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The Coventry University Guide to Referencing in Harvard Style: Using Sources

How to integrate sources

How to integrate sources


When constructing an academic argument, you will integrate different types of research sources into your writing (e.g. books, web pages, and journal articles) in different ways. You may, for example, give a quote from one source, paraphrase a passage from another, and summarise a few pages from yet another source. 

Every time you integrate information from another source, you must provide an appropriate in-text citation and corresponding entry in your List of References. The tabs above give the referencing conventions for the four main techniques used when integrating sources.

How to integrate directly quoted material


  • The word 'quote' is short for 'quotation', which means giving the exact words used in a source within quotation marks.
  • The Coventry University Guide to Referencing in Harvard Style allows you to use either single quotation marks (i.e. ' ') or double quotation marks (i.e. " ") to indicate that text is directly quoted. Make sure you are consistent in your choice.
  • Quoting is one of the simplest ways of integrating research sources into writing.
  • Direct quotes should be introduced and explained to show how they are relevant to the argument a writer is making.
  • Direct quotes should only be used occasionally, and short quotes should be preferred to long ones.
  • Within an academic paper, balance the use of quoting with paraphrasing, summarising and critiquing to demonstrate that you can integrate research into your argument in different ways and to show evidence of critical thinking.
  • Every time you directly quote from a source you must include an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in the List of References.

In-text citation

Example short direct quotes (less than 40 words)

Higgins argues that landfill sites are 'not cost efficient' (2005: 68).
It has been argued that landfill sites are 'not cost efficient' (Higgins 2005: 68).

 

Components

  • Place short quotes in either double or single quotation marks and be consistent throughout your document.
  • Single quotations marks are preferred.
  • Add an in-text citation appropriate to the type of source you are using.

 

Example long direct quotes (more than 40 words)

It is commonly agreed that:
Explicit indication of the sources of information and ideas is one of the characteristics of academic writing in Britain and in many other countries, but not all. Explicit referencing of sources distinguishes academic writing from other types of writing, including newspapers, novels, and much workplace writing. Academic writers show where they got the information or ideas for their texts through referencing systems [...]. (Deane 2006: 4)

 

Components

  • Indent quotations longer than 40 words and leave a space before and after the quoted passage.
  • Add an in-text citation appropriate to the type of source you are using.
  • Do not use quotation marks; the indentation and in-text citation at the beginning or end are sufficient to indicate that the passage is a quote.

List of References entry

 

Format the corresponding entry in the List of References following the appropriate guidelines for each type of source quoted.

The green tabs at the top of this page give examples of how to format different types of sources.

How to integrate paraphrased material


  • To paraphrase a source means to put it into your own words in an accurate way, so be careful not to distort the meaning as you rephrase the words.
  • To paraphrase a source, take your own notes first and rephrase these, then check you have captured the meaning.
  • Paraphrasing is an effective method of integrating research into your writing because it shows you have understood the argument in the source.
  • A paraphrase of a source is approximately the same length as the original passage.
  • A reader may wish to find the information you have paraphrased to use it, or to check you have understood the source's argument fully.
  • Every time you paraphrase a source you must include an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in the List of References.

In-text citation

Examples

Children’s literature is becoming more violent (Shaw 2006: 45).
According to Shaw (2006: 45), children's literature is becoming more violent.

 

Components

  • A suitable citation for your type of source (in most cases, author’s surname and year)

If your source type is paginated (e.g. a book or article, but not a web page):

  • Page number(s) because you are referring to a specific place in your source.

List of References entry

 

Format the corresponding entry in the List of References following the appropriate guidelines for each type of source paraphrased.

The green tabs at the top of this page give examples of how to format different types of sources.

How to integrate summarised material


  • A summary of a source is much shorter than the original passage.
  • It provides only information that is relevant for your own purpose.
  • To summarise a source, select the key points and condense them within your own argument.
  • Summarising is an effective means of integrating research into your writing because it shows first that you have fully understood the source, and secondly that you can make this information work for you.
  • Every time you directly quote from a source you must include an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in the List of References. 

In-text citation

Examples

Summarising information from a particular part of a text

A recent study provides examples of how the eating habits of parents directly influence children (Wikes 2006: 19-20).
Wikes (2006: 19-20) provides examples of how the eating habits of parents directly influence children.

 

Components

  • Author's surname.
  • Year.
  • Include page numbers if you are giving a detailed summary of a particular part of an argument, or summarising information from a specific page.

Summarising an overall argument

A recent study reveals new information about child health (Wikes 2006).
Wikes' (2006) study reveals new information about child health.

 

Components

  • Author's surname.
  • Year.
  • You do not need to provide page numbers if you are summarising what an author has argued in an entire book or article.

List of References entry

 

Format the corresponding entry in the List of References following the appropriate guidelines for each type of source summarised.

The green tabs at the top of this page give examples of how to format different types of sources.

How to integrate critiqued material


  • Critiquing is the most advanced way of integrating sources into your writing, and consists of producing a reasoned evaluation of an author's key argument(s)
  • It can be focused on ideas from a single source or it may combine, compare, contrast, evaluate ideas from multiple sources.
  • Critiquing can incorporate quotesparaphrases and summaries.
  • Unlike quoting, paraphrasing and summarising, which are limited to describing other authors' arguments, critiquing allows you to demonstrate your ability to make reasoned judgments on those arguments, and implicitly to integrate your own views in your writing.
  • Every time you use material from a source you must include an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in the List of References.

In-text citation

There are no referencing guidelines specific to critiquing. 

Critiquing incorporates quotesparaphrases and summaries and is cited accordingly.


List of References entry

Format the corresponding entry in the List of References following the appropriate guidelines for each type of source integrated.

The green tabs at the top of this page give examples of how to format different types of sources.

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The Coventry University Guide to Referencing in the Harvard Style by The Centre for Academic Writing is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.