will be developing your own “academic voice”. When you cite and reference correctly, your readers will be able to hear that voice, and see where you have used the work of experts to support your ideas. If you’ve integrated your sources well, it will also allow your readers to see how well you’ve understood the material, and if necessary, they will be able to track down the items you have mentioned. In a sense, you are also showing respect to those researchers who have come before you, as you are acknowledging their hard work by referring to it. Have a look at the Library’s Academic integrity modules - they contain examples of what to do, as well as what to avoid (e.g. remix and retweet plagiarism).

You can gain more understanding of citing and referencing by watching this video:

What do I need to do?
Firstly, you need to find out what style of referencing you should be using. This information is usually in the Unit Guide for your subject, but if in doubt, ask your tutor or lecturer. Common styles at Monash Uni include APA 6th, Harvard, and Chicago/Turabian (but many others are also used!). The Demystifying citing and referencing tutorial explains the basic principles behind all the different styles of citing and referencing, and is great if you’re feeling a little unsure or just want to test your knowledge.

How can I remember everything?
The Library fully understands how complicated citing and referencing is...particularly all the finicky formatting rules! We can’t remember every rule, and you’re certainly not expected to either. You’re going to have to look up the requirements of the style using the Library’s Citing & Referencing Library Guide and find the appropriate example to follow. You can also check out some faculty-specific resources, such as the Faculty of Business and Economics’ Q Manual, MADA Creative Integrity and FIT Academic Integrity.


There are some things you can do to make the citing and referencing experience a bit easier. To protect your privacy, the Library doesn’t keep a list of the items you’ve borrowed, so maintain your own list by using the e-Shelf in Search. Make sure you are logged in to Search, and click on the tiny star next to an item to add it to your e-Shelf:

Then, you’ll always have the details of the items you’ve used when it’s time to write up your Reference List or Bibliography! Even if you don’t use e-Shelf, try to keep your references organised right from the start by adding them to a Word document, or trying out a bibliographic software package such as EndNote.


You can always get help with citing and referencing from a Learning Skills Adviser or Librarian at your Library’s Research & Learning Point - you’ll find the listed times for your library here.

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11 April 2016

The why, what and how of citing and referencing

In this post we’ll go through the basics of citing and referencing, and introduce you to some resources that will make it a much more manageable process for you to complete! ... by Romney Adams



We get lots of questions at our Research and Learning points about citing and referencing - “What style can I use?”, “If I cite something, do I always have to reference it?”, “What’s a reference list?” There’s no doubt citing and referencing is a confusing area for a lot of you, and it’s especially difficult if you’re new to the process.

Why do I need to do it?

So to start with, why do you need to bother with citing and referencing? Can’t your lecturers just trust that you’ve based your assignments on strong evidence? Well, the short answer is no! But there’s more to it than that…

 First, check out this short clip:




Why is citing and referencing important

It’s important to cite and reference your work, for a number of reasons - when done correctly, anyone reading your assignment (including the person marking it!) can see where you have used an expert’s research to support your own. As well as this, they should be able to locate the materials you used, enabling them to determine how widely you’ve read, and on what evidence you’ve based your work. It also means you’re showing respect to those experts who have completed research before you, by acknowledging their hard work. You wouldn’t like it if you spent years researching and writing a paper, only to have someone else come along and pass off your work as their own! This is plagiarism, which the University takes very seriously. Have a look at the Library’s Academic Integrity Modules - they contain examples of mistakes that can be easy to make, such as remix and retweet plagiarism. The good news is it also shows how these mistakes can be avoided.

What do I need to do?


Citing and referencing is essentially made up of two things...citing, and referencing (bonus points if you had guessed that already!). Citations refer to the brief attributions you make throughout the body of your assignment, while references contain more detail, and are situated at the end of your assignment - and yes, you do need to do both! The Demystifying Citing and Referencing Tutorial explains the basic principles behind citing and referencing, and is great if you’re feeling a little unsure or confused.

