environmentguy21
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Hi there, I am having an absolute nightmare writing my first research essay at university (it’s about the causes of global warming) and I have no idea how to go about the whole referencing process and determining what needs to be cited and what doesn’t. It’s making the whole task far more difficult than it probably has to be and it’s stressing me out so much to the point I’m scared I won’t ever be able to do it properly. I have emailed in about this before and nobody seems to properly answer my question so I thought I would go on here and see if anyone had anything to say about this. Basically, I am aware that you are supposed to provide a citation for pieces of information you paraphrase from sources, but does this include pretty much every last bit of info you include? Like, say I find two different bits of information from two different websites and wish to include them in the same sentence. For example, I find one cause of global warming in one source and one on another and I am briefly listing them out. How do I go about this? Is there anything I don’t have to worry about citing? Or do I just have to pick out one source to base every few sentences on? Any help would be massively appreciated as I can’t even figure out how to start this and the deadline is coming up.

I would really appreciate some form of help as I am so lost with all of this. If anyone can take some time to explain this through it would mean a lot!
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historynerd47
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Hi there, fellow uni student here (history). I learned to reference using two guides from the university- the main one being a large PDF guide on the referencing style we use (Chicago) and we also had to undertake an hour's training on academic conduct- which included a big section on when to reference. I completely understand how stressful this is for you as even with those resources I still found it tough but unfortunately I don't know how to teach you the system on here.
The main point that we were taught is that you need to reference everything unless it is common knowledge. For example, in my degree, I don't need to reference dates as everyone knows that, but a statistic of how many soldiers were at the battle, or a historians argument about the causes of the conflict, I would have to reference.
There must be a full Harvard guide for you- have a look online and especially at your university intranet. Mine is bookmarked and invaluable, still in second year.
Best of luck, hope this helps a little!
Last edited by historynerd47; 3 weeks ago
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environmentguy21
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(Original post by historynerd47)
Hi there, fellow uni student here (history). I learned to reference using two guides from the university- the main one being a large PDF guide on the referencing style we use (Chicago) and we also had to undertake an hour's training on academic conduct- which included a big section on when to reference. I completely understand how stressful this is for you as even with those resources I still found it tough but unfortunately I don't know how to teach you the system on here.
The main point that we were taught is that you need to reference everything unless it is common knowledge. For example, in my degree, I don't need to reference dates as everyone knows that, but a statistic of how many soldiers were at the battle, or a historians argument about the causes of the conflict, I would have to reference.
There must be a full Harvard guide for you- have a look online and especially at your university intranet. Mine is bookmarked and invaluable, still in second year.
Best of luck, hope this helps a little!
Hi there,

Thank you for your advice!

I just would like to ask though - if you were in my hypothetical situation where I was listing different causes of global warming which I had found from different sources, how would you come about this? Would you try and find a source where they are all found in one? Or is there a way you’re meant to reference all of them?

I’m sorry to be a pain but it’s just the little things such as these that confuse me so much and the support guides don’t seem to cover :/
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historynerd47
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You're not a pain at all! I just don't want to mislead you or give you faulty info.
Okay, for this example I would ideally like one source with them all in, for ease. However, if that is not forthcoming and you have found them all separately then that is absolutely fine- just cite each one. The priority here is that whoever wrote the article/book you're citing gets the credit- not that it looks awkward. Harvard referencing always looks a tad awkward anyway as it breaks up the text.
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historynerd47
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'The causes of global warming are complex with some citing (cite), others ... (cite) and others (cite). Some have even suggested (cite).'
It's not ideal but you can cite them individually, your aim here is honest academic practice not style (which I know you're wanting to do as you're asking for help on here)
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environmentguy21
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(Original post by historynerd47)
'The causes of global warming are complex with some citing (cite), others ... (cite) and others (cite). Some have even suggested (cite).'
It's not ideal but you can cite them individually, your aim here is honest academic practice not style (which I know you're wanting to do as you're asking for help on here)
I cannot thank you enough for all of this!!!

If I am making slightly longer points as well, like a few sentences long, should I really be paraphrasing one source at a time??
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historynerd47
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(Original post by environmentguy21)
I cannot thank you enough for all of this!!!

If I am making slightly longer points as well, like a few sentences long, should I really be paraphrasing one source at a time??
Hmm this is more of a writing style question. It's really hard to answer without seeing it but as long as you are giving the writers the credit that's the key here. Do you need to mention each cause? If you do then you've got to cite them. Maybe there's a way of not paraphrasing the whole cause but very briefly mentioning it in a phrase- maybe you need to write more concisely. This bit feels more like a writing issue than referencing tbh
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