One important reason for referencing is to indicate that you have included information and research work from a different source into your write-up. The reasons for referencing includes;
- Avoiding plagiarism.
- Support your argument
- To reveal the depth of your research
- To know more about this, read our article on WHY REFERENCING IS NECESSARY IN ANY PROJECT WORK.
Referencing becomes necessary when you input ideas or information that are not originally yours. Referencing may come from: published journals, personal communications, books, theses, company’s reports, lecture notes, websites or anywhere else.
When you want to quote the words of an author exactly the same way he had written or said them. In practice, you should use quotation marks. When authors express idea or words in a manner highly important to your project work; when a paraphrase of that word will reduce its succinctness. The number of allowable quotation marks is never specified in any project work. However, it is best to sparingly use quotations. You can also use quotes where needed; to critique the point of a particular author or you want to argue it against another. It is allowed to also use quotations when they introduce a key point. Using quotation mark allows you to copy and references without any penalty of plagiarism.
Using references without quotation marks means that you have to paraphrase to avoid plagiarism. Paraphrasing is not just about changing one word; or two words or changing the order of the word order. In paraphrasing, you need to edit and rephrase the original idea as you understand them.
Including References in Summary
When you are including someone else’s thought or research journal into you research work, all you need to do is to read the information over and over again, then summarize them in your own words ensuring that you don’t lost the point in the process. Note that you would still need to reference this since it is the work of someone else.
Cluttered Words and Referencing
While you have to reference other people’s work in order to analyze a research objective; putting in too many quotes without contributing in-between to the discussion; makes your work look like you patched ideas together to form a research work. Your voice needs to be heard in your work. References are not meant to cover your work, they are meant to support, buttress, express or exemplify it. Therefore, put your inferences drawn based on some referenced research work or data in your work. Your inferences, opinions, arguments and suggestions whether based on a referenced material is or not and need not be referenced. Meanwhile, a reference at the end of a paragraph does not cover for the entire paragraph.
When had you plagiarized?
If your work, beside the original write-up look strikingly or perhaps a little closely similar, both in phrases, sentence structure and choice of words, undoubtedly you had just plagiarized. Not acknowledging the collaboration of another student or the contribution of a colleague in the research period of the project also counts for as plagiarism.
Choice of Reference Style
All over the world, there are different styles we use in referencing. Some of the most common of them are the American Psychological Association (APA) format; the Modern Language Association (MLA) format. Other referencing style includes the Chicago Citation Style and Harvard Citation Style amidst many.
Although any of these citation styles and format are allowed for referencing, note that each has its distinct characteristics accounting for its difference from others. Institutions all over the world have their preferred style for citations and referencing, and it is therefore advisable to seek advice on which of the referencing style is recommended by your institution and acquaint yourself with that referencing format and remain consistent to that style while in use.