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TAMK Student's Handbook

Report Guide: D) References in text

Reference to sources

A thesis always includes sources in both text (referencing in text) as well as the list of references. The text reference directs the reader to the list of references, which contains more detailed information about the source. The relationship between the text reference and list of references is explained in more detail under List of references.

Source references in the text include the author’s family name, year and page if available. For some sources, it may not be possible to find a year or a page number to refer to. Sometimes the source may not even have an author, in which case the family name cannot be used. These types of materials include e.g. companies’ own materials or many online sources. The publisher community’s name or the title of the page is marked to the reference depending on which is more informative to the reader. A year cannot be found on all sources to demonstrate up-to-dateness of the text. The missing year is replaced with the abbreviation n.d. (no date) in the reference and list of references. Missing page numbers can be replaced with chapter numbers or percentages if for example an e-book indicates the progress in percentages. As regards audiobooks, the time of reference is marked into the reference.

A text reference is written for both a direct quotation and a quotation written in the author’s own words. When referring to the source, it is important to make the difference between writer’s own idea, summarizing and direct quotation explicit. A text reference does not carry over from one paragraph to another, but instead the reference must be written for each paragraph individually, even if it is repeated in several paragraphs.

Consecutive, unjustified references are not recommended in any work. In the following examples, the author’s thoughts are separated from the summarised views by means of the reference technique. There is no need to mention the writer’s own thoughts by mentioning them as opinions. The writer’s own thoughts often combine ideas from different sources or compare or illustrate them. It can also be so-called metatext:

Garrison (2017) defends the original three-dimensional CoI framework and states that the argument for adding the emotional presence as a separate element, would only increase the complexity of the framework as the emotional elements are already largely presented in the social presence which has influence on all aspects in the CoI (Garrison 2017, 31). What is agreed by all (Rienties & Rivers 2012, Cleveland-Innes & Campbell 2014 and Garrison 2017), is that emotions do affect the online learning experience and further study is needed to better understand the influence of emotions.

Use of sources requires the ability to read scientific texts, in other words reading has to be critical and thinking and evaluate the presented arguments (Hurtta & Peltola 1997, 43). It is worth reserving a lot of time for reading literature before starting to write. The selected subject field should be mapped enough widely in order to have a general view on the theme. According to Hurtta and Peltola (1997, 43) the read is not adopted as such but the essential is searched from the text, and the read is proportioned to other sources and one’s own thinking.

Criticism of sources is assessment of the information origin, reliability, viewpoint and usability in relation to the assignment. Source information always has to be set to a context for example by considering who has produced the information, for what purpose and where it has been published. Plagiarism is forbidden. It means copying of someone else’s content as such and  presenting it as one’s own.

The essence of information can best be understood by reading related material widely. Sources must be quoted correctly. Information may not be taken out of context in such a way that a misleading image is given. Information may, for example, not be claimed certain or generally applicable if the original source does not do that.

Published: 27.4.2021
Updated: 7.2.2024