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Science - Plagiarism & Referencing: Citations: In-text

UJLink: Library Catalogue


What is citation?

A "citation" is the way you tell your readers that certain material in your work came from another source. It also gives your readers the information necessary to find that source again, including:

  • information about the author
  • the title of the work
  • the name and location of the company that published your copy of the source
  • the date your copy was published
  • the page numbers of the material you are borrowing

Why should I cite sources?

Giving credit to the original author by citing sources is the only way to use other people's work without plagiarizing. But there are a number of other reasons to cite sources:

  • citations are extremely helpful to anyone who wants to find out more about your ideas and where they came from
  • not all sources are good or right -- your own ideas may often be more accurate or interesting than those of your sources. Proper citation will keep you from taking the rap for someone else's bad ideas
  • citing sources shows the amount of research you've done
  • citing sources strengthens your work by lending outside support to your ideas

Doesn't citing sources make my work seem less original?

Not at all. On the contrary, citing sources actually helps your reader distinguish your ideas from those of your sources. This will actually emphasize the originality of your own work.

When do I need to cite?

Whenever you borrow words or ideas, you need to acknowledge their source. The following situations almost always require citation:

  • whenever you use quotes
  • whenever you paraphrase
  • whenever you use an idea that someone else has already expressed
  • whenever you make specific reference to the work of another
  • whenever someone else's work has been critical in developing your own ideas.


In-text Citations

What & When to cite?

What to cite:

Most information or other forms of communication, including performance and visual arts, that have been written, recorded or presented into the public domain.

When to cite:

1. When you include - tables, photographs, statistics in your diagram
2. When discussing a theory, or practice associated with a particular writer
3. To give weight or credibility to an argument you believe to be important.
4. When including quotations
5. When paraphrasing or summarizing  another person's work that you feel is particularly significant.

Reference techniques: In-text citation

Throughout the body of your paper (primarily the Introduction and Discussion), whenever you refer to outside sources of information, you must cite the sources from which you drew information.

When citing information from another's publication, be sure to report the relevant aspects of the work clearly, IN YOUR OWN WORDS

When you CITE simply use the author surname from the reference and the year of publication. If required, insert the page number where possible.


    …(Blake, 1998); by Tyson et al. (1994)

  …the result of this is a “technical super identity”(Erikson, 1967:20).

  Azar and Martin (1999) found that… (As part of the sentence)

  …thus Cox (1966:52) refers to the modern urbanite as…

Source: UJ Harvard Reference Techniques

In-text citation example

In-text citation examples

It has been found that male mice react to estrogen treatment by a reduction in phase three of courtship behavior (Gumwad 1952:209; Bugjuice 1970).

Click and Clack (1974) demonstrated that mice treated with synthetic estrogen analogs react similarly.

The reduction in phase three courtship behavior may also be linked to nutritional status (Anon. 1996; Bruhahauser et al 1973).

Many researchers have investigated the use of technology in Higher Education (Blake, 1998; Davis, 1987:45; Johnson, n.d.; Tyson, Burke & Jacobs, 1994)