Citations can be made either in-text, or through the use of footnotes. To know which of these options to use, and to also be aware of exactly how your citations and references should be formatted, you first need to know what style of citing and referencing you need to use. This is very important, as there are an array of styles used at Monash, and you don’t want to use the wrong style for the wrong assignment! If you can’t see a clear indication of which style to use on your assignment specifications sheet, double-check with your tutor or lecturer.

How can I remember everything?


The Library fully understands how complicated citing and referencing is...particularly all the finicky formatting rules! We can’t remember every rule, and you’re certainly not expected to either. Instead, we have a variety of useful resources for you to use so you know you’re following the rules exactly as you’re meant to. The most useful resource is our Citing and Referencing Library Guide, which contains dedicated sections for each style used at Monash, and features detailed coverage of style rules, with examples for you to follow. If you use this Guide, you really can’t go wrong! You can also check out the referencing section of some faculty-specific resources, such as the Faculty of Business and Economics’ Q Manual, and the Faculty of Information Technology’s Style Guide.

As tempting as it may seem, please don’t Google information about citing and referencing, or use an online generator. Styles are updated all the time, and some have been modified slightly to better suit the institution (for example, Monash uses its own version of the Harvard style). Information you find on Google may be out-of-date, or incorrect, and seeing as citing and referencing is usually worth between 5-10% of an assignment, getting it right can be the difference between a D and HD...or an N and P.

While citing and referencing can be challenging, it does need to be done - and with the Library’s help, you’ll have no trouble at all! You can always get help with citing and referencing from a librarian at the Library’s Research and Learning point - you’ll find the listed times for your library here.

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8 September 2015

Incorporating research into your assignment

How much of the assignment should consist of my ideas about the topic, and how much should consist of researched ideas? When my tutor’s feedback says “Where is your voice?”, what does that mean? How will my tutor know what my thoughts are in contrast with those of the authors I’ve read? This blog post will answer these questions and more …  by Damian Gleeson

It’s (mostly) all about you


Your tutors are interested in your response to the assignment topic. They are more than familiar with the experts’ thoughts on the matter; they may indeed have contributed significantly to the body of expert knowledge on the issue themselves. What your tutor wants to know is: after listening to the lectures, attending tutorials or labs and reading widely on the topic, what do you think about it? What is your stance? What can you prove and how can you prove it? For these reasons, the majority of most assignments should consist of your considered response to the topic.

Show your working

In terms of attribution, the majority of your assignment should comprise your particular response, but not all of it. Of course you need to incorporate the research you’ve done

  • to show off all the reading, note-taking, critiquing, evaluating and synthesising you’ve done
  • to have published experts support what you want to say, adding weight and credibility to your academic position.
The voice

So the majority of your assignment comprises your response. The research you’ve done is introduced to back up your contribution. In doing so, you demonstrate your control and authority. Nice! Of course the ideas you’ve borrowed need to be acknowledged in-text with citations and at the end of your assignment with referencing. Check out the blog post on this, see the Library’s guides to citing and referencing to learn more, and always have one of these guides open when you are writing.

Some points about incorporating research

Borrowed ideas should generally not appear in the first sentence of a paragraph. You should show control of the topic by stating the point you want to make first. In simple terms, your paragraph should consist of

  • a topic sentence summing up your main point,
  • further explanation of that main point,
  • evidence and examples to demonstrate the point in action and
  • a link back to the topic and your point’s relevance to it.

Paraphrasing is preferred to quoting as it shows deeper understanding of the literature. Your choice of reporting verb (‘state’, ‘claim’, ‘assert’,  etc.) also demonstrates deeper understanding, and reminds your reader that you have processed published ideas and incorporated a response to them in your work.

If you remain uncertain about how to incorporate the thoughts and work of others, don’t forget a friendly librarian or learning skills adviser is available to speak with you at a Library drop in.


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25 August 2015

Citing and referencing - essential for your assignment

It’s detailed, it’s time-consuming, and it can be confusing - but citing and referencing is part of every assignment here at Monash. Read on to discover some great resources which make citing and referencing easier to understand, and simpler to complete......by Romney Adams.


