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LIBRARY: In-text/End-text Referencing

Aquinas College Policy

Aquinas College requires a standard approach to referencing format. Generally, this will be the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style, unless a department or teacher request a different format for a specific assignment.

The APA Style is widely used by the Humanities and Social Science disciplines, and has many variations, like the Harvard and Oxford methods.

Academic Honesty

Students should be careful, when writing an essay or assignment, to ensure they don't use another person's ideas or words in a way that would suggest that they are their own. Academic honesty requires that the work of others be attributed to the original author, where it is quoted or used as a source of ideas or paraphrasing. The passing off of the work of others as one's own is fraudulent and plagiarism. Whether unintentional or deliberate, plagiarism is unacceptable and can result in the assignment being rejected.

Rules of Conduct:

  • Acknowledge borrowed ideas or material within the text by introducing the quotation or paraphrase with the name of the authority.
  • Enclose all ideas/work within quotation marks, when the exact words of another are used.
  • Ensure that paraphrased ideas/work is rewritten into your own style and language. The simple rearrangement of sentence patterns is unacceptable. 
  • Provide specific a in-text reference for each borrowed idea/work.
  • Provide a bibliographic entry (end-text reference) for every source sited in the text of the essay or assignment.

Format Layout

When setting out your formal work, a distinction should be made between essay style and report style.

  • Essay style: This involves continuous prose, with the only divisions being the paragraphs and/or chapters, if writing literature.
  • Report style: This involves the use of headings and by the use of Arabic or Roman numerals or letters, to indicate the levels of importance of the text.

What are In-text Citations? [Video]

Guide to Citing Sources

An important skill every student needs to acquire is to be able to both identify source material used by other writers and, in turn, know how to add their own sources to support and strengthen their own arguments.  

Writers alert the reader that they have used source material with attributive phrases and in-text citations. The combination of these two devices, include all the information necessary to locate a source in an essay's reference list. The form of the attributive phrases and in-text citations depends upon the citation style being used. All citation styles share similar elements; if you understand the major citation elements, you will be able to learn the requirements of any style.

Attributive phrases: A short introduction to source material that identifies the author and often the title of a work that will be quoted or discussed in an essay or research paper.

In-text citations: Information about a source, such as the author, date, and page number, in an essay or research paper that helps readers find the source in the works cited or references page. 

Attributive phrases indicate that a source is about to be incorporated. The attributive phrases in the examples below have been underlined. 

APA: Thomas writes (2011) that Evans intended to "inspire a new generation of playwrights" (p. 42).

APA: According to Thomas (2011), Evans wrote best at his home in Florida, "rising early and finishing late" (p. 31).

 APA: In Psychological Science in the Public InterestBaumeister, Campbell, Krueger, and Vohs (2003) present extensive research that demonstrates that increased self-esteem has very few benefits and many disadvantages.

Identifying credible sources

Once you understand where the sources come from through attributive phrases and in-text citations, you can determine whether the source is credible or not and determine whether it has been used effectively.

Ask yourself these questions of each source:

  • Was it published in a scholarly journal?
  • Who wrote it? What are their credentials, reputations, and institutional affiliations?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Are the source's sources credible?
  • How was the source funded?
  • When was the source written? Is it outdated?

Guide to using quotations in an essay or report

  • Use quotes to support your argument, not to make it for you.
  • Ensure the author of any quote you choose to use is a reputable authority on the subject.
  • Explain why you chose the quote. A quote must add weight to your argument, not just appear without any explanation.
  • Ensure when you include a quote, it is an accurate representation of the original comment by the author.  Check the spelling.
  • Keep the quote brief, so it doesn't interrupt the flow for those reading your paper.
  • Remove portions of the quote that aren't relevant.  You can use bracketed ellipses [. . .] to shorten a long quote.
  • Format the quotes appropriately. Use a regular font, with no italics or emboldened typeface. Check the font of your quotes is the same as the rest of your essay.
  • Don't use the same quote more than once in the same essay.
  • Don't include too many quotes, images, charts or grids within the text of your paper. If they are important to your argument, you can add these item to an appendix, having referred to their significance in your writing, and reference the appendices in your report.