Referencing in academic writing

Supporting materials


  • Group: c30
  • Length: 90 minutes
  • Room: flat room
  • Discipline: any
  • Level: Taught

Learning outcomes

  • Analysis of how references are incorporated into writing
  • Integration of evidence into your writing to create argument

Suggested online resources

Session content

Introduction : The workshop will go beyond considering referencing as a process. The students will be introduced to a method where they can create their own curated read list through applying an annotated bibliography strategy, the ongoing application of which will support you through your course. Together the students will also explore how to incorporate references to information sources and evidence smoothly into their academic writing using a couple of writing strategies It says, I say and so and the questioning matrix.

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.

Why do we reference?

Activity: The students should consider the purpose of referencing what we read in our writing in pairs. After a couple of minutes the facilitator should take some feedback and write it up on the white board.

Confirm the following with the students based upon their feedback (Slide 3)

· Avoiding plagiarism

· Acknowledging the work of others

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

Introduce referencing as an academic convention that is crucial to the success of the students ongoing academic development.(Slide 4)

Direct instruction: Explain the 3 ways that evidence can be incorporated into writing using quote, cite and paraphrase. (Slide 5)

Activity: In pairs the students should analyse the piece of writing provided to examine how the author refers to the evidence . The students should ignore the actual content and look at the words and the sentences and the language and use of sources. Analyse 1 paragraph at a time to identify which method of referencing they are using, what each sentence is doing and each paragraph. Finally what are you doing as a reader as you read where the reference is cited.

Then look at another paragraph. (Slide 6)

This activity should indicate different methods of approach to referring to evidence and seeing where evidence is cited what that does. The activity should point the students towards mini arguments that exist within a larger piece of writing and how evidence is used.

Activity: Practice writing, using quote,cite and summarise

Working individually the students should write 2 paragraphs as a minute paper on the following, using the evidence provided on the slide. The students should practice making decisions on how to best incorporate the evidence within their writing, thinking about how they have seen the author if the article do so. (Slide 7–8)

Following writing the students should work in pairs to analyse their writing and look for what is missing. (Slide 9)

Direct instruction: The approach of it says, I say and so is one strategy that allows for writers to ensure that they are covering in enough depth of analysis. This is method can be used within writing to elaborate upon what is understood to what is new about the topic, with the and so representing a clear and informed application. Share the example to illustrate the strategy. (Slides 10–14)

Activity. In groups select one of the one minute papers and together see if you can elaborate on at least one of the citations that has been made to push towards the ‘and so’. Each pair in a group should take one of the references and ensure that they are covering each of the 3 aspects. The students can use the pie chart handout if it helps. (Slide 15)

To follow up the facilitator should ask the group what they did to do this. What did they draw upon to inform the ‘and so’?

The ‘and so’ should be emphasised as being where students can really begin to show how critical they are being with the evidence and how much of a deeper understanding of the topic they have grown. This is what will push their marks further.

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. (Slides 16–24)

Internal ID: R19–575/576




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