Referencing in academic writing

R20–0664 NURS13150

This workshop has been amended from 2019’s workshop to incorporate general feedback from the academic on the student work from Semester 1.

Supporting materials


  • Group: up to 90
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Room: flat room
  • Discipline: any
  • Level: UG

Learning outcomes

· Understanding why we reference

· Integration of evidence into your writing

· Developing your academic voice

Suggested online resources

Session content

Introduction & Course Summary: The workshop will cover writing effectively using evidence, exploring how to incorporate evidence and references to information sources smoothly into a written piece of work to ensure that you are communicating your ideas as part of the wider conversation. There will be opportunities to build upon what was covered in session 1 and draft a written reply to the reading.

Referencing is a big topic so the agenda will explicitly consider why referencing is important, recording references and associated notes and how to make use of them within academic writing at university. (Slide 2)

Refer to the online support available; referencing guide and the academic writing guide that are in the Blackboard space.

Activity (LO1): knowledge check with Menti asking the following questions:

  1. When you read a paper and evidence over 5 years old is used, what do you think?

2. What word best describes the use of evidence in a well grounded argument? Subjective Objective Biased

3. When reading critically what kind of notes should you take?

4. Why do we reference?

· Avoiding plagiarism

· Acknowledging the work of others

· Making it easy for the reader to follow up your thought process

5. When should you give an in-text reference?

Back to basics referencing (LO2)

Introduce referencing as an academic convention that is crucial to the success of the students ongoing academic development. Share the Referencing Guide that is available

Explain the 3 ways that evidence can be incorporated into writing and refer to the analysis that was carried out in the last workshop.




Activity (LO2): Ask the students to identify a couple of each of the above ways of incorporating evidence. Ask the students to specifically look at how the author is using the evidence. Like was done in the previous workshop. The facilitator should compile what the author is doing with each method on a slide on the fly. Talk through the slide and indicate that decisions will have been made by the author about how to refer to the evidence and how smoothly the evidence fits into sentences.

Direct instruction (LO3): introduce the strategy It says I say and so as an approach to ensure the smooth . Explain that this is similar to point evidence explain and link. Share the example and refer to how this can be a powerful tool in writing to build strength into arguments/stances.

Activity (LO3): The students should work in pairs and complete the sheet with one piece of evidence either from the slide or one they have brought along to develop their argument. The facilitator should share the notes that were made about the evidence used in the original article as this could be a challenge.

Activity (LO2 & LO3): Practice writing, using quote,cite and summarise

Working in groups of 3 or 4 write 2 paragraphs as a letter to the academic journal that published the letter that we looked at in the last workshop. The group should take the role of a practising midwife that feels the need to reply to Amy’s first letter. Using the evidence on the slide each group should make decisions on how to best incorporate the evidence within the letter. (Slide 9)

You will need to retain an objective stance and give a thought to how you use the evidence to structure and communicate your message with power to make a clear argument.

Activity (LO1): Q&A with Menti.
Ask students to give any remaining references questions or concerns they have. Depending on time, facilitator can answer at the end of the session or send a summary of advice to lecturer/Blackboard afterwards. Facilitator should use the online referencing guide were possible to model how students can use this to find their own answers.

Wrap up: Summarise what has been covered and emphasise the importance of developing good habits to succeed. Refer to the online resources that have been placed into Blackboard for the programme and where they are. Finally ask the RLUK/SCONUL question. (Slide 10–12)

Internal ID: R20–0664



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