resources   Acknowledging Sources in Academic Writing

The practice of acknowledging the sources of information that you have used in your essay or assignment is what is popularly termed as referencing. Referencing provides authenticity to your work as readers can get access to the sources in quick time if they want to check the validity of those citations. Besides, it helps you to avoid plagiarism.


How to reference or acknowledge your sources?

The secret of referencing is to pen down full name of the author, besides the date of his creation, titles and publication details or any other facet. You should mention the URL of the source while taking help from web pages, e-journals and eBooks. This process not only helps the readers check the authenticity of the evidences you have produced in support of your argument, but also helps you in remembering your own sources. You can easily access the sources even after weeks and months of your work.


Two basic ways to acknowledge/reference your sources:

Here you can present the information in any sequence you want. The essential elements are:

i. The name of the author

ii. The title of the book or article

iii. The place and year of publication

iv. The publisher name

For example, Comparative Advantage in International Trade: A Historical Perspective By Andrea Maneschi (published by Edward Elgar Publishing, 1998)
Pro Tip: You should be consistent with the writing pattern. Arrange the list in alphabetical order by author’s name (initially by surname, but if necessary, by first name). If you use same author’s name twice, then arrange the list according to the year of publication.

1. Reference note: When you directly quote somebody, you need to tell your reader from where the text has been taken so that they can review the validity of the source, or pursue the point in future if they want.

Add a number at the end of each quotation which will identify the specific place from where it has been taken in a corresponding footnote (situated at the bottom of relevant page) or endnote (at the end of text, before the bibliography). You can use either of them according to your wish and feasibility. You can also give the same information in brackets at the end of each quotation.

Pro Tip: If your writing has a proper bibliography, it is not necessary to mention all the published information in reference note, instead you can do the job by only giving the author’s name, the year of publication and the page number  (like Michael E. Porter, 2011. P211).
Benefits of referencing:

i. You can add weight to your arguments and comments and ideas.

ii. Referencing demonstrates your wide knowledge in the subject and your vast research work.

iii. It is only matter of fact that you bag better grades with proper referencing.

iv. With the help of referencing you can avoid any accusation of plagiarism.


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