Referencing for history students
The essence of research is the extraction from voluminous and
scattered sources of those facts that are relevant to the topic,
and recording and arranging the facts so that they can readily be
used for analysis and composition. When making notes you should do
so in your own words; otherwise, when the time comes to write up
your findings, you may inadvertently plagiarise your sources.
You will save much time and temper by recording full details of
primary and secondary sources as you take your notes, and by
putting down at the same time the page references for all
statements for which you are likely to provide a footnote. This
applies to quotations, whether from documents or from secondary
sources, and to statements which the reader may wish to check.
It is important to ensure that all borrowings from the ideas,
discoveries or judgements of other persons are properly attributed.
The source of statistics should also be cited. The regulations of
the University prescribe very severe penalties for plagiarism.
Which referencing system should I use?
There are two systems for referencing, the footnote/endnote
system and the author/date system, often called the Harvard system.
Many scholars in the natural and social sciences increasingly use
the latter system, but it is not appropriate for history. You
should therefore use the footnote/endnote system
for all History and American Studies modules, and
for any special study supervised by the
History Subject Team.
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