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Current undergraduates

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages

 

Undergraduate information on plagiarism and referencing sources

The University-wide policy on plagiarism can be read on-line: www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/plagiarism/students/.

Notes for those who supervise: Advice for supervisors.

Faculty guidance on how to document your sources

You may quote directly, using quotation marks, from a critic or author, or acknowledge the source or inspiration for your ideas by using one of two methods (whichever method you choose, you must use it consistently throughout your work). The first method is known as the Author-Date system and requires you to provide in parentheses in the main body of your work the author and date of the work from which you are quoting or to which you are referring, and the relevant page numbers. You should then provide full details of all cited works by way of a list of bibliographical references at the end of your work.

A reference will look like this:
(Pollan 2006, 99-100)

The full bibliographical reference at the end of your work will look like this:
Pollan, Michael. 2006. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin

For further details of the Author-Date system, see the following pages of the Chicago Manual of Style: www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

Alternatively, you may cite and acknowledge your sources by way of a footnote, more or less following the regulations of the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association) Styleguide. If you adopt this method, use an easily identifiable abbreviated form in each footnote (for example, author, short title, and page references), and give full details of each work in the list of bibliographical references at the end of your work.

A footnote reference will look like this:
Pollan, Omnivore's Dilemma, 99-100.

The full bibliographical reference at the end of your work will look like this:
Pollan, Michael, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (New York: Penguin, 2006)

For further details of this form of referencing, see sections 11.2 and 11.3 of the Style guide used for academic theses and essays produced by the MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association). Note that the Faculty does not, unlike the MHRA, require a full first reference in a footnote; an abbreviated form, as shown above, is admissable for all footnotes.

Be especially careful if cutting and pasting work from electronic media; do not fail to attribute the work to its source. If authorship of the electronic source is not given, ask yourself whether it is worth copying. If you need to refer to the opinions of a critic but do not need to use their precise words, you may also paraphrase. You must, however, make it clear to whom the opinions belong using one of the two referencing systems outlined above. Similarly, if reproducing an illustration or including someone else's data in a graph or table, this too must be appropriately acknowledged using either the Author-Date system or by way of a footnote.

If you are still not sure, the golden rule is that examiners must be in no doubt as to which parts of your work are your own original work and which are the rightful property of someone else. Even if your assignment is to review the literature on a given topic, you should be 'adding value' through criticism and analysis.

March 2012