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Citation and Referencing

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Referencing is an important part of academic work. There are many reasons why students should acknowledge the work of other researchers/writers.

Task 1 Brainstorm these reasons with a partner.

Task 2 Decide if you need to give a reference in the following cases (1-8).

1) Data you found from your own primary research
2) An idea of your own
3) Some data that you used in your own previously conducted research
4) A proposition put forward by a researcher in a seminar 5) A quote from an external source/another author
6) A graph from an internet article
7) A quotation from a book
8) Something agreed to be common knowledge

Harvard Referencing System: Citation Techniques

It is vital that students use a method of citation approved by their university and that they follow the specific referencing requirements employed by their department. There are several systems of referencing in the academic world, but most business schools use the Harvard system. With any system, the most important point is to be consistent.

Materials from external sources are cited using one of the following techniques:

a) Short in-text quotation (within a paragraph)
b) Long, indented quotation (placed between paragraphs)
c) Summary/paraphrased version of writers’ ideas (indirect quotations)

Using quotations

1. Quotations are effective in some situations, but must not be overused. They are valuable when

• the original words express an idea in a distinctive way. • the original is more concise than your summary could be. • the original is well known (as in the quote below from Friedman).

As Friedman stated, ‘Inflation is one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation’ (1974: 93).

2. Students should avoid excessive use of direct quotations in their work, as frequent and unnecessary usage reduces the impact of the citations and weakens the tone of the paper. The relevance of each quote should be immediately apparent to the reader, for example, • to support a personal viewpoint;

• to introduce a counter-argument;
• to present the outcome of research.
3. All quotations should be introduced by a phrase that shows the source and also explains how this quotation fits into an argument.

4. Care must be taken to ensure that quotations are the exact words of the original. If it is necessary to delete some words which are irrelevant, use the ellipsis mark, or three dots (…) to show where the missing section was. 5. It may be necessary to insert a word or phrase into the quotation to clarify a point. This can be done by using square brackets [ ] as in: ‘This [second] category of products is distinguished by its high brand recognition and resistance to switching strategies….’

6. Longer quotations (of three lines or longer) are either indented or printed in smaller font size.

Examples of short in-text quotations:

Harrison (2005) highlights the ‘need to combat unethical advertising aimed at children’ (p.23). The ‘need to combat unethical advertising aimed at children’ was highlighted in a recent study (Harrison, 2005: 23). Many researchers have argued against the practices of targeting children through advertising strategies. Harrison (2005: 23) argues that there is a strong ‘need to combat unethical advertising aimed at children’.

Paraphrased summary (or indirect quotation)

When writers avoid the use of direct quotations, they may choose to cite an external source by paraphrasing the key ideas, that is, by rewording the main point. For example, if the direct quote was …

Academic writers need to take care when making assertions in their work. In this respect, vague language can be helpful as ‘it allows claims to be made with due caution, modesty and humility’ (Hyland, 1994: 241).

… this could be paraphrased as:

Hedging language can be a useful tool to express caution in academic writing, for it enables the writer to make statements in a careful or moderate manner. As such, students must pay attention to the claims made in their analysis (Hyland, 1994).

Task 3 Study the following paragraph from an article entitled ‘The Mobile Revolution’ in the journal Development Quarterly (Issue 34 pages 85-97, 2009) by K. Hoffman.

According to recent estimates there are at least 4 billion mobile phones in the world, and the majority of these are owned by people in the developing world. Ownership in the developed world reached saturation level by 2007, so countries such as China, India and Brazil now account for most of the growth. In the poorest countries, with weak transport networks and unreliable postal services, access to telecommunications is a vital tool for starting or developing a business, since it provides access to wider markets. Studies have shown that when household incomes rise, more money is spent on mobile phones than any other item.

a) Summary

Hoffman (2009) stresses the critical importance of mobile phones in the developing world in the growth of small businesses.

b) Quotation

According to Hoffman, mobile phone ownership compensates for the weaknesses of infrastructure in the developing world: ‘In the poorest countries, with weak transport networks and unreliable postal services, access to telecommunications is a vital tool for starting or developing a business, since it provides access to wider markets’ (2009: 87).

c) Summary and quotation

Hoffman points out that most of the growth in mobile phone ownership now takes place in the developing world, where it has become crucial for establishing a business: ‘… access to telecommunications is a vital tool for starting or developing a business, since it provides access to wider markets’ (2009: 87).

Read the next paragraph of the same article, also on p. 87 of the same source.

In such countries the effect of phone ownership on GDP growth is much stronger than in the developed world, because the ability to make calls is being offered for the first time, rather than as an alternative to existing landlines. As a result, mobile phone operators have emerged in Africa, India and other parts of Asia that are larger and more flexible than Western companies, and which have grown by catering for poorer customers, being therefore well placed to expand downmarket. In addition, Chinese phone makers have successfully challenged the established Western companies in terms of quality as well as innovation. A further trend is the provision ofservices via the mobile network  which offer access to information about healthcare or agricultural advice.

1) Write a summary of the main point, including a citation.

2) Introduce a quotation to show the key point, referring to the source.

3) Combine 1) and 2), acknowledging the source.

Abbreviations in citations

In-text citations use the following abbreviations, derived from Latin and printed in italics:

et al. – used when three or more authors are given; the full list of names is given in the reference list;

ibid. – taken from the same source (i.e. the same page) as the previous citation;

op. cit. – taken from the same source as previously, but a different page.

