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Showing posts with label citing and referencing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label citing and referencing. Show all posts

28 August 2017

APA - referencing with style, especially for Education

Are you stressing with assignments? To get great marks it is also really important to cite works and reference them well, says Irene Guidotti.


One of the most used and required referencing styles is APA (American Psychological Association) 6th referencing style. At Monash it is also the preferred citing and referencing style for the Education Faculty. It is based on two parts that you have to learn and create: a reference list and in-text citations, but there are several little rules to follow, and when you are in a hurry they can be hard to remember.

Fortunately, the Library is here to help you and offers a wide range of resources to help students (but also staff!) in producing the perfect reference in APA style.

A wonderful - and authoritative - tool is APA Style Central platform, a learning answer for scholars, that also includes videos and a comprehensive range of tools you can use whether you are just getting started or more experienced. The following are just some of them:
  • quick guides to remember APA style rules easily (e.g. use of colons, italics and how to create a reference list)
  • quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding
  • samples of references and papers essential to check how you are proceeding
  • templates to improve your citing and referencing and also to manage easily your references within your writing
  • search and browse thousands of journals (where a researcher could submit a finished paper)
The following additional Library resources will help answer any further queries you have with using APA style and applying it to your Monash assignments. Have a look below and good luck with your assignments!

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20 March 2017

Citing and referencing - a guide for teaching staff

Citing and referencing is an essential academic skill that students enrolled in your teaching unit may struggle with, says Librarian Louise Micallef. She outlines some ways the Library can help your students.

Despite the fact that they have undertaken research for school assignments, work or personal purposes, for most students, the university is often the first encounter they have with academic literature. The need to reference their work accurately according to a prescribed style can cause some anxiety, particularly as it affects overall marks.

At the Library, we are experts at citing and referencing and can help your students to understand and apply this crucial skill, which is required in assignments at university level to:
  • demonstrate the credibility of their ideas 
  • validate their work 
  • give due credit to the research of others, and
  • allow readers to locate the original sources used for ideas and evidence in an assignment.
In my experience as a subject librarian, some of the most common citing and referencing mistakes made by students are:
  • incorrect use of commas, italics and ampersands
  • spelling inconsistencies
  • overuse of direct quotes
  • incorrect use of ‘et al.’
  • wrong order of multiple citations in a single parenthesis
  • failure to include a DOI for journal articles if appropriate for the style
  • failure to list all cited sources in the reference list and to do so in accurate alphabetical order
  • general formatting errors such as spacing and use of hanging indents
  • inability to correctly identify the resource type they are dealing with.
Evidently, the protocols and intricacies of referencing are often overwhelming and quite daunting for some students. So where can  you direct your students so they can learn the principles of citing and referencing  and how to effectively and accurately apply it to their work? The Library has created a number of excellent resources and opportunities for students to develop these crucial academic skills.

Five ways the Library can help your students with citing and referencing

1. Library Guides – Citing and Referencing and EndNote

We create Library guides to pull together useful resources on a variety of research skills topics or subject areas all in the one place. The Citing and Referencing Library Guide  covers the full range of citing and referencing styles used at Monash. Students can learn about why, how and when to cite and reference for their next assignment or research paper there.

Similarly, EndNote is a very useful reference management software that stores and automatically creates citations, references and bibliographies for assignments in the required style. Of course, EndNote is not foolproof, so we recommend that students understand how citations and references are used in academic writing when using the program to ensure accuracy. For a comprehensive guide to using Endnote, including "how to use it"  tutorials, see our EndNote Library Guide

2. Demystifying Citing and Referencing - tutorial

The Library has also created an online, interactive citing and referencing tutorial which includes activities and short self-assessment quizzes. It has been designed to teach the principles of citing and referencing, and understand how to avoid plagiarising when integrating source material. This valuable tutorial takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

3. Research and Learning Point – drop-in sessions

Students can drop in for a 15 minute consultation with a Subject Librarian or Learning Skills Adviser at the Library. At a drop-in session students can get advice on research for their assignments, academic communication and study skills including citing and referencing.

