English for Academic Purposes

Who wrote this and where did I find it? Citation and Referencing Tips

This video gives tips citation and referencing.

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Who wrote this and where did I find it? Citation and Referencing Tips

When you take ideas from someone else's work and incorporate those ideas into your own work, you need to give credit to the author. If you don't, you are passing that author's ideas or words off as your own, and that is plagiarism.

To avoid plagiarism, you must cite a source when you quote, paraphrase, or summarize it, use charts, graphs or images from it, or include facts that you learned from a source that are not common knowledge. In-text citations should appear in the body of your assignment, and all sources used must be included in a reference list at the end of your paper. A reader should easily be able to identify all of the sources that you used in writing your assignment.

In order to avoid plagiarism, you should start your research early. Rushing makes you more likely to lose track of sources, take shortcuts, or cite improperly.

Make sure that you also take meticulous notes. Be sure to include all the required information for each source so that you don't forget which source your notes came from.

Careful citation and referencing are the best way to avoid plagiarism.

When you're looking at a search result, review it carefully to determine what type of resource you are using, for example a book, video, or article. The resource type is important because different information is required for referencing different types of resources.

If you have found an item from a database, look for a Cite button or icon in the database. You can use this to form a basic reference for the item, but remember that it's your responsibility to verify that the reference format is correct according to your required citation style.

A full reference for an article includes the title, the author's name, the name of the journal that the article was published in, the date of publication, the journal volume and issue numbers, page numbers for the article, and the DOI, if there is one. Note that the DOI, also known as the digital object identifier, may be found in the detailed record for the article but sometimes it can only be found when you click through to look at the full text of the article.

A full reference for a book includes the book's title, the author or editor's name, the date of publication, the publisher's name, and any other information that may be required.

A full reference for a video includes the video's title, the date of publication, any producer, director, or writer's name, and any other information that may be required.

A full reference for a web resource always includes the web address or URL, the title, the date of publication or last update to the page, and the name of the author, creator, or owner. Referencing web resources can be complicated, and you may require other pieces of information. Consult a referencing guide for more examples.

Remember that there are many citation styles. Some common styles are APA, MLA, Chicago, and Turabian. Different fields of study have particular style preferences. If you're asked to use APA, which is commonly used at Georgian, check out the APA Guide on the library website at library.georgiancollege.ca/citing. It provides help with constructing in-text citations and reference pages.

Roadmap to Research: A Research Process Checklist

This video offers steps on how to begin researching for your assignment.

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Roadmap to Research: A Research Process Checklist

It’s helpful to have a process or checklist to follow when you’re researching. Let’s look at a six-step checklist to take you through the steps. You should keep in mind that in some circumstances you will not do everything on the list, you may not follow the steps in order, and you may have to go through the checklist more than once – and that’s OK. The checklist is a tool to help you stay on track.

Step one is clearly stating your research question. Keep referring to your question as you proceed through the checklist. You might modify your question as you learn more about your topic and gather resources. It might become broader, or more specific. You may need to consult your professor if this happens and you intend to change the focus of your research as a result.

Step two is fully examining your assignment and identifying any requirements or specifications that it provides. What types of resources do you need to use, such as books, peer-reviewed articles, or web resources? How many resources do you need? For example it might require that you use three articles, or at least one web resource. What is the final output or product, for example a video, an essay, a report, or a case study? Be aware that not all assignments will provide all of these details. Make note of the due date so that you can schedule your research, organization, and writing time.

Step three is to define and explore your topic. Use your research question to generate some manageable, focused questions that you will need to address in your research. Use the basic questions – who, what, where, why, when, and how – to help you. Decide what keywords you are going to use in your search.

Step four is to determine the types of information that you need and where you will find it. For example, do you need statistics? Do you need research articles? Do you need images? Where will you find this information? Is it on the web or in one of the library’s databases? Do you need a book to provide a basic introduction to your topic? Should you interview someone knowledgeable about your topic? Now you know what you’re looking for and where you’re going to look and can carry out your search.

Step five is to evaluate what you have found against your research question and assignment. You need to think about relevance, authority, point of view, timeliness, and the context of what you find. Make sure you have all of the details necessary to reference the resources you are using in your final paper or product.

Step six is to begin creating your product or paper. As you go along, document your sources using the citation style required by your professor, such as APA or MLA. You may need to use in-text citation for your sources in addition to creating a reference or works cited list at the end.

Remember, you may need to repeat this entire checklist or repeat a specific step. In real life the research process is rarely neat and tidy.

You can always consult your professor if you have questions. You can also ask library staff to assist you with gathering information and using specific library tools.

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