Remember, your writing is an argument - your argument - Citing, referencing and avoiding plagiarism

Success in Academic Writing - Trevor Day 2018

Remember, your writing is an argument - your argument
Citing, referencing and avoiding plagiarism

Mentioning, summarising, paraphrasing and quoting, while citing and referencing appropriately, are all ways of bringing the work of others into your argument and duly acknowledging them. It is helpful to remind yourself that the context in which a source was written is very unlikely to be the same as the document you are writing. The source you are using was written for a different purpose, and probably for a different audience, than the assignment you are writing. Seeing it this way, you are less likely to lapse into simply saying what a source said, in the same or a similar way. Instead, you are taking the essence of what the author(s) said and shaping it to apply to your own argument. While duly acknowledging the author(s), you are nevertheless making their contribution to your argument your own.

Key points in the chapter

1Rigorous conventions for citing and referencing are used in academic writing in order to acknowledge appropriately the work of others.

2Harvard style (author-date) and numerical style are the two major systems of citing and referencing, each with many variants.

3Unless information or ideas are common knowledge, the source of material should be cited and referenced.

4Mentioning, summarising, paraphrasing and quoting are ways in which sources are brought into, and referred to in, academic writing.

5Plagiarism concerns using information and ideas from other people’s work, in writing, without appropriately acknowledging the source.

6Plagiarism is unacceptable practice in academic writing. It is avoided by employing a wide range of strategies, from developing confidence in your own words, carefully tracking information gathered from sources, knowing how to adapt source material for use, to citing and referencing appropriately.

Cited references

Batty, D. (2008). ’GMC Suspends Raj Persaud for Plagiarism’. Guardian Online, 20 June 2008. Available from: [accessed 11 August 2017].

Day, T., Pritchard, J. and Heath, A. (2010). ’Sowing the Seeds of Enhanced Academic Writing Support in a Research-intensive University’. Educational Developments, 11(3), pp. 18-21.

Day, T. and Tosey, P. (2011). ’Beyond SMART? A New Framework for Goal Setting’. The Curriculum Journal, 22(4), pp. 515-534.

Godfrey, J. (2013). How to Use Your Reading in Your Essays. 2nd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hartley, J. (2008). Academic Writing and Publishing. Abingdon: Routledge.

Harvey, G. (2008). Writing with Sources: A Guide for Students. 2nd edn. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing.

IPCC (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Section 1.1. Observations of Climate Change. Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Available from: [accessed 11 August 2017].

Neville, C. (2010). The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. 2nd edn.

Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2016). Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide. 10th edn. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rozakis, L. (2007). Schaum ’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Research Papers. 2nd edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Turnitin (2017). Turnitin Home Page. Newcastle: Turnitin. Available from: [accessed 11 August 2017].

University of York (2011). Referencing Styles. York: University of York. Available from: [accessed 11 August 2017].

Answer for Chapter 9

Activity 9.1: An abstract is a summary

(a)(i) Background/context lies in sentences 1-2.

(ii)Aim, sentence 3.

(iii)Method, sentence 4.

(iv)Results, sentence 5.

(v)Conclusion, sentence 6.

(b)The abstract is balanced. However, if the word count limit were 150 words, then more detail could have been provided about the results.