Hello! I'm Eileen Archer and I'm here at FLY HIGH as Maria Grazia's guest blogger. My post is a short guide for those who use books as part of their academic pieces of work.
Why should I use books?
To write academically and correctly we must make use of the literature available to us. You must read as much as you possibly can before even starting to write your academic piece. Take notes of each book you have thought interesting and the relation between that and your own forthcoming work. Remember to mark the pages too, so you can come back to ideas later.
When it comes to using the information from a book that you have absorbed, been interested in or found highly relevant to your field, you must decide when and where to use it. If there are two books that have the same idea, choose the one that clarifies the point better, and cite that one in your own piece of work. The clearer the idea, the easier it is for you to expand on the point and the easier it is for the reader to follow.
How do I use the books correctly?
Knowing how to use the book correctly and not waste time is a must. It’s so easy to sit back and read, relax and actually enjoy what you are doing if you like the subject area. However, the reality is that you’ll feel hemmed in by all the books you have in front of you, begging to be used. The first thing you should do is reduce that pile. Choose only the books with distinctly different ideas. When you have the most important ideas/books in front of you, then work your way through them, using the ideas and relevantly adding them to your academic piece of work.
Should I reference the book?
This is a question that is par for the course, even though it has a simple answer: If you are directly quoting (word for word) from a book then it must be included in your reference pages. If not, you are plagiarising. Simple as that. However, the trickier question is whether to cite a book you have read as part of your research. For this, the answer can be simplified: if you have read a book that has enabled you to write what you are writing or something that has given you an idea or progressed your work in any way, then it should definitely be cited.
How do I reference it?
Dealing with direct quotations from books first: The way you include it both in your essay and in your references is highly important. Both must correspond. Direct quotes should be in italics in your actual writing and when it comes to referencing, depending on the style you are using, you should follow the handbook you were given, down to the very last letter. The necessary elements to include, in every style, are: book title, author, date, publisher, chapter/section cited. Books that have been read and have influenced you must also be cited in a similar way at the end.
Remember to do all your referencing throughout your writing journey so as not to waste hours at the end, and cause yourself a lot of unnecessary frustration.
Guest Blogger: Eileen Archer is currently a resident blogger and a chief editor at essayplanet.org and has researched and written on a number of topics affecting secondary and university students. After obtaining a Masters in English language she decided to dedicate her time to creative writing as well as providing assistance to students.
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