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Linguistics (NEW)

Linguistics is the study of languages


What is referencing?

Referencing is a standardised method used particularly in academic writing to acknowledge the sources used in an essay or paper. "It serves as evidence from secondary sources to your research" (Badenhorst 2007, p. 21).

Where do you reference in your paper?

  • In the body of your paper. This is called textual or in-text citation (examples are given on each referencing style in this guide).
  • At the end of your paper. This is known as the reference list or a bibliography. You must always start your bibliography or your reference list in a new page. There is a difference between a bibliography and a reference list. A bibliography is a list of all the sources you have consulted when preparing to write your paper, it doesn't matter whether you have cited them in the body of your paper or not. A reference list is a list of only the sources you have cited in the body of your paper. Normally in academic writing, students are required to give a reference list.

What must be referenced?

  • Direct quotation - this is when you use the direct words of the author as they exactly appear in the text. This must be cited and enclosed in the quotation marks.

  • Paraphrase - This is when you take a passage from a source and re-write it in your own words but the ideas or facts you are expressing are based on what you read. This must be cited as well but is not enclosed in quotation marks.

  • Summary - A summary is similar to a paraphrase since you also re-write this piece of information in your own words. However with summary you select only the main ideas and and supporting details. This also needs to be referenced but is also not enclosed in quotation marks. 

Why do you need to give references to your work?

  • To redirect the readers of your paper to the original sources you have cited;
  • To validate and give credibility to your argument;
  • To distinguish between your own ideas and those of someone else's;
  • To demonstrate to your lecturers the amount of reading you have done;
  • To avoid being accused of plagiarism.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of using somebody else's ideas or words without giving credits to the originator. It is treated as an academic crime and can result in failing the whole course or being expelled from the institution. There are two kinds of plagiarism (i) Accidental plagiarism = this type of plagiarism happens when you did not intend to plagiarise but you still failed to acknowledge the sources. (ii) Blatant plagiarism = this is when you commit plagiarism deliberately - e.g. you copy and paste a passage from somebody else's assignment without acknowledging the source.

Accidental Plagiarism:

  • Failing to give citation after paraphrasing or summarising;
  • Referencing sources incorrectly;
  • Forgetting to put a direct quote in the quotation marks;
  • Using too many direct quotations constitutes plagiarism, as it indicates that you have contributed very little;
  • Failing to paraphrase correctly and keep the original meaning of the passage.

Blatant Plagiarism:

  • Asking somebody else to write your essay for you;
  • Copy and pasting a passage from somebody else's essay without acknowledging the source;
  • Stealing another person's essay and submit it as if it is yours;
  • Buying somebody else's paper and submit it as if it is yours.

Harvard Referencing Style

Harvard is also known as the Author-Date system.  The author's surname and year of publication are cited in the text of your work. The full details of the book are included in a reference list at the end of the assignment.

Quick links for citing in Harvard

APA 7th Edition Referencing Style

This guide shows you how to reference various types of information sources, according to the APA Referencing Style. In general, when you acknowledge your sources, you are required to follow two sets of rules:

1. the in-text referencing rule in the body of your assignment; and 

2. the rules pertaining to your bibliography or reference list. 

Both elements should be correctly compiled. This guide will help you to do this.

Use the menu below to see how to reference different formats of information.

Quick links for citing in APA 7th Edition:

You may refer to the full manual or follow the key information from


EndNote is reference management software with features to keep all your references and reference-related materials in a searchable personal library.

EndNote enables researcher to:

  • Promote new and ongoing research
  • Provide a standardised reference management tool with access anywhere
  • Track research trends, authors or topics easily
  • Capture, store, and organize vast collections of research in one place
  • Simplify bibliography and report creation within Microsoft® Word
  • Collaborate and share research across departments and organizations globally

Endnote Installation Guide:

More information and tips on using EndNote and links to resources can be found here: 

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that serves as an information system to support research. 

It can help researchers to:

  • Set up, organise and manage a library;
  • Find new research on the embedded search feature;
  • Access, manage and share references and research data;
  • Share documents and collaborate;
  • Highlight and annotate documents;
  • Showcase your latest research;
  • Find funding, and identify career opportunities.

Mendeley Installation Guide:

Download and install

Create a free account


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