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Citing, Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism: Why?

Guidlines

Looking at your School or course guidelines, you will see that you get marks for things such as:

  • searching independently for information in appropriate sources
  • piecing together a coherent account of a topic from a variety of sources 
  • proving your understanding of the topic beyond that of the taught course 
  • evidence of background reading
  • evidence of independent effort including finding sources of information beyond that given to you
  • evidence that you know what’s already known in the topic (i.e. your putting your research in context) 
  • a well structured report/essay, including references

And that there are strict penalties for:

  • plagiarism

Correct citing and referencing will help with this and also help ensure that you aren't plgiarising.

Good Academic Practice

In-text Citations

  • Correct attribution of information that is not your own, makes it clear to your marker that you are not trying to pass off someone else’s ideas/words as your own (avoids plagiarism)
  • Add weight to your assertions / provides evidence
    • e.g. statistics, surveys, illustrating a point with images/figures/formula…
      you can show your marker that you have got your information from an authorotative source 
  • Should your reader wish to verify any point, the in-text citation sign-posts the reader to the full details in your reference list

Reference List

  • The number of references shows that you have read from a range of different sources and not based your conclusions on one point of view (breadth of reading)
  • Including a large number of basic references may not be enough, you need to show your marker that you have read at the appropriate level (depth of reading)
  • It allows anyone reading your work to verify the points you have made by giving them sufficient detail in order to locate the work you have referred to

Remember, the more you read from appropriate academic literature, the more you will see citing and referencing in practice.  You can benefit from other people citing and referencing, by following up references from their reference lists. Examples of citing and referencing can be seen in the How? Citing and Referencing Styles section.

More Info