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Internet References

internet_references1.jpgIt is recommended that you avoid using the Internet extensively to back up your essays and projects since no one moderates what is published on the World Wide Web. From an academic point of view, the sources are often suspect. If however you do find a reliable academic source, reference it just as you would a book – in your text simply write the author’s surname and the date it was published.

Please do NOT put the Internet address (URL eg. http//www…) directly into your essay, find out the person or organisation responsible for the site and the date the site was written (scrolling down to the bottom to find the ‘copyright’ sign helps find this). Use these in your essay (as in the examples below) and put the full address including the date you looked at (accessed) the web site at the end in your list of references. If there seems to be no date, use (nd) which means ‘no date’.

 

Test your knowledge: Evaluating and using websites


Examples of how to Reference the Internet in your essay

 

1. Direct Quotation from the Internet (in English)

When copying and pasting from a website, format it clearly as NOT YOUR OWN WORDS, using the conventions for direct quotation as above, i.e. indentation, single spacing, smaller font.
 

Now that women in China have a higher status in society, and can earn their own living, interest in marriage (which traditionally entails a life of service to the husband) seems to have declined. Recent research confirms this:

 
  A survey in Beijing indicates that 50.2 percent of those women with
a monthly salary of 5,000--15,000 yuan remain single. (China Daily, 2003)


2. Paraphrase from the same source

If you are paraphrasing (rewriting something from the Internet in your own words), acknowledge the source clearly. For example, the second sentence (in bold) paraphrases the information in the source text.

  Now that women in China have a higher status in society, and can earn their own living, interest in marriage (which traditionally entails a life of service to the husband) seems to have declined. It has been found that just over half of the women with a good monthly salary in Beijing choose not to get married (China Daily, 2003).

3. Direct Quotation from a non-English Website

If the source you are quoting from directly is in another language, give the original words (in the correct font if necessary) and translate it, putting 'my translation' in square brackets afterwards.

  1949年,中华人民共和国成立以来,中国政府一向十分重视发展教育事业。 (In 1949 the People’s Republic of China built up and so the Chinese government began to pay more attention to public educational development.[my translation]) (CERNET, 2003)

4. Paraphrase from a non-English Website

If you are paraphrasing from a source in another language, you must still acknowledge the source clearly.

  Education in China was given more attention by the government after 1949 when it was clear that the Republic had grown substantially.(CERNET, 2003)

5. Using 'Cite this page' websites

Some websites such as Wikipedia have a link which automatically creates a reference for the page you are looking at. Sometimes you are given a choice of styles. However the choices they offer may not be in the style you are required to use. In that case you must find the one closest to the style you need and adapt the reference so that your references are all consistently in the same style. In the field of Applied Linguistics, we generally put the author first, then year of publication, then title etc. Here are some examples of Wikipedia-created references:
 

 

Citation styles for "Noam Chomsky"

APA style

Noam Chomsky. (2008, March 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:55, March 31, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noam_Chomsky&oldid=201960506 

MLA style

"Noam Chomsky." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 30 Mar 2008, 02:53 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 31 Mar 2008 <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noam_Chomsky&oldid=201960506>.

MHRA style

Wikipedia contributors, 'Noam Chomsky', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 March 2008, 02:53 UTC, <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noam_Chomsky&oldid=201960506> [accessed 31 March 2008]


Note that some styles in this list start with 'Noam Chomsky' but as he did not WRITE the page, which is a basic biography (and so he is not the author), this would not be an appropriate choice for Applied Linguistics references. See below for an adapted reference.

In your text you would reference the mention of this page like this: '(Wikipedia contributors, 2008)'. The reader would then find the appropriate reference in your list of references. Obviously if you were using more than one Wikipedia page you would need to differentiate them by using different labels for the dates: (2008a, 2008b etc.).

However as stated above (and repeated in Wikipedia itself), a tertiary source like Wikipedia is not universally accepted as an academic reference. It is much safer to use conventionally published sources which have been edited and peer reviewed.


Internet References (from examples above) as they would appear in List of References

CERNET (China Education and Research Network) (2003) ‘中国教育发展概况’ (Chinese Educational Development) http://www.edu.cn/20010823/207269.shtml [Date accessed 12/06/08]

China Daily (2003) ‘Survey: Chinese women changes (sic) attitude toward marriage’ http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-09/21/content_265993.htm [Date accessed 12/06/08]

Wikipedia contributors (2008) 'Noam Chomsky', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 March 2008, 02:53 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Noam_Chomsky&oldid=201960506 [Date accessed 31 March 2008]

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