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Key skills: making a difference
Key skills: making a difference

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6.6.1 Organise and clearly present information

Organise the results of your searches so that you can use them to support and illustrate your arguments or point of view. For example you may want to use the information you have found to examine critically, support or reject some general statements associated with that topic, or to offer factual data in support of an analysis. To do this successfully you must be clear who is your intended audience and what you want them to understand from your information.

In presenting your results, you should accurately cite where the information has come from by, for example, compiling a list of references or a bibliography. Be aware of the different styles and conventions for drawing up reference lists and bibliographies. If you are writing a project report, an essay or a paper for publication, for example, choose an appropriate format for your purpose. Accurate referencing is important because it:

  • acknowledges the work of others (passing others’ work off as your own is plagiarism);

  • indicates those information sources (such as opinions, data, analysis) that are relevant to your work; and

  • provides a trail so that others can find the sources you have used.

Seek advice or guidelines on how to use references correctly in your work to ensure that you do not disadvantage yourself by using inappropriate or unacceptable formats.

Time out

Find out about the referencing style you should be using in your work, and use it consistently.