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Lecturers’ views on referencing

Lecturers' views on referencing.
When you reference, what you’re doing is you’re communicating something to your reader, which is simply, this is where I found the thing I’m talking about. Students, at a level, of have been given quite a lot of free rein in the type of sources which they are allowed to use. And they can actually go to the web for sources of information. We wouldn’t necessarily want that at university. We want the students to be more critical in terms of the references which they are then using. The number of journals is growing. The number of papers is growing. And so the base of which the students are expected to draw from is growing.
So I think to effectively reference, you need to be on top of that growing base. The principle problems students face when referencing, in my experience, is that they only reference things they quote directly, which leads them to over quoting. They need to understand that they can also reference sources of information, sources of ideas, even when they have paraphrased them. And they don’t need always to quote directly. They’re not familiar with the right way of referencing a piece of paper or a book, or some scholarly work, and makes the output less clear than it should be.
I think it can be confusing for students at the start to work out how to reference accurately, and what’s the frequency with which they should reference. So does every single sentence that one writes need to reference, or can they be more widely spaced? When they start seeing why it’s there, then they start to find it much easier because they understand the rationale. But when we’re simply saying, you must follow these guidelines, then it can all be quite confusing and pointless.

Here is a video of lectures and other university teaching staff talking about referencing and plagiarism.

Have a think about what they say in relation to the exercises you have been doing.

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