Research and Academic Writing

When you do research you read the thoughts and works of others. The writing is their “intellectual property”. It is thus important that when you use the ideas of others and any information from texts, that you acknowledge the source. If you do not do so, you have committed plagiarism i.e. theft of intellectual property. Acknowledging sources by giving the full details of all texts that you used in your research is called “referencing”. Quoting from your sources or referring within your writing to sources that you have read is called “citing”. Referencing is important as it gives the full details of where you found the information and allows the reader to check your sources and interpretations thereof.

The full list of resources is listed in alphabetical order in the Bibliography which appears at the end of your assignment. The first part of the list is for all sources with an author and the second part for sources without a stated author. The latter are listed in alphabetical order according to title. 

At Collegiate all girls sign a “Plagiarism Policy” and all essays and research projects must be submitted through the originality checker, TURNITIN.


Record the details necessary for the bibliography as you are working with a source, be it a book, newspaper, on-line resource etc. If you leave this to the end, you might not find the information again. 


There are various referencing styles, the most common one being the Harvard Method. This is the one, for uniformity, that you are expected to use at Collegiate and the one explained here. 


  1. Direct quotations must be in inverted commas.
  2. Long quotations must be indented.
  3. If you paraphrase ideas from a source, you must write this entirely in your own words, and not simply change one or two words. You must cite the source.
  4. At the end of the quotation or paraphrase, place the following in brackets: (Author; date; page reference)

       eg: “The best way to show people your faith in them and to motivate them is to focus your attention on their strengths.” (Maxwell; 2004; p. 30)

  1. If referring to an idea of an author, you could also use the following format:

       Maxwell (2004) believed in the importance of motivation of others. 

       The full details of the source that would be included in the bibliography would be: 

       Maxwell, John C. 2004. The 4 Pillars of Leadership. Cape Town: Struik Christian Books.



  • The title must be in italics and capitalise all words except for articles, pronouns, conjunctions.
  • Surname; initials or full name. Year of publication. Title. Place of publication: name of publisher.
  • If you have not used the whole book, include the pages after the name of the publisher. (Abbreviation for page is “p” and for pages “pp”).




Book – one author

Maxwell, John C. 2004. The 4 Pillars of Leadership. Cape Town: Struik Christian Books.


Book – more than one author

Brown, B and White, W. 2012. Perceptions of Colour. Cape Town: David Phillips.


Article in a book

Mauve, M. 2010. The Effect of Colour on Mood. In Brown, B and White, W. Ed. 2012. Perceptions of Colour. Cape Town: David Phillips.


Magazine article

Kennedy, S. 2016. Who will be the next President of the USA? Time. 1 February, 2016. pp 15-21.


Newspaper – print

Citizen, J. 2016. Impeach the President. The Daily Crimes. 1 April 2016, p 3.


Newspaper – online

Same as for web pages


Web pages

Always use an individual author, if stated. This is often stated with the copyright details. Use the date if available (look at copyright details).


Collegiate Girls’ High School. 2016. Pursuing Excellence through Holistic Education. [Internet]. Port Elizabeth: ZA Webs Hosting. Available from: [accessed 4 April 2016].


Online articles, books etc

Use the standard referencing for an article or a book, but include web address and date accessed. Eg:

Griffiths, H. Feb 23, 2016. “How to Budget for a New Car”. Carbuyer. Dennis Publishing Limited, viewed 4 April 2016,



Roberts, Janet. (, 1 April 2016. Tournament Results. Email to (



De Caprio, Leonardo. Personal interview. 20 February 2007.


Illustrations (i.e. cartoons, photos, charts, diagrams, tables)

Under the illustration:

Number and caption eg 1. Beach Mona by Caroline

In bibliography, repeat the number and caption followed by website address or details of book or source. Eg:

1. Beach Mona by Caroline Mona Lisa by Kids. Thursday, May 10, 2007.


Blog entry

Hicks, Kirsten. 2016. ‘Robots in Education: What’s Here and What’s Coming.’ Edudemic: Connecting Education and Technology. Blog entry, 22h31, 9 February, viewed 4 April 2016.

(Author. Year of posting. Title of individual blog entry. Name of blog in italics. Blog entry. Sponsoring organisation [if any], time accessed using 24 hour style, day, month of posting, viewed day, month, year, web address of blog.




Blog comment

Quist, Megan. 2016. ‘Do you think’, Robots in Education: What’s Here and What’s Coming , Blog comment, Edudemic, 12h09, 16 February, 2016, Viewed 12 May 2016, 

(Author. Year of posting. Title of comment or first few words in single inverted commas. Name of blog in italics. Blog comment. Sponsoring organisation [if any]. Time accessed using 24-hour style. Day, month of posting. Viewed day, month, year. Web address of blog.)


Podcast or vodcast

Sztabnik, Brian. 2013 ‘Understanding by Design with Grant Wiggins.’ Talks with Teachers. Podcast, 6 December, viewed 12 July 2016,

(Main presenter, year of broadcast, title of podcast in inverted commas, Title of programme or name of website, placed produced (if known), day and month of broadcast, viewed day, month, year, internet address.


Online viewing

NOTE: for any online viewing i.e. video clips, sound recordings, music, follow the standard format such as for podcast, and state the media i.e. video clip.


Television programmes; films

These start with the title, followed by the year of broadcast or production. If viewed in a specific format, eg DVD, online streaming etc, include this after the date.

For example: The Exploits of a Mad Scientist. 2014. Film in DVD format, Production House, Cape Town.

For a television programme you watched on the broadcast date, include the date at the end.

Jackets. 2016. Television programme, DSTV, Johannesburg, 10 June.




reference list is a list of the sources of all your paraphrasing of passages and quotations from material of others.

bibliography lists all the sources that you used for background reading as well the sources you referred to directly through paraphrasing and quoting.

The sources for both are listed alphabetically by the author’s surname. Do not number the sources in the list, nor use bullet points.

Provide only a reference list, unless your teacher stipulates that you must include both a reference list and a bibliography.



De Jager, K and Steele, D (Ed.) (2015) Harvard UCT: Handbook on Citation, University of Cape Town Libraries [Internet], pdf downloaded 4 April 2016.

St Mary’s Senior School Resource Centre. How to Compile a Bibliography, [Internet]pdf downloaded 4 April 2016.

University of Exeter, Department of Lifelong Learning (2005). Referencing – The Harvard System [Internet], pdf downloaded 4 April 2016.