5.4 ESSAY-WRITING: CITATION STYLE

One of our criteria for the marking of essays (and similar assignments) is "Systematic and standardised in-text and bibliographical references".

The University considers inadequate referencing a sign of ‘Poor Academic Practice’ or PAP, which is the first stage of the Academic Misconduct procedures (details are here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/students/administration/complaintsandappeals/academicmisconduct/).

You are expected to provide clear and consistent references and bibliography for all written work. Observing an acknowledged style for the citation of references is an important part of good academic practice. The principle underlying any style is to ensure that the reader of an academic essay can easily trace any quotation or idea taken from a primary or secondary source. It is important that these references are made in a recognized and consistent manner. We recommend the MLA style (because it is very simple) and provide advice on the use of this style to our students. MLA requires a list of works cited at the end of an essay and parenthetical documentation in the text itself, referring to entries on a list of Works Cited. Although this style technically allows for the listing only of works actually cited in an essay, undergraduate students who wish to demonstrate a wider range of reading may also submit a supplementary list of ‘Works Consulted But Not Cited’.


For full information about MLA style, students are referred to: Joseph Gibaldi, MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, 7th edn (New York : Modern Language Association of America, 2009). Some introductory information is available on the Department’s ELE ‘Research and Writing’ site.