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Forms of citation

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How can you integrate citations most effectively into your own text?

When you cite the work of other authors, you have choices about the way you make use of their work - and also of them. So, you may choose to focus either on the information or argument provided by the author, or on the author him- or herself. The first focus is called information prominent because it is the information which is given primary importance:

Example 1:

"For viscoelastic fluids, the behaviour of the time-dependent stresses in the transient shear flows is also very important (Boger et al., 1974)."

Notice how the author appears only in parentheses (brackets). This kind of citation is very common in the introductory part of literature reviews, where you are making generalisations about the topic, or where you are presenting information that is generally agreed to be true. In some disciplines, particularly technical ones, this kind of citation is the norm (see Exercise 2 below).

In the second type, author-prominent citation, the author's name is regarded as significant and given more emphasis. It can serve as the subject of the sentence, followed by the date or citation number in parentheses, and then by the information. Such citations can be either strong or weak, depending on how much emphasis is placed on the identity of the author (ie. author name in parentheses or not):

Example 2:

"Close (1983) developed a simplified theory using an analogy between heat and mass transfer and the equivalent heat transfer only case." (strong)

Example 3:

"It has been suggested by several authors that automated testing should be more readily accepted (Balcer, 1989; Stahl, 1989; Carver and Tai, 1991)." (weak)

Exercise 1

Try making Example 1 author-prominent, and Examples 2 and 3 information-prominent. How does the emphasis change in each one?


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Exercise 2

In the following drafts of an Engineering PhD student's paper (for a journal), the student is summarising a large amount of material. After discussion, he was able to reconceive the introductory paragraph as a number of topics (investigated by different authors) supporting a clear topic sentence. This enabled him more easily to identify for the reader how his own contribution was significant.

Earlier draft

Network planning problems are too complicated to be solved by a single technique. Therefore the tool which incorporates multi techniques is highly desirable. Many attempts have been made to realize a hybrid system. Stonebraker [2] described attempts to integrate knowledge base of rules with database of facts. Martini et al. [2] integrate rule-based expert system and operations research methods. Integration of rulebased features and object-oriented paradigm can be found in Bahr et al. [3]. Allemang [4] described combination of generic procedural form and case-based reasoning.

Later draft

Many attempts have been made to realise a hybrid system using multiple techniques. There have been attempts to explore an integration of rule systems into database systems, the use of mathematical models combined with rules and a combination of rules and an object-oriented modelling [3,4,5]. Another method that has also been combined into a hybrid system is case-based reasoning [6]. The integration of methods described in previous papers seems to offer only ad hoc solutions. None of them was based on a unified mechanism. In contrast, this paper describes a network planning tool that uses a fundamental mechanism within a constraint-based planning engine. This mechanism allows a tight integration of plannng rules, optimization algorithms, casebase and database modules into a planning system. Therefore, it ensures higher efficiency.

What are the specific changes he makes?

Comments

Author-prominent example

Example 1 Boger et al (1974) claim that for viscoelastic fluids, the behaviour of the time-dependent stresses in the transient shear flows is also very important.

Information-prominent example

Example 2 A simplified theory has been developed using an analogy between heat and mass transfer and the equivalent heat transfer only case (Close, 1983).

Information-prominent example

Example 3 It has been suggested that automated testing should be more readily accepted (Balcer, 1989; Stahl, 1989; Carver and Tai, 1991).

Exercise 2

[a]Many attempts have been made to realise a hybrid system using multiple techniques. There have been attempts to explore an integration of rule systems into database systems, the use of mathematical models combined with rules and a combination of rules and an object-oriented modelling [3,4,5].

Another method that has also been combined into a hybrid system is case-based reasoning [6]. The integration of methods described in previous papers [b]seems to offer only ad hoc solutions. None of them was based on a unified mechanism. In contrast, this paper describes a network planning tool that uses a fundamental mechanism within a constraint-based planning engine. This mechanism allows a tight integration of planning rules, optimization algorithms, casebase and database modules into a planning system. Therefore, it ensures higher efficiency.


[a] Note the topic focus on the "attempts" - the research which has been done.
[b] The disadvantage with previous research is identified.

The first paragraph is developed by listing the possible techniques
The second paragraph identifies the contribution of the current paper

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