What is it, and why do it?

Citations refer to the brief attributions you make throughout the body of your assignment, while references contain more detail, and are situated at the end of your assignment. The Demystifying Citing & Referencing Tutorial explains the basic principles behind citing and referencing, and is great if you’re feeling a little unsure or confused.

It’s important to cite and reference your work, for a number of reasons. When done correctly, anyone reading your assignment (including the person marking it!) can see where you have used an expert’s research to support your own. As well as this, they should be able to locate the materials you used, enabling them to determine how widely you’ve read, and on what evidence you’ve based your work. Have a look at the Library’s Academic Integrity Modules - they contain examples of mistakes that can be easy to make when using  expert opinion to support your own work - such as remix and retweet plagiarism. The good news is the modules also show how these mistakes can be avoided.

Citing and referencing is usually worth between 5-10% of an assignment, so ensuring you’ve cited and referenced your work correctly can really give your grade a boost. Don’t forget, 10% is the difference between a D and HD...or an N and P.

Feeling confused?  Check out this short clip which will show you other areas to look out for.





Resources available

There are a number of citing and referencing styles, such as Harvard, APA, Chicago, and Turabian. Each style will have different rules to follow, which can get very frustrating. It’s impossible to learn even one style perfectly - not even your lecturer can probably manage it. Luckily, the Citing & Referencing Library Guide is your ultimate go-to guide for help.

This guide contains dedicated sections for each style used at Monash, and features detailed coverage of style rules, with examples for you to follow. If you use this guide, you really can’t go wrong. You can also check out the referencing section of some faculty-specific resources, such as the Faculty of Business and Economics’ Q Manual, and the Faculty of Information Technology’s Style Guide.

It’s best not to Google information about citing and referencing - styles are updated all the time (APA is now in its 6th edition), and some have been moderated slightly to better suit the institution (for example, Monash uses its own version of the Harvard style). Information you find on Google may be out-of-date or incorrect.

While citing and referencing can be challenging, it does need to be done - and with the Library’s help, you’ll have no trouble at all. You can  get help with citing and referencing from a librarian at your library’s Research & Learning point.









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14 July 2015

EndNote


How much time do you spend checking your references for the correct style? If you don’t want to lose marks for incorrect referencing then your answer would be a lot of time and it’s tedious, but you have to do it. Right? ...By Paula Todd.

Image courtesy Pixabay
What if we told you there was an easier and quicker way?

Monash has the license for EndNote so all students have free access to the full version which is downloadable from the Library website.   By learning how to use this software you can save a lot of valuable time but the key is to understand the referencing style listed in your unit guide or on Moodle, THEN use the software.  A bit like the theory of using a calculator to solve a mathematical problem, you need to understand the formula before applying it.

OK so you know your referencing style, how is EndNote going to help you? If you use databases or Library Search, then you can export the details of the article or book into your EndNote library in your chosen referencing style.  But this isn’t the end of the story, you can then use the ‘cite while you write’ function in EndNote to put your in-text citations into your essay or report and at the same time EndNote will automatically start creating your reference list at the end of your paper.  No more typing references.

How do you start?

It’s best to book into a class (Monash login required) to get started as the librarians will give you lots of tips and tricks to make EndNote run smoothly.  Once your EndNote library is set up then most databases will have an export function to add references straight into your library. 

You can also attach the full text PDF’s of articles to your EndNote library as well which can save time when you are writing your assignment as both the article and its citation are in the same place.  With EndNote you can also highlight and annotate PDF’s which makes relevant parts of the article easy to spot when typing your assignment and you want to check what has been written.

EndNote software in use

Another really cool feature is the Group option so that references for a particular purpose can be arranged together which is useful as your EndNote library gets bigger and you want to easily see which references go with each assignment or project.

EndNote software in use

If the idea of having your EndNote library in the cloud to access anywhere appeals to you then check out EndNote Online. You can also use this version of EndNote to share references in your library with friends or for use in group assignments.  More on this type of sharing in a later blog.



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