There is no need for them to make an appointment and students are seen on a first come, first served basis. This service is offered between week two to twelve at all Monash libraries. See session times here.

4. Library program, resource or activity embedded in curriculum

We can work with you to design and teach a particular segment, class or resource as part of the academic curriculum for your unit, to ensure that students know the principles of citing and referencing and how to apply them for your assignments and projects.

Contact our specialist staff  to discuss further

5. One on one consultations (postgraduate students)

Librarians and learning skills advisers have specialist knowledge of resources and publishing in various subject disciplines. Postgraduate students are entitled to make individual appointments with their subject librarian and learning skills adviser at any stage of their research. We can provide you with specialist advice about citing and referencing for thesis or journal article submission.

Contact our specialist staff  to make an appointment.

So, if citing and referencing evokes a sense of dread in your students, help is always available from the Library both in person and online!





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4 April 2016

Incorporating research into your assignment

Ever wondered how much of an assignment should consist of your own ideas on a topic and how much should be ideas you’ve found through research? How do you show this in your assignment?  Read on for some tips from a Learning Skills Adviser.


CCO Public Domain
How about when your assignment feedback says ‘where is your voice’? What should you do?

The key to incorporating research into your assignment is working out your argument on the topic, and how your sources can be best used to support it.

Here are four strategies:

It’s your paper (mostly).  

Your lecturers and tutors will most likely know what the experts in the field have written in your topic area, and they may well have contributed to this themselves.What they are interested in reading in your assignment is your response to the topic.

Your ‘voice’ is your response to the topic, not just what others have said, and this needs to be evident throughout your assignment. But be careful here: academic writing is about informed argument, not opinion. Use your research to give credibility and authority to the argument you are building on the topic. Of course, any sources you use in your assignment must be cited and referenced appropriately.
Use your sources wisely.

The research you incorporate into your assignments could be for facts or statistics, as supporting evidence or examples, or to provide different perspectives on a topic. Just always make sure the research you include is relevant to your topic so it gives you the best possible support in your argument.

Keep in mind you should always evaluate your sources for their quality and usefulness. The Library Guides in your subject area can help direct you to academic databases and strategies here.
It’s all about structure.

Ideas from other sources should generally not appear in the first sentence of your paragraph. Rather you should use the first sentence to set the theme for that paragraph. This shows greater command of the assignment topic too.
Here’s a simple guide to paragraph structure for incorporating research:
  • A ‘topic sentence’ summing up the main point of the paragraph,
  • Further explanation of that main point,
  • Evidence and examples to demonstrate the point in action (your research), and
  • A link back to the topic and your point’s relevance to it.
As you can see, your research features in just one part out of the four here. Mastering this kind of paragraph structure can help you develop and illustrate your assignment ‘voice’.

Summarise, paraphrase or quote?

Summarising and paraphrasing are preferred in your assignments as it shows your deeper understanding and engagement with the research you’ve done. You can use ‘reporting verbs’ to help introduce and discuss your sources, and this also is part of good academic writing. For example, ‘Smith (2010) argues...’ or ‘Jones (2012) states…’. Remember, keeping effective notes as you research will help you out here when you start to write your assignment.

You may need to check if you can include quotes in your assignments (not all faculties or units let you). If you can use them, it’s best to keep any direct quotes to a minimum. Overuse of quotes might suggest that you have rushed your assignment and just cut and pasted to save time. Any quotes should be situated in your sentences to give them some context and explanation. This way they work for your argument rather than making the quotes speak for themselves.

And again, of course, any sources you use in your assignment must be cited and referenced appropriately. Stay tuned to the study blog for more tips on referencing.
Don’t forget the friendly Librarians and Learning Skills Advisers at the Research and Learning Point drop-ins are available if you have any questions on how to incorporate research into your assignments.



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