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Referencing sources

There are various methods of referencing sources, including in-text referencing, footnotes, and endnotes. The Harvard Referencing System, an in-text referencing system, is recommended for your Computer Systems assignment, as it is the system most frequently used in the discipline of computer science.

The Harvard system involves placing an abbreviated citation in your assignment which includes the author's surname, the year of publication, and (if a direct quote is used) the relevant page number.

e.g.: (Smith 2000, p.8-10)

A full bibliographic citation for the source is then placed in the reference list at the end of your assignment.

There are two main types of quotations: indirect and direct quotations.

  • An indirect quotation is when the original text has been paraphrased, i.e. rewritten in your own words.
  • A direct quotation is a word-for-word transcription of the original text by another author which must appear in inverted commas and end with a citation (less frequently used in Computer Science).

Note: Different kinds of assignments require you to work with sources in different ways.

When writing a report you are required to gather evidence and information from reliable sources. This material will predominantly be factual.

You would not be expected to use many direct quotations in a report, as it is generally the information itself which is important, rather than the specific wording. Thus most citations you use in your writing for the first Computer Systems assignment will involve paraphrasing or summarising another writer's ideas; you will therefore be expected to use direct quotations selectively.

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