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It is very common for students nowadays to copy writings of one person and put it in their assignment or essay paper whichever they are writing. This is not only illegal but punishable as well if caught by your professors. Plagiarism can result in suspension from college or university.
The best way to avoid plagiarism is to use referencing of all the things that you cite (to be precise other’s works) in your assessment. You might be thinking now what referencing is and why is it so important.
Let us start with what is referencing. Referencing is a systematic method of listing or arranging all the sources of information that you have used in your written work or assignment. Basically, it serves two main purposes:
• First, it gives recognition to the source and
• Second, it gives the reader the information where to trace the source.
Referencing is important because it helps to avoid plagiarism. ‘Plagiarize’ means to steal or copy someone else’s ideas and pass off as one’s own. It also means to use a person’s idea without giving any credit to him. So basically it means a kind of stealing. And this is not at all acceptable when you write essays or university assignments.
Referencing shows the wide parameter of your research. This leaves a long-lasting impression on your reader who is going through your paper or your professor who will evaluate it. It shows to what extent you have gone and put all your efforts to write an assignment of high academic standard and rich in content. An added advantage to it is that the more you research, the more you collect data and enrich yourself. Thus, eventually you write a better assessment paper.
It gives strength to your arguments. As said in the previous point that a wide research gives you a content-rich assignment, it also backs up all the arguments that you have stated in your paper with strong valid points.
A good referencing reflects that you have searched for the exact materials that were needed to write your paper. It exhibits and determines your capability to understand the academic requirements. You might put a lot of references, but that does not help much. The examiner will see if the references that you have put are valid; that they are needed for your assignment and to what extent. Putting useless references will bring your marks down.
It also shows the readers the sources of your information. It allows them to go through the sources independently and consult them. Also, it helps to verify the information.
Lastly, as a good ethical practice, it gives acknowledgement to a person’s contribution. It is a kind of reward which the person deserves.
So, if referencing is not done, these positive points will not be fulfilled resulting in an incomplete assignment and low grades.
The Harvard University has published their pattern of referencing citations in all types of assignments. This pattern is followed by many other colleges and universities too. It includes two types of citations:
1. In-text citation: It is used when you directly quote or paraphrase a source. It is given in the assignment body. A part of the full citation is used here.
“After that she lived her life…” (Harper, 2010).
2. Reference List: This is located at the end of the paper and gives a full list of all the citations of the sources used in the assignment.
Harper, S. (2010). My Last Girlfriend. New York: Powell.
The Harvard Style of Referencing uses the author-date system.
Blogs are those web pages that are regularly updated on a topic with the write-ups of an individual. The following must exist in the bibliography/reference list for citation of blogs in Harvard Style:
• Year the blog was last published/last updated (in round brackets)
• Title of blog post
• Title of internet site
• Day/month of posted blog
• Available at: URL
When citing a blog post, the following format is to be used:
Last name, First initial. (Year published). Post title. [Blog] Blog name. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
Phillipe, T. (2015). Work Parenting and children. [Blog] Yesterday And Today. Available at:http://yesterdatandtoday.blogs.morningtimes.com/2015/07/01/work-parenting-and-children/ [Accessed 10Apr. 2016].
To conclude, it is of vital importance that you put references of all citations used. Whether you follow the Harvard style or your institution has its own style of reference, this is very important, and you simply cannot skip the referencing part.
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