Independent Study: Examples of Citing References


It is not necessary to provide many quotes in your writing. It is better to refer to the ideas of others in your own words, with occasional quotes for emphasis. When you do include a direct quote, you must provide your own analysis to explain why you think the quote is important. When referring to any idea you learned from another source, you must include the author's name, the date of the material, and for a direct quote, the page number. Following are a few examples of different ways to present your analysis of the literature:

Direct Quote from a Website:

Michael Welton, in his article on Father Jimmy Tompkins, states: "In 1912 Tompkins returned from a British universities meeting held at Oxford ablaze with desire to carry the university to the people. It was dawning on Tompkins that adult education could precipitate a cultural awakening in men's and women's hearts and souls. Foreshadowing the concerns of late twentieth popular educators, Tompkins maintained that workers would be dominated and exploited unless they got knowledge for themselves. Education was the way to power" (Welton, 2005, para. 8). I am inspired that almost a century ago, Fr. Tompkins believed in the transformative power of education. I am also reminded that we can learn much from the history of adult education.

*Many websites do not have page numbers like books, in this case count the number of paragraphs in the document and refer to the paragraph where the quote was copied. This quote appears in the 8th paragraph of the webpage. The webpage where this appears was last updated in 2005, so that is the date used.

Paraphrasing the Author's Ideas:

Motivated by the ideas he learned at Oxford, Father Jimmy Tompkins promoted the importance of education as a means of empowering the people. Without education, workers would continue to be oppressed. (Welton, 2005). I am inspired that almost a century ago, Fr. Tompkins believed in the transformative power of education. I am also reminded that we can learn much from the history of adult education.

*Here, I briefly summarize the author's information in my own words, and identify the source. No page number is needed here. There is a clear transition between the author's ideas and my own reflection.

Direct Quote from a Book:

"The participation of women in the past is of course generally ignored by the historians of adult education" (Thompson, 1997, p.45). I think Thompson's point is valid. While I have been inspired by the stories of Fr. Jimmy Tompkins and Fr. Moses Coady and their crucial leadership roles in the Antigonish Movement, it is sad that more has not been written of the vital role of women such as Sr. Marie Michael.

*Include the page number of the source where the quote was copied. Provide your own thoughts after the quote, so the reader knows why you think this idea is worth quoting, or how it relates to your topic.

Referring to an Idea Without Using a Direct Quote:

Much of what I have read about the Antigonish Movement focuses on the men who led the movement, but rarely mentions the vital role of women such as Sr. Marie Michael. This is not surprising since Thompson (1997) states that historians tend to ignore women's roles in adult education.

*This is not a direct quote, so a page number is not needed. Make a clear distinction between the idea you are borrowing from another source, and your own thoughts.

Reference List:

Thompson, J. (1997). Words in edgeways: Radical learning for social change. Leicester: NIACE.

Welton, M. (2005). Father Jimmy Tompkins. Retrieved from http://www.nl.edu/academics/cas/ace/resources/jimmytompkins.cfm