Cite Them Right

22nd October 2004 at 01:00
Cite Them Right: referencing made easy

By Richard Pears and Graham Shields

Northumbria University Press pound;3.50

To order, email: er.books@ northumbria.ac.uk; or tel: 0191 227 3700

There's something attractively old-fangled about this small booklet. It is aimed at students and teachers who are involved in academic writing, such as a PhD thesis. But it applies equally to a school-based Shakespeare or history essay. Certainly, if former Ofsted chief and now government education adviser Mike Tomlinson's suggestion of a single major project replacing multiple pieces of coursework is put into place, our students will need to learn how to assemble their sources and properly acknowledge them.

The book shows how to provide citations for quoted work and gives the ground rules for doing so properly. In an age when so many people want to dispense with rules and conventions, how reassuring and how welcome to have such clear advice.

Written by two academic librarians, this excellent, definitive guide would be a useful addition to any school's reference library. It sets out with admirable clarity how to provide references to books, journals, articles and, importantly, internet sites. It even tells us the correct way of referring to a text message. With the lure of plagiarism so strong, acquiring these rules for citation ought to be a part of every student's basic education.

Geoff Barton is headteacher at King Edward VI school, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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