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How to Write & Reference an Essay

Ways to Incorporate References in an Essay

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Writing an essay is an unavoidable task for any high school or college student. While researching, notating and composing an essay may seem like a daunting prospect, there are simple steps one can follow to make it less difficult. Choose the topic you want to research and writer about.

Narrow your topic choice down to something that will make for a manageable paper. For example, writing about the history of Christianity is too broad for an eight- to page paper. However, a more specific subject, such as the history of Easter, would be an easier topic to write about. Research the chosen topic. Use note cards to organize the information. Place quotation marks around any direct quotes from a source to avoid plagiarism.

Sources can be books, magazines, encyclopedias, people or websites. Organize your notecards by subtopic. For example, if you were writing an essay about the Black Death, transmission of the disease and symptoms could be potential subtopics.

Make an outline of your essay from notecards. Write down each main idea, and list each subheading beneath it. Do not repeat any ideas in your outline. Compose a first draft. Read over what you have written, and make any necessary changes to the essay's structure to insure all of your main topics have been covered.

Read your essay aloud to see if the language flows naturally. Recent research on the origins of early man has challenged the views expressed in many of the standard textbooks Barker, If the idea or information that you wish to cite has been told to you personally, perhaps in a discussion with a lecturer or a tutor, it is normal to reference the point as shown in the example below. The experience of the Student Learning Centre at Leicester is that many students are anxious to improve their writing skills, and are keen to seek help and guidance Maria Lorenzini, pers.

When using the 'author, date' system, the brief references included in the text must be followed up with full publication details, usually as an alphabetical reference list or bibliography at the end of your piece of work. The examples given below are used to indicate the main principles. The simplest format, for a book reference, is given first; it is the full reference for one of the works quoted in the examples above. The title of the book should be formatted to distinguish it from the other details; in the example above it is italicised, but it could be in bold, underlined or in inverted commas.

When multi-authored works have been quoted, it is important to include the names of all the authors, even when the text reference used was et al. Humanities graduates in the labour market. The Falmer Press, pp. Styles and strategies of learning. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46, pp. Note that in the last two references above, it is the book title and the journal name that are italicised, not the title of the paper or article.

The name highlighted should always be the name under which the work will have been filed on the library shelves or referenced in any indexing system. It is often the name which is written on the spine of the volume, and if you remember this it may be easier for you to remember which is the appropriate title to highlight. The three examples above cover the most common publication types. You may also wish to refer to other types of publications, including PhD dissertations, translated works, newspaper articles, dictionary or encyclopaedia entries or legal or historical texts.

The same general principles apply to the referencing of all published sources, but for specific conventions consult your departmental handbook or your tutor, or look at the more detailed reference books listed in the Further reading section of this guide. The internet is increasingly used as a source of information and it is just as important to reference internet sources as it is to reference printed sources.

Information on the internet changes rapidly and web pages move or are sometimes inaccessible meaning it can often be difficult to validate or even find information cited from the internet. When referencing web pages it is helpful to include details that will help other people check or follow up the information. A suggested format is to include the author of the information this may be an individual, group or organisation , the date the page was put on the internet most web pages have a date at the bottom of the page , the title, the http: A format for referencing web pages is given below.

Full references to unpublished oral presentations, such as lectures, usually include the speaker's name, the date of the lecture, the name of the lecture or of the lecture series, and the location:.

Please note that in contrast to the format used for the published sources given in the first three examples above, the formatting of references for unpublished sources does not include italics, as there is no publication title to highlight. If you look carefully at all the examples of full references given above, you will see that there is a consistency in the ways in which punctuation and capitalisation have been used.

There are many other ways in which references can be formatted - look at the books and articles you read for other examples and at any guidelines in your course handbooks. The only rule governing formatting is the rule of consistency.

Some academic disciplines prefer to use footnotes notes at the foot of the page or endnotes notes at the end of the work to reference their writing. Although this method differs in style from the 'author, date' system, its purpose - to acknowledge the source of ideas, data or quotations without undue interruption to the flow of the writing - is the same.

Footnote or endnote markers , usually a sequential series of numbers either in brackets or slightly above the line of writing or printing superscript , are placed at the appropriate point in the text. This is normally where you would insert the author and date if you were using the 'author, date' system described above.

Employers are not just looking for high academic achievement and have identified competencies that distinguish the high performers from the average graduate. Full details of the reference are then given at the bottom of the relevant page or, if endnotes are preferred, in numerical order at the end of the writing.

Rules for the formatting of the detailed references follow the same principles as for the reference lists for the 'author, date' system. National Westminster Bank plc. The reference to 'p. If the same source needs to be referred to several times, on second or subsequent occasions, a shortened reference may be used. Studies of women's employment patterns have demonstrated the relationship between marital status and employment sector.

In some academic disciplines, footnotes and endnotes are not only used for references, but also to contain elaborations or explanations of points made in the main text. If you are unsure about how to use footnotes or endnotes in your work, consult your departmental guidelines or personal tutor. Full details of how to use this system are provided by the School.

Copies of the system are also made available on Blackboard.

Advantages of Specifying References When Writing an Essay

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Reference Page. Every essay that uses research and outside information must also include a reference page where the sources are listed. The reference page is a separate page that comes at the end of the essay and lists your sources in alphabetical order by last name of the author.

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Watson, G. Writing a Thesis: a Guide to Long Essays and Dissertations. London: Longman. There are also software programs, for example, Endnote and Refworks that are designed to manage references.

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Advantages of Specifying References When Writing an Essay. Though references are commonly specified in good analytical essays as well as on scientific and academic researches, they can also be an important part of essays and other written documents. Listed below are some of the advantages that you can experience if you will specify your resources or references when writing an essay. The essay reference at the end of a publication is a list of books and other literary sources, sections of which the writer indicated as quoted or paraphrased in his essay. The inclusion of other authoritative sources as reference is generally required for formal essays to enhance the credibility of the writer.

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Writing a list of references. At the end of all pieces of academic writing, you need a list of materials that you have used or referred to. This usually has a heading: referencesbut may be bibliographyor works citeddepending on the conventions of the system you use. The object of your writing is for you to say something for yourself using the ideas of . Writing an essay is an unavoidable task for any high school or college student. While researching, notating and composing an essay may seem like a daunting prospect, there are simple steps one can.