Plagiarism is theft of intellectual property and you should absolutely avoid it in all your assignments, by referencing all the sources you have used.
The University has a very strict policy against plagiarism and dealing with students accused of it. We’re not saying don’t get caught plagiarising, we say just don’t do it, it’s not worth the risk! As long as you reference according to our guidelines, you will be fine.
For more information, see RGU Study Skills' guide to Academic Honesty (via Moodle).
We say you paraphrase when you take someone else’s ideas, theories, opinions, etc. and write them in your own words. This is great because you can show your understanding of the concept, but that doesn’t mean it is your own original idea. So, you must reference the originator of the idea. If you don’t, it will constitute plagiarism, which we're sure you'll want to avoid!
This is when you copy the exact words from a book, journal article, website, etc. It’s ok to include quotations here and there in your assignments, but try not to overdo it, as too many quotations might get frowned upon. It is your work as well! A few things to keep in mind:
- short quotations can be contained in your paragraph and should always be “enclosed within quotation marks”
- longer quotations should appear as a separate paragraph and do not require quotation marks
- don’t forget to reference all your quotations!
- the citation after the quote will have to mention the exact page where you took the extract from. The exception is when there are no pages, like webpages or Kindle books, where page numbers vary depending on text size.
The Stages of Referencing
- author(s) or editor(s) surnames and year of publication
- there is no comma between authors and year of publication
- page reference also included only when you have quoted directly or referring to an illustration
|When you paraphrase:||The full citation appears in brackets. If it is at the end of a sentence, it will always appear before the full stop.||There is a tendency to .... (Smith 2015).|
|When you paraphrase and want to use the author(s) name(s) in the sentence:||Only the year of publication will appear in brackets.||According to Smith (2015), there is a tendency to....|
|When you directly quote:||You must include the page reference of where you are quoting. This will appear after the year of publication.||"Over the past decade there has been a significant growth in......" (Smith 2015 p.37).|
|When you directly quote and use the author(s) name(s) in the sentence:||The author(s) name(s) comes out of the citation, leaving the year of publication and page reference in brackets.||Smith (2015 p.37) states that "over the past decade there has been a significant growth in...".|
The reference list is entirely linked to the citations in your text, and it gives full details of the sources you have used. Each one of your citations must match a reference list entry.
Librarian Top Tip!
To ensure you don't miss out any references, make sure you write the reference list entry as soon as you insert a citation!
- arranged in alphabetical order by author
- appears at the end of your document
- you don't need numbers, bullet points, start or any other pretty symbols to decorate your references. Keep it plain and simple! :)
If you have used any other sources which you haven’t referred to in your text, but nevertheless were part of your research (think background reading), they would go in the bibliography.
- appears at the very end, after the reference list
- arranged in alphabetical order by author
- it may or may not be a requirement for your assignment. If in doubt, check with your school
The Basic Rules
PAYNE, J.R. and PHILLIPS, C.R., The author's names 1985. The year of publication Petroleum spills in the marine environment: the chemistry and formation of water-in-oil emulsions and tar balls. The book title. This will always be in italics and only the first letter should be capitalised. 2nd ed. Edition, only if it's over the 1st edition. Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers. The place of publication and the publisher. Notice the city and the state abbreviation?
WAGNER, M.R. et al.,The article's authors 2006. The year of publication Horizontal drilling and openhole gravel packing with oil-based fluids: an industry milestone. The article title, not in italics SPE Drilling and Completion, The journal title, in italics 21(1), The volume and issue pp. 32-43.The page where the article starts and where it ends
MASTERS, T., The author 2017. The year of publication Harry Potter: how the boy wizard enchanted the world. The title, in italics [online]. London: BBC. Place of publication and publisher Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40340400 The URL [Accessed 26 June 2017]. When you accessed the page
Inserting the author(s) / editor(s)
- The author(s) names are always in capitals
- If more than 1 author, write their names in the order in which they appear on the source material
- The surname comes first, followed by a comma and the initial(s) of the first name(s)
- If there are more than 3 authors, you don't have to list them. Just mention the first author followed by et al. (it means 'and others')
- If the material has editors, just mention ed. or eds. after the editor(s)
|1||BROWN, C.M.,||BROWN, C.M., ed.,|
|2||BROWN, C.M. and JONES, A.B.,||BROWN, C.M. and JONES, A.B., eds.,|
|3||BROWN, C.M., JONES, A.B. and SMITH, C.D.,||BROWN, C.M., JONES, A.B. and SMITH, C.D., eds.,|
|more than 3||BROWN, C.M. et al.,||BROWN, C.M. et al., eds.,|
Corporate authors: acronyms and initials
If the authoring organisation's name is abbreviated to its initials,
- You must write the full name, followed by the initials (in brackets). This applies for both in text-citation and the reference list entry.
- If the author is also the publisher, you can just put the abbreviation as the publisher
- In your sentence, when you first refer to the organisation, you should write it out in full. If you mention the organisation again in a following sentence, you can just write the abbreviation. This rule doesn't apply to citations, just the sentence.
- Acronyms which are general knowledge (think BBC, NHS) do not have to be written out in full.
The original stance on liver disease adopted by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN)(2002) was rescinded three years later when SIGN issued new guidance (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network 2005).
Places of publication
|United Kingdom||Just the city||Oxford:|
|United States||City, State Abbreviation||Hoboken, NJ:|
|Canada||City, Territory Abbreviation||Calgary, AB:|
|Australia||City, Territory Abbreviation||Perth, WA:|
|Rest of the world||City, Country||Geneva, Switzerland:|
This extract from an assignment should clarify some issues around incorporating citations in your text. You can hover/tap over each of them to get an explanation. Please note you do not have to bold the citations in your assignments.
BERKENKOTTER, C. and HUCKIN, T., 2014. Genre knowledge in disciplinary communication. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
BRAINE, G., 2010. Writing in science and technology: an analysis of assignments from ten undergraduate courses. English for Specific Purposes, 8(6), pp. 3-16.
FAIGLEY, L. and HANSEN, K., 2013. Learning to write in the social sciences. College Composition and Communication, 36(2), pp. 140-149.
HOROWITZ, D., 2011. What professors actually require: academic tasks for the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 20(3), pp. 445-462.
SWALES, J. et al., 2012. Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.