MSc / MA Skills - UKSCIENCE

MSc / MA Skills - UKSCIENCE

MSc Skills Academic Writing & Plagiarism Avoidance by Dr Mark Cresswell Topics Importance of communication General principles Harvard referencing rules Plagiarism dangers Searching literature Importance of communication Scientists have always been in the business of communicating new

ideas Discoveries and theories are more readily accepted if explained clearly Reputations and continued work can depend upon consensus Importance of communication Scientists are expected to communicate their ideas both verbally and in writing

At conferences one might be expected to reveal work in a short time to peers Dissertations, papers, proceedings, articles and books are essential outlets of work General Principles All work must be backed-up with clearly cited evidence - from peer reviewed work

Reading and a subsequent deep understanding of literature is essential Correctly formatted citations and reading lists are required at MSc level General Principles In assignments and your project dissertation you must write in third person english You should never refer to yourself

directly (first person) or personalise your work Avoid using adorned, pompous or vague terminology - or acronyms/jargon My work will show how to..... The work will show how to... My data were collected over a period of.. The data were collected over a period of.. I decided not to continue with the

fieldwork This author decided not to continue with the fieldwork General Principles Do NOT use Wikipedia to carry out research at postgraduate level Do NOT rely on Google searches or copy-paste text from web pages Do NOT copy images from web pages into your own work unless

absolutely necessary and ensure they are properly cited Harvard Referencing Rules The Harvard Referencing (HR) system exists as a means of standardising the way in which evidence is cited and recorded in published works by scientists and academics Failure to cite material may lead to accusations of plagiarism - but incorrect formatting of citations is

frowned upon Harvard Referencing Rules Citing the supporting material you have used, from other authors, lends more force to your own work and argument Each time you cite material from a peer-review source (scientific journal article) you are showing the reader that your own argument is based on

objective evidence Harvard Referencing Rules In order that the worlds scientific community can easily recognise the evidence which underpins an individuals work - the HR system allows standardisation and thus comprehension across different scientific disciplines and media. Harvard Referencing Rules

You MUST cite and reference all the information that you have used in the main text of your assignment. It is important to acknowledge the work of others if you have referred to it in your assignments; if you do not, you will be accused of PLAGIARISM. The following are extracts from Rayner and Jones (2010) Harvard Referencing Rules Example from students work:

Different words that are chosen carefully can make powerful quotations and can show that you can make good choices. Actually from Cottrell (2003:136): A few words, carefully chosen, make the most powerful quotations, and demonstrate that you can select appropriately. The student has plagiarised the work not only because they have not made any reference to the source they took the information from (Cottrell, 2003:136), but also because they have only altered a few words from the original text. Harvard Referencing

Rules Changing a few words from the original text and inserting the altered information into your assignment can still be classed as plagiarism. You need to show you understand the work which means you need to understand it and put it entirely into your own words You must learn to synthesise information, paraphrase it and then cite the original source Harvard Referencing

Rules Example text from this paper: The results from this work have shown that a simple methodology can provide a model for transforming the raw Meteosat infrared temperatures, and that approxi- mately 72% of the values will be accurate to within 3 C. This level of accuracy should certainly be of interest to investigators working in areas where there are no other data available, due to lack of equipment and funds, political instability, war or disease. Correct way to use this information:

Experimental evidence by Cresswell et al (1999) suggests that a solar zenith correction algorithm can provide an improvement in the accuracy of proxy air temperature values from Meteosat over raw land surface data. The authors suggest that these transformed data might be of use to a wide range of end-users - especially where no other data sources exist. Do NOT just copy, paste and cite text from another source. Once you understand the information, paraphrase in a way that is appropriate to your own work and cite the original source according to HR rules

Harvard Referencing Rules To correctly cite the example paper (left) you must use the HR rules. As shown on the previous slide this would be: Cresswell et al (1999) Do NOT give the author(s) initials or first names- e.g M Cresswell et al (1999) except where two authors have the same surname.

Do NOT list all author names if there are more than two authors: use the abbreviation et al (Latin for and others) instead. Harvard Referencing Rules If you want to use secondary sources, (authors who have been cited in the book/journal etc. that you have read) you need to include the surname of the author whose idea you are using and the surname of the author whose book/journal you found the information from

E.g. Extract taken from the book by Cottrell (2003:48): Research in neuropsychology suggests that different cognitive abilities, such as speech, may be semi-separate domains of ability, controlled by different circuits within the brain (Karmiloff-Smith 1992). If you wanted to mention Karmiloff-Smiths research based on the information you have read in Cottrells book you would cite the authors like so: By looking at research in neuropsychology, Karmiloff-Smith (1992, cited in Cottrell, 2003) suggests that different cognitive abilities, such as speech, may be semiseparate domains of ability, controlled by different circuits within the brain. Harvard Referencing Rules The main difference between a reference list and bibliography section is based on whether the source has been cited in the main text or not.

The reference section is a list of sources that have been cited in the main text whereas the bibliography is a list of sources that have been read but not cited or referred to within the main text. During the course of writing your MSc dissertation you should scrupulously record all references used Consider buying bibliographic software such as Endnote Harvard Referencing Rules

Example of a Journal listed in Bibliography: Collins, S. (2006). Mental health difficulties and the support needs of social work students: dilemmas, tensions and contradictions. Social Work Education, Vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 446-460 Website Example: Clark, D. (2000) Learning styles and preferences. NW Link. [Online] [Accessed on 13 January 2010] http://nwlink.com/~donclark/hrd/styles.html Book Example: Cottrell, S. (2008) The study skills handbook. 3rd ed., Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Newspaper Example: Jones, S. (2008) Alcohol linked to rise in British arrests abroad. The Guardian. 12th August. p. 7

Harvard Referencing Rules There are many HR formatting rules for sources such as books, journals, conference proceedings, websites, personal communication, newspapers, films etc The exact style of formatting used in your Bibliography/Reading List can vary - some journals also have their own in-house style You must read the University Harvard

Referencing Handbook and spend some time learning the numerous rules and formatting requirements The MMU Harvard Referencing Handbook may be downloaded from: http://libguides.mmu.ac.uk/refguide

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