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8 Citing and referencing sources

It is a standard requirement for academic and professional practice to openly acknowledge the words, thoughts and ideas of others, and not to present them as if they were your own. You should already be familiar with some of the conventions for citing references within documents and acknowledging your sources of information (in-text citations and including a comprehensive reference list at the end of a document). By including appropriate references, you are not only acknowledging the work of others, but are demonstrating how your own thoughts and ideas have evolved and developed based on your critical synthesis of the existing literature. In-text references allow you to clearly differentiate between your own ideas, interpretations and conclusions, and those of others. By correctly referencing your work, you are enabling others to identify and retrieve the sources you have used, and thereby allowing them to verify the authenticity of your work.

From your experiences of reading different types of primary and secondary literature, you will have become aware of good academic practice when quoting and referring to the work of others. Failure to reference appropriately is considered poor academic practice, and could be further construed as an attempt to ‘deceive’ the reader regarding the originality and authenticity of your work (whether intentionally or unintended), which would be regarded as plagiarism. We will examine academic integrity and guidance on using information responsibly and developing good academic practices further in Session 6.