Referencing: how to be polite to your sources
You will remember that when you were doing research for your essay by means of interviews, reading library books and searching on the Internet, you were always told to keep records of your sources. Now you have come to the point where you are going to include the facts and ideas that you have obtained from places other than your own mind in your essay. This is called referencing and it entails the avoidance of what can be termed “ripping off”. It is a mild and often unintended form of plagiarism. Obviously you wouldn’t simply copy someone else’s work you would quote it and cite the source. But if you don’t make a habit of noting where you read an interesting idea, you may absorb it without even being aware of it. The only answer is to keep meticulous records about where you find your thoughts. There is nothing shameful about acknowledging where you found an idea; on the contrary. Proper acknowledgement and quotations are an important part of your text. Using them properly will help you to organize your writing and strengthen your arguments. It is perfectly acceptable to use other people’s ideas, but you must document your sources, or you could be accused of plagiarism (ripping-off). To become convincing as a writer, you must be clear about what is yours and what is borrowed. Be honest and straightforward about your sources, both direct and indirect. Use direct sources as much as possible, but if you can’t for some reason, indicate this. If, for example, you talk about Derrida via Norris, let your reader know that you used Norris on Derrida. Don’t make it sound as if Derrida were the author of a particular idea if indeed it was Norris who expressed that idea about Derrida. If you want to quote Derrida himself, you must find the reference in Derrida’s work.
Using ideas and facts from other people, books or web pages without saying where they come from is stealing (ripping-off) of those ideas and facts. It is called plagiarism and it is a serious crime. At University, if there is no proper referencing, a fail mark will be awarded
There are two kinds of referencing: quoting and making bibliographies, or lists of your sources.
● Quoting: involves saying what the other person has said, in their exact words. When you quote, you must use inverted commas or quotation marks (‘or”) for short quotations and you must indent longer quotations. You must also introduce each quotation, and not simply plug it into your essay without any explanation. Remember: a quotation cannot form a sentence on its own. To be a full sentence, it needs some words (preferably a subject and a verb) from you and in your voice. Here are some examples of how to do it correctly.
At the end of Sula, Nel says: “And all this time I thought I was missing Jude”.
Cheris Kramarae and Paula A. Treichler describe marriage as follows:
Feminists have defined marriage in several ways, including (but not limited to): (1) as a women’s trade, (2) as a system of economic exchange, (3) as a system of legalized rape and/or prostitution, (4) as a union to be entered into for countless practical, economic, spiritual, legal, political, emotional, or other reasons, not necessarily between a man and a woman, with many possibilities for form and structure, (5) as the material appropriation of women ... .
Immediately after you have finished giving the quotation, you must say where it comes from. This means you must give the book and its page number. The quotation from Sula comes from the novel by Toni Morrison and appears on page 173; the quotation from A Feminist Dictionary appears on page 252. The reference, that is, the facts that follow the quote, tells your reader where you found the quote. The reader must be able to find the book and the page number where the quotation appears from the details that you include in the reference.
Two methods of referencing
There are many ways of giving...
References: in the text must contain the name of the author of the contribution, the date of publication of the composite work and the page number(s) of the part of the composite work that you have consulted:
According to Brink (1983:14) ...
Rusamov and Krotov (1979:415) report ...
Lyons, J. 1984. Language and linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bayliss, W.M. 1931. Principles of general psychology, vol. 1. 4th edition. London: Longman.
De Villiers, M., Smuts, J. & Eksteen, L.C. 1983. Nasionale woordeboek. 5de, hersiene en uitgebreide uitgawe. Goodwood: Nasou.
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