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Do you reference lectures in essays?

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    Hey,

    I'm currently in my second year of university, studying English Literature. I'm very cautious when it comes to referencing and so always reference my lectures and seminars in my bibliography and sometimes in my work.

    Last week, for the first time, one of my tutors wrote on my work that I shouldn't reference a lecture because it was "not a scholarly resource" (Awkward for the tutor whose lecture it was I guess :teehee:) Naturally I questioned her about it and she said that I shouldn't reference lectures now that I'm in my second year.

    I have known this tutor to recommend things that other tutors at my university dislike in essay writing and, as I've never had it brought up before by any of the other tutors, I was wondering what TSR's opinion is on this?

    Thanks in advance! I know it's only referencing but I always get panicky when it comes to plagiarism and that kind of thing
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    Yeah, I'm always careful with referencing too, better safe than sorry after all! However, I've never referenced a lecture or seminar, simply because nothing I've ever read has done anything similar. It doesn't seem very professional. If its just an idea I've taken from the lecture or seminar I work it into my own words and don't reference it at all, but if its a statistic, quote, or specific piece of information I go find a reference to it in a book or journal and use that instead.
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    It is possible to reference lectures but tutors say that as you progress through university you're expected to be reading more and more materials that you have researched yourself, such as journal articles.

    One of my tutors said that ideally the less textbooks and lectures you refer to the better (depending on what the assignment is asking of you of course), because we need to be using more specific academic resources rather than general books or ones the tutors have provided for you.
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    I wouldn't personally reference a lecture. In my case, we were advised not to in our first year, so it wasn't really anything I ever got used to. However, I do find that if a lecturer has made an interesting point that I'd like to discuss in an essay, then they've usually gotten it from somewhere else anyway (be it their own, or someone else's work). Most of our lecture slides have a reading list at the end, or they're based on a journal article that a particular lecturer has written. I'm not sure if this is something yours do, but I find it really helpful when sourcing material
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    It's better not to reference lectures as it's not good academic practice. Your wider reading skills are being tested and taking one lecturer's view as gospel is dangerous (whether you're actually doing that or not).
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    I always refrained from referencing lectures. After all, in many cases, they are just second hand information themselves. It's generally considered bad academic practice too and demonstrates that you have not really expanded upon the subject much.
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    Avoid if possible.
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    Ok that makes sense. Thanks everyone! That's basically what she said but I wondered whether she was just exaggerating because, as I mentioned in my OP, she tends to advise against things that other lecturers are strongly for :P
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    Poor academic practice to reference lectures.
    Perhaps try to reference academic articles.
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    No I don't. Lectures only briefly outline and introduce topics of study, they're nowhere near the level that you want to be writing for your essays.
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    No, we get told that we aren't allowed to reference lectures unless the lecturer who set the essay specifically gives us permission to use their lecture.
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    I disagree with the majority of points made in this thread, I reference at least one lecture per assignment. If a lecturer makes a point which is relevant, why is it a faux pas to reference it? There are people who are suggesting that by referencing a lecture you are 1) not going into required detail and 2) not referencing journals, but why is referencing a lecture and going into more detail two things which are mutually exclusive?
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    It's wrong to reference a lecture because:
    a) you reference for two distinct reasons - to recognise that the original work is someone elses, and to allow veracity to be checked - lectures clearly don't fit into the second category;
    b) you should be completing independent academic research and therefore should be able to find the same points in artcles/journals/books etc. - these are better to use than lectures since they fit both criteria above;
    c) it's regarded by many academics as lazy - you should be able to find similar evidence from (b) above - if you want a high mark then you need to demonstrate you're doing some independent research and citing articles rather then lectures demonstrates this.
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    It is better to do wider reading, as others have said. You need to show evidence that you don't just rely on lecture material, and that you can form judgements based on academic opinions as well as successfully do independent research.

    However, I did have one essay that was mainly from academic literature but I did slip in someting that was from a lecture slide (as I couldn't find the info on any other journal/book) and I just put 'acknowledgements to lecture X, by X'. It's best to avoid using lecture material though unless it's last resort if the info can be found elsewhere. Although I don't see the problem with referencing lecture material if there is a strong valid argument which cannot be found from wider reading.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    I disagree with the majority of points made in this thread, I reference at least one lecture per assignment. If a lecturer makes a point which is relevant, why is it a faux pas to reference it? There are people who are suggesting that by referencing a lecture you are 1) not going into required detail and 2) not referencing journals, but why is referencing a lecture and going into more detail two things which are mutually exclusive?
    Normally the topics discussed in lectures are secondary info from journal articles and textbooks, so we've been told your referencing is much better quality if you go directly to the source rather than taking the lecturer's opinions and repeating them. I suppose it depends on your course really, but certainly for mine it's bad practice to reference lectures because we're supposed to use it as a foundation and research everything else ourselves.
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    (Original post by Baula)
    Hey,

    I'm currently in my second year of university, studying English Literature. I'm very cautious when it comes to referencing and so always reference my lectures and seminars in my bibliography and sometimes in my work.

    Last week, for the first time, one of my tutors wrote on my work that I shouldn't reference a lecture because it was "not a scholarly resource" (Awkward for the tutor whose lecture it was I guess :teehee:) Naturally I questioned her about it and she said that I shouldn't reference lectures now that I'm in my second year.

    I have known this tutor to recommend things that other tutors at my university dislike in essay writing and, as I've never had it brought up before by any of the other tutors, I was wondering what TSR's opinion is on this?

    Thanks in advance! I know it's only referencing but I always get panicky when it comes to plagiarism and that kind of thing
    You can reference unpublished conference 'papers' in an essay, where it is relevant (i.e. you are at the cutting edge of research). But your lecturer is implicitly suggesting that you should widen your secondary reading, because lectures at undergraduate level are unlikely to be 'full proof'. It might not even be your lecturers specialism so what you end up referencing is some diluted generalisation suitable for a fixed purpose (i.e. a short introduction to a prescribed topic), not an academic essay.
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    don't think so, unless it is a quote from a journal/ book in the lecture notes
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    (Original post by evantej)
    You can reference unpublished conference 'papers' in an essay, where it is relevant (i.e. you are at the cutting edge of research). But your lecturer is implicitly suggesting that you should widen your secondary reading, because lectures at undergraduate level are unlikely to be 'full proof'. It might not even be your lecturers specialism so what you end up referencing is some diluted generalisation suitable for a fixed purpose (i.e. a short introduction to a prescribed topic), not an academic essay.
    Fair enough. The reason I was questioning it was because I've been getting good marks and the others hadn't mentioned it. I think I will take on board what she and everyone on the thread has said though and try to find the info myself as it will probably improve my essays

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