Reference Style Citing The Reference List Table of Abbreviations References Home Page

Writing a Thesis: More about Referencing

"Research is to see what everyone else has seen and to think what nobody else has thought."(attributed to Szent-Gyorgi, 1937)

" … references in an assignment demonstrates wide reading and your breadth of knowledge of a topic and strengthens your academic argument"(unisa 2006)

This section is about how to include the references into an academic paper, for more details about when to cite a reference go to the previous essay. «Writing a Thesis - Referencing»

Reference Style

The referencing style in any piece of academic writing is determined by the style required by the institute for whom the paper is being written. At Coventry University the Harvard style is expected. There are flavours of the Harvard style, each with their own nuances. Coventry University has its own version, 'The Coventry University Harvard Style' and has produced a clear reference to the style and its usage (caw 2007). If the writing is for a different body e.g. a paper for a conference or a journal article, then the style used must be that dictated by the publishing body. Most importantly the style within any single work must be consistent. All illustrations in this text will use the CU Harvard style. The principles noted will remain true whatever the style.

Citing / In-text References

Whenever an idea or concept is used that has been noted in the researchers reading, an in-text reference must be placed at the point where the idea is used to help formulate the sentence or paragraph content. A citation or in-text reference must also be placed at the end of every direct quotation. In the Harvard style this will be enclosed in parentheses '(' and ')' and consist of an author and date, and if the reference is to a book the relevant page number should be added after the date and a colon ':' as in the format noted at the end of this sentence, that relies in part upon the CU Harvard Style Guide (caw 2007:5).

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The Reference List

Equally important to the in-text references is the reference list placed at the end of the paper. This is a list of all the sources cited within the body of the work. It may also include the source of any reading matter that was used in the research, even though it was not found necessary to cite it in the main txt. Although sources not cited can be included in the reference list, they are sometimes extracted into a separate bibliography. A bibliography does not contain references to sources that are not cited in-text. Authorities are divided as to whether a separate bibliography is necessary or not. Where there is no definitive requirement the researchers own judgement should be used.

Academic References

The majority of references in any thesis is likely to be to a book, academic paper, conference journal or an Internet source. A quick guide to the style for referencing these sources can be found through the link at the end of this essay. Academic writing is often littered with abbreviations often of Latin phases. These are also are used in the reference notations. Some of the commonly used abbreviations are tables below together with the full word or phrase of origin. and the meaning and usage.

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Table 1. Abbreviations commonly used in references
abbreviationfull word(s) meaning/usageexample
c. OR cs.circa Around or about. Used particularly with dates
to show that it is approximate
c. 1930
do.ditto The same as above …12-10-08
… do
e.g. OR egexempli gratis For example (Then followed by an example
of material in question
eg MS Word
et alia And others. Used particularly for
multiple authors, especially more than 3
(Jones et al. 2003)
et sequentes And the following See page 320 et seq.
etc. OR etcet cetera And the rest (Avoid if possible) Microsoft Word Excel etc.
ibid.ibidem From the same place.
In a reference list: from the source just noted
i.e. OR ieid est That is. Refers to a specific item.
Does not compare like e.g.
She is a haberdasher ie she sells
small articles for sewing
op. cit.opera citatum From the work quoted. Citation comes
from a previously cited source
p. / / pages When noting a page in some reference styles … see pp. 34-52
proc.proceedings Usage as required by some reference styles  

Punctuation in Abbreviations

Take care with the punctuation in the usage of abbreviations. In a few cases it becomes optional e.g. in the use of 'eg', but the usual rule is that a full stop is used to indicate a shortened form and the last letter or letters missing. Thus et al. has a full stop after the 'al', which is short for alia, but not after the 'et', which is the complete word and is in fact the Latin for and.

Quick Guide to Harvard Style Referencing

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caw (2007) [online] available from
<> [07-09-2011]

Unisa (2006) Introduction to Referencing, University of South Australia [online] available from
< research/ResMetRes/2/docs/intro%20referencing%20UNISA.pdf> [07-09-2011]

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