Writing Essay

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Referencing basics

Quotations come from: Australian National University, “Code of Practice for Student Academic Integrity,” 2009 John Clanchy and Brigid Ballard, Essay Writing for Students: A Practical Guide, 3rd ed. (Melbourne: Longman, 1997); and H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, The Little, Brown Handbook, 8th ed. (New York: Longman, 2001). 

1. Why reference?

Academic work involves the fundamental process of critically engaging with the work of others. For most assessment tasks, you will be required to work with different sources. Aside from searching for sources, the early part of the research process will involve evaluating sources, assessing their relevance, testing their reliability, looking for similarities or differences between sources, making connections, and so on. Following this stage, you will then move into the most important part of the research process – “forging relationships for your own purpose” (Fowler & Aaron 673), that is, developing some new and original understanding based on the connections that you make between diverse sources. Without references, it would be impossible to determine how original your work is.

In 2003, the Australian National University introduced its “Code of Practice for Student Academic Integrity,” [updated 2009] policy to make explicit its commitment to the principles of good scholarship. Students will be expected in the course of their studies to demonstrate “the ability to critically engage their own thinking with that of others” (ANU 5).

2. When to reference

When writing an academic essay or a report, you will invariably draw upon the research of others, directly or indirectly, and incorporate it into your own work. For example, you may choose to quote an author, paraphrase a section of an author’s work, or simply use an idea or information from a text. In producing an essay, report, or dissertation, whenever you

• QUOTE directly from another writer;

• PARAPHRASE or SUMMARISE a passage from...