Combining sources / Synthesising

Most assignments expect students to read a variety of sources, often reflecting conflicting views on the topic. In the early stages of an essay it is common to discuss the contributions of other writers to the subject. This example from a comparison of ‘technology readiness’ in Chinese and American consumers demonstrates how a writer can present and organise a range of sources. Study it and answer the questions below (a-e).

a) How many sources are mentioned here?
b) What was the subject of Meuter, Ostrom, Bitner and Roundtree’s research? c) Which source contrasted fear of computers with playing with computers? d) Which source examined the paradox of positive and negative attitudes to computers? e) How many sources are cited that studied attitudes to particular technologies?

Task 4 The two texts below (1 and 2) reflect different approaches to the topic of globalisation. Read them both and then study the extract from an introduction to an essay that mentions the two sources. Answer the questions that follow.


It has been argued that globalization is not a new phenomenon, but has its roots in the age of colonial development in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. However, its modern use can be dated to 1983, when Levitt’s article ‘The Globalisation of Markets’ was published. Among the many definitions of the process that have been suggested, perhaps the simplest is the relatively free movement of services, goods, people and ideas worldwide. An indication of the positive effect of the process is that cross-border world trade, as a percentage of global GDP, was 15 per cent in 1990 but it is expected to reach 30 per cent by 2015. Among the forces driving globalization in the last two decades have been market liberalization, cheap communication via the internet and telephony, and the growth of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies. Source: Costa, L. 2008

Considerable hostility to the forces of globalization has been demonstrated in both the developed and developing worlds. In the former, there is anxiety about the outsourcing of manufacturing and service jobs to countries which offer cheaper labour, while developing countries claim that only a minority have benefited from the increase in world trade. They point out that per capita income in the 20 poorest countries has hardly changed in the past 40 years, while in the richest 20 it has tripled. The markets of Western nations are still closed to agricultural products from developing countries, and while there is free movement of goods and capital, migration from poor countries to rich ones is tightly controlled. Source: Lin, Y. 2006


Costa (2008) argues that globalization although not a modern phenomenon, has recently accelerated, encouraged by forces such as liberalisation of markets and cheap communication. In particular, it has had a powerful effect in increasing world trade, especially benefiting the BRIC economies such as Brazil and China. However, Lin (2006) emphasizes the negative reactions that have been produced by the process. She highlights the fears of unemployment in richer nations created by outsourcing work, matched by the concerns of poorer states that they are not sharing in the economic growth due to barriers in their trade and labour. Questions:

a) The essay extract summarises ideas from both Costa and lin. Find an example of a summary in the extract and match it with the original text in (1) or (2).

b) Which verbs are used to introduce the summaries?
c) Which word marks the point where the writer switches from considering Costa to dealing with Lin? d) What other words or phrases could be used at this point?
Task 5 Read the third text on globalization below and then complete the paragraph from an essay entitled ‘Globalisation mainly benefits multinational companies rather than ordinary people – Discuss’, using all three sources.

(3) Multinational companies have undoubtedly benefited from the relaxation of the import tariff regimes which previously protected local firms, allowing them to operate more freely in markets such as India which have recently liberalised. These corporations have evolved two distinct approaches to the challenge of globalisation. Some, e.g. Gillette, have continued to produce their products in a few large plants with strict control to ensure uniform quality, while others, e.g. Coca Cola, vary the product to suit local tastes and tend to manufacture their goods on the spot. They claim that an understanding of regional differences is essential for competing with national rivals. Source: Brokaw, P. 2002

Lin (2006) demonstrates …….

Reporting verbs

The following table classifies reporting verbs by their function and strength (the list is not exhaustive).

|STRENGTH AND FUNCTION |EXAMPLE VERBS | |NEUTRAL: verbs commonly used to present what the writer considers |describe, show, reveal, study, demonstrate, note, point out, | |to be factual |indicate, report, observe, assume, take into consideration, | | |examine, elaborate, state, mention… | |TENTATIVE: verbs used to speculate, with a degree of caution |suggest, speculate, intimate, hypothesise, imply, propose, | | |recommend, posit the view that, question the view that, postulate…| |STRONG: verbs often used to make strong claims and arguments |Argue, claim, emphasise, contend, maintain, assert, theorise, | | |support the view that, deny, negate, refute, reject, challenge, | | |strongly believe that, counter the view/ argument that…. |

Compiling the list of references
At the end of an academic work, there must be a list of all the sources cited in the writing. Note that the list is organised alphabetically by the family name of the author. In citations, only the family name is usually used: Burford (2001); in reference lists, the family name and the first initial are used: Burford, S.


Klein, N. (2000) No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies. London: Flamingo Press.

Wise, P.W. (2004) ‘Why Wear Brands?’ In: Kendal, S. (ed.) The Power of Brands. London: Edward Arnold, pp. 5—22.

For a full guide to the use of the Harvard system see http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm


Butt, S. (2012) Citation and Referencing Guide. Birmingham: Creative Media. Gillett, A., 1999. Using English for Academic Purposes. A Guide for Students in Higher Education. [e-book] http://libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/harvard.htm

Oshima, A. and Hogue, A. (2009) Writing Academic English (Third Edition). London: Longman.

Business Communication Course
Tutor: Emilia Plăcintar
[email protected]

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