Acknowledging Sources

This module explains how and why sources used in the creation of students' work should be acknowledged.

What is meant by ‘acknowledging sources’?

Making sure that you give recognition of any work that you use that is not your own.
The recognition is usually written. Generally known information does not need to be acknowledged, for example there are twelve months each year.
The work to be acknowledged can be in many formats including: 
 advertisements other students' work others' ideas blogs
 encyclopaedia articles personal interviews CDROMs and DVDs  letters
 pictures magazines maps TV programs
 pamphlets journals newspapers movies
 artworks teachers lecturers books
 websites emails discussion groups music

From the All my Own Work Website

Why should sources be acknowledged?

To clearly identify that the work is not your own and has come from another source. You acknowledge sources to:
  • Show your academic integrity
  • Help support your argument
  • Make it easy for readers to find your sources
  • Recognise and acknowledge the creator of the work. This is a moral and legal obligation
  • Avoid plagiarism

When and how should sources be acknowledged within the body of a work?

You need to acknowledge sources in the body of your work (in-text citation) if you:
  • Use a direct quote
  • Paraphrase
  • Summarise
  • Copy information for example tables or graphs
You also need to acknowledge the source at the end of your work (bibliography/reference list). Your teachers will advise you of the in-text citation style they expect you to use. These will also appear in your bibliography/reference list.

How should sources be acknowledged at the end of a work?

In alphabetical order using either a:
  • Reference List – Only sources that have been cited within your work
  • Bibliography – All sources referred to in the preparation of your work
There are a number of different styles of referencing but at the College we use the Harvard style. This is the style you have been using to create your bibliographies and more information can be found on the library page of SPC Connect. It is important to remember to be consistent, including your use of:
  • Punctuation
  • Capitals
  • Italics
  • Abbreviations

What strategies can you use in preparation for the acknowledgment of sources in your work?

The best way is to be organised and record your information and sources as you work on an assessment. It is much more difficult to do this at the end as you may not remember all the details relevant to your sources. It is also helpful to have an annotation system to help you remember how relevant the source was to your work. This can be as simple as a tick and cross system with some dot points.
Subpages (1): Scenario 2