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Research, Reading and Referencing

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1 Research, Reading and Referencing
Dr. Stephanie Hester Faculty of Arts Study Skills Clinic, Research, Reading and Referencing

2 In this presentation: Research and Referencing
The Big Picture: What Academic Research is and how it’s relevant to you What kind of research you will be doing for the next few years Gathering Data Reading Analyzing Data Referencing 2

3 Research You research things every day.
When you were choosing where to study and what to study, chances are you did quite a bit of research into your options. Now you are about to commence a degree that puts a high value on research. Your lecturers and tutors are also active researchers. 3

4 The purpose of academic research
The purpose of academic research has been defined by the HERDC as: ‘the creation of new knowledge and/or the use of existing knowledge in a new and creative way so as to generate new concepts … and understandings.’ Why is this relevant to you? Life Impact The University of Adelaide 4

5 Your mission, if you choose to accept it...
is to work towards becoming researchers who can independently follow the steps required to ‘use and / or create new knowledge’: Devise a question / hypothesis Gather data Analyse data 5

6 The Good News... At first year level, you will most likely be asked to focus on stages two and three of the Research Process: Gathering data Analysing data You won’t generally have to devise a research question of your own in at least the first year of your study. You just need to take care of the three Rs, which are… 6

7 Which of these marking criteria relate to a)researching, b)reading and c)referencing?

8 Finding Appropriate and Varied Readings
Suppose you choose this question to research (first essay topic for the Arts of Engagement Core Course): Does national security override free speech? How are you going to get an understanding of what this question means? 8

9 Key Terms What are the key term/s in this question?
Does national security override free speech? Where can you get an overview of these key terms? What do you do with the key terms? University of Adelaide

10 The Library You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your bedroom. This address will take you to library homepage: The Search Engine for the library is in the middle of the homepage. 10

11 Using Key Terms in a Boolean search
The best way to use a search engine is to do a ‘Boolean’ search. There’s a tutorial you can take about Boolean searching (go to 11

12 Boolean Search Which phrase would you use to ensure you have search results that cover our key phrases (national security) / (free speech): AND OR NOT And how do you use the library search engine to do a Boolean search? University of Adelaide

13 Narrowing a search Typing in the phrases like ‘national security’ and ‘free speech’ still brings up a huge number of entries. You can narrow these by using the ‘Show Only’ or ‘Refine my results’ functions. 13

14 Peer Reviewed Journals
If you are looking at journals, a particularly important option to pick, is the ‘Peer-Reviewed Journals’ option. ‘Peer Reviewed’ means that the article is published in an academic source, and has been reviewed by a collection of academic ‘peers’ who have endorsed it. (They may not agree with it, but they have decided it’s well-researched and argued). 14

15 Help in the library The library is staffed by a wonderful team of Research Librarians. They create homepages for every discipline you will be studying in. Major first year courses often have their own pages. 15

16 Source Reliability 3rd: POPULAR MAGAZINES: These can be excellent for facts, especially about recent events, but are not peer reviewed Which of the following are the most / least ‘reliable’? 4th: WIKIPEDIA: No way to verify information; use mainly as a first step to getting key terms 1st or 2nd: BOOKS: ‘Reliability’ determined by age of text and the subject matter of the course (You’d generally find more recent sources than a book written in the early 1990s for an essay on contemporary China, for example) 1st: GOOGLE SCHOLAR: 1. Up to date, peer-reviewed journal articles 16

17 Source Analysis and Critical Reading
Once you have your sources, you need to analyze them. This means that when you are reading texts, you want to be reading them critically. You aren’t just reading to find faults. Critical reading involves asking yourself what a text means, and / or what its author is doing, and why. 17

18 Reading: Tricks and Techniques
It can often be difficult to adjust to the language of scholarly sources. Think of the process as similar to learning another language. If you read sources with an aim of understanding at least parts of them, rather than feeling you need to comprehend everything being discussed, you should find you can pick up most of what is being said. University of Adelaide

19 Reading Read the title, abstract and introduction of the source: These should give you a sense of what the source is discussing and arguing. Make note of subtitles/headings of sections and topic sentences: The headings of sections, and the topic sentence of every paragraph (usually the first sentence in a paragraph), should give you a sense of what key point is being made in each section / paragraph. You can use this to get a sense of the source’s overall argument. University of Adelaide

