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Is my citation technique a problem?

  1. May 15, 2015 #1
    I've been doing this for as long as I can remember, and I've never been told off for doing it until now. However, I have recently been informed by someone that what I'm doing is vague and doesn't properly communicate what is mine and what is being taken from the source. I'm forced to use the harvard method at the moment (which I don't particularly like as I feel it damages the flow of the text).

    Scenario 1: I read from a source and I paraphrase the relevant parts of the text into 3 sentences

    Result: Sentence 1. Sentence 2. Sentence 3 (author, date).

    Scenario 2: I read two different sources and I paraphrase the material into one paragraph. Sentence 1 and sentence 2 came from source A. Sentence 3 and sentence 4 came from source B.

    Result: Sentence 1. Sentence 2 (Author A, date). Sentence 3. Sentence 4 (Author B, date).

    Scenario 3: I read two different sources and paraphrase the material into one paragraph. All sentences are a mix of both sources.

    Result: Sentence 1. Sentence 2. Sentence 3. Sentence 4 (Author A, date; Author B, date).
  2. jcsd
  3. May 15, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Scenario 3 should be avoided when possible.
  4. May 15, 2015 #3

    Ben Niehoff

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    Consider using phrases like "According to [blah], ..." and "In [blah], it was shown that ...", etc. This is very clear and makes the citation part of your sentence structure.

    Also, I don't know what is standard in your field, but in my field, one has the option of including the actual title in the list of references or not. Frankly, though, it drives me nuts when the title is not included, because I can't easily tell which papers might be most relevant to go dig up (plus, without a title, they can be much more difficult to find!). Always include the titles; it helps make it even more clear why you're citing that paper.
  5. May 15, 2015 #4
    I like this about the titles a lot.
    If allowed a reference to preprint is nice too, this quite rare though.
    In general I found preprint references in (master's) theses.
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