Reference systems and strategies

Joy Higgs, Joan Rosenthal, Rola Ajjawi

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter in textbook/reference bookpeer-review


    References acknowledge the sources of the ideas, information, data and arguments you present in your work. There are two main types of source (Spatt, 2003). A primary source is a work that gives you direct or primary knowledge of an event, period, original thought or research findings. A secondary source provides commentary about a primary source. Secondary sources are valuable when they summarise, critique or comment upon a range of primary sources. They can save you a great deal of time finding and reading all the original works, particularly if those works are difficult to obtain (such as unpublished manuscripts and old publications). However, your work, particularly research work and thesis, needs to demonstrate your original ideas and insights, your critiques and your interpretations of primary sources; so do not rely heavily on secondary sources. You have two broad ways of indicating that you are the source of an idea or argument: ' Implicitly: if no source is mentioned, then you as the author are assumed to be the source. All the arguments you present will be attributed to you.' Explicitly, using the first person (such as 'In my opinion '') or using the third person (such as 'It can be argued that ''). Note that use of the first person in academic writing is not acceptable in some schools and disciplines.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCommunicating in the health sciences
    Place of PublicationSouth Melbourne, VIC
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages9
    EditionThird / 9
    ISBN (Print)9780195579048
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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