20 University of Adelaide

21 University of Adelaide

22 Critical Reading Basics and Literature Reviews
There are some basic questions that you can, and should, ask yourself about the text you are analysing, or reading; these can get you thinking about critical reading: 1) The main purpose or function of this article / excerpt / artifact is ________________________. 2) The key message / impression the author or creator wants to convey (whether stated or unstated) is __________________. They do this by ________________________. 3) The most important and / or interesting information in this article / excerpt / artifact is ____________. Many of you will be asked to do Annotated Bibliographies and literature reviews, which are short summaries of a range of texts; you will want to address these points as part of that. 22

23 Using Referencing Fully and Correctly
Acknowledging both the ideas and written material you have gained from other sources is crucial to your development as a scholar. Not acknowledging sources properly can lead to your essays being determined to contain plagiarized material when you submit them through Turnitin. Citing scholars fully can also make you look more sophisticated as a scholar yourself. Many students worry they are citing too many sources. Full and correct citation, however, is more likely to make you look like a well read scholar yourself.

24 Citation Styles Used in the Faculty
There are a range of citation styles. The most popular for this Faculty include: Harvard (Author-Date) – Used by the majority of disciplines in the Faculty. MLA – Used by English and Creative Writing Disciplines. Chicago (Footnote) Style – Used by History. 24 17

25 Referencing: In Text and Works Cited
A reference comes in two parts: an ‘In-text’ citation and a bibliographic reference, which comes in the ‘Works Cited’ list at the end of the essay. You only usually put the basics (Author and Page No. for MLA, Author, Date and Page Number for Harvard) in the actual essay; most of the bibliographic details go at the end in the Works Cited List. In-Text Citation [using MLA]: (Reed 3) Works Cited Reference [using MLA]: Reed, John. “Dickens and Personification.” Dickens Quarterly 24.1 (2007): EBSCOhost. 25 Feb 2013.

26 Ways to Quote ‘In-Text’: MLA Style
If you have written the author’s name in the body of your essay, you don’t have to repeat it in the citation. It has been suggested that “one feature of Dickens’ writing that might have been off-putting for a critic demanding greater realism was his frequent use of personification” (Reed 3). Reed (3) suggests that “one feature of Dickens’ writing that might have been off-putting for a critic demanding greater realism was his frequent use of personification.”

27 Ways to Quote ‘In-Text’: Harvard (Author-Date) Style
When using Harvard Style, you also give the year of publication in the citation (hence the ‘Author-Date’ title). As with MLA, if you have written the author’s name in the text, it doesn’t need to be in the citation. McKenna (2007, p.17) suggests the Anzac Spirit is “universal.” It has been suggested that the Anzac Spirit is “universal” (McKenna 2007, p.17).

28 Paraphrasing It’s important to note that even when you are just referring to an idea that you have read about, you still acknowledge the author of the idea. It could be said that the Anzac Spirit actually appears in many nations (McKenna 2007, p.17) When you are talking about the overall work (such as a book) or research interests of a scholar you can just reference that book. McKenna (2007) is interested in the dark side of patriotism.

29 Assumed Knowledge There are some things that can be said to be assumed knowledge and to not need referencing; you wouldn’t, for example, cite the date World War II broke out (as scholars agree it was September 1939) or the fact that Sydney is in NSW. ‘Assumed Knowledge’ is a tricky term. The excellent Purdue Owl resource has a list of ‘Assumed Knowledge’ points (

30 Works Cited Some key points to remember about a Works Cited list:
List the works you have cited from in Alphabetical Order (by Author Surname) Only list the works you have quoted or paraphrased or for any reason cited in your essay Make sure that everything is listed using the correct style (Harvard, MLA, Chicago and other Referencing Styles all have their own format) Make sure the work is referenced in the correct style for the kind of document it is (there are different ways to reference different types of documents, including books, journals and electronic documents)

31 Referencing Help is at hand!
Referencing is the bane of many a student’s existence. The good news is that there is help at hand. For MLA, try the UofA English Guide ( For Harvard, try the Guide in the Academic Skills Resources folder on My Uni (go to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism / Referencing Guide for Arts Courses) For Chicago (Footnote) Style, try the Online Guide: ( There are also a range of Style Guides supplied by the Writing Centre:

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