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How to Refer

References are made so that the reader can see whose text or ideas are being quoted. The reference also allows the reader to explore the subject in more detail or to check the accuracy of the information. 

Always try to get the original source, as information can be distorted if it passes through many readers and authors. So do not take references from another author's text directly into your own. If the original source is too difficult to obtain, include both in the list of sources: the original source and the one from which you found the reference.

To make your text flow smoothly, try to fit the ideas from the sources seamlessly into your own text. Remember that unnecessary references should not be made. The ideas from the sources should relate in some way to the background of your text or to your own thoughts on the subject. Also, ideas taken from sources should not be taken out of context in a way that changes their message.

Do not quote directly unless necessary. There is rarely a need for direct quotes.

Changing the word order or individual words does not make the text yours and can be interpreted as plagiarism. Explain things to the reader in your own words and try to summarize the key points from the source so that they fit into your own text. You can use a variety of verbs related to speech or thought processes in your reference: write, define, state, assert, evaluate, mention, suggest, emphasize, point out...

Be sure to include sources in the context of figures, graphs and tables. Check whether you have permission to use figures or tables if they are copyrighted material. For help with copyright issues, you can contact for example the Kopiraittila Academy.

For more information on how to make references, see the Thesis Instructions at Karelia University of Applied Sciences.