Referencing is a very important academic convention which recognises that academic writing builds on previous research. In your assignments, you are required to refer to the work of others and you must explicitly acknowledge this both in the body of your assignment (in-text reference) and in a list of references at the end of your work. It is important that you follow these rules.
This page explains:
- Parts of the in-text reference
- Direct quotations
- Paraphrases and summarises
- In-text referencing in action
Parts of in-text references
Each time you use the work of others in an assignment, you must acknowledge this. In APA referencing, you place an in-text reference in your writing, then detail the location of that information in a reference list at the end of your essay.
(a) If the direct quote is less than 40 words in the text, enclose it with double quotation marks.
|Making a change||Correct convention|
|Leaving out some words because you may not need all of the words in the middle of the quote||Use an ellipsis signal . . . (three full stops with a space before, between, and after)|
|Changing the capitalisation of a letter||Use square brackets [ ] around the letter e.g. [J]|
|Adding words to the quote (without changing the meaning)||Use square brackets [ ] around the added words|
|Indicating an error in the quote (e.g. spelling)||Insert [sic] in square brackets & italics after the error|
Paraphrases and summarises
Using your own words to express the ideas or opinions of other writers (i.e. paraphrases or summaries) is recommended because direct quotations should occupy less than 10% of your essay. A summary is a shortened version of the original, whereas a paraphrase is about the same length as the original. Paraphrases and summaries of the work of other writers require in-text references, but no quotation marks are needed.
Strong author example: Long (2007) argues that recast feedback may be the most effective method to correct a second language learner’s spoken errors.
Weak author example: It is argued that recast feedback may be the most effective method to correct a second language learner’s spoken errors (Long, 2007).
In-text referencing in action
If you did not answer the majority correctly, then you might want to re-read the information and work through them again.
Sometimes it helps to get some fresh air and approach it with a clear head.
Getting a good understanding of in-text referencing now will really help you in the future!