Citing - in general
You can use the text and ideas of other authors in different ways:
- Quoting: copying a text literally, for example a sentence from a book or article, a statement or a definition.
- Paraphrasing: rephrasing a passage in your own words, without changing the basic idea.
General points are:
- Use quotation marks.
- Copy the text exactly.
- Are there mistakes in the original quotation, then add: (sic). This indicates that you haven’t made the mistake yourself.
- Use three dots between brackets (…) if you omit a part of the quoted text.
In your text you mention the source of the quote or idea. This information can also be put in a foot- or endnote. The information in a reference (in the text or in a footnote) should have enough information to let the reader find the book or article in the literature list at the end of the thesis or paper. In that literature list are all publications you've used in your work. With this information the reader can find the original source him/herself.
There are various ways to note the references. Different disciplines often use different citation styles. For example, one can distinguish the following styles:
- APA, of the American Psychological Association
- MLA style, of the Modern Language Association
The social sciences work frequently with the APA style; the Harvard style and the Chicago style are often used in economics. The Harvard style is also used in business administration; and the Vancouver style is often used in the area of health care. Some scientific journals have their own style, often based on one of the citation styles mentioned.
Find out which style you have to use, before you start writing. This information is available in the writing guide or the thesis manual of your faculty, or you can ask your supervisor.
Example of an alphabetical list of references and the reference in the text
This example of an alphabetical list of references is taken from: Andretta, S. (2005) Information literacy: a practitioner's view. Oxford etc.: Chandos Publishing.