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2.1 What is meant by 'acknowledging sources'?

Acknowledging sources means providing written recognition of any ideas that are used or adapted for students' work.

  • You need to provide the name of the original author and details of where you found the information.
  • You may need to acknowledge sources within the body of a work.
  • You should acknowledge sources at the end of your work.
  • 'Referencing', 'citing' and 'attribution' are terms often used to refer to the acknowledgement of sources.

The following types of source materials should be acknowledged:

advertisements

other students' work

others' ideas

blogs

encyclopedia articles

personal interviews

CDROMs and DVDs

letters

pictures

magazines

maps

TV programs

pamphlets

journals

newspapers

movies

artworks

teachers

lecturers

books

websites

emails

discussion groups

music

The following types of sources do not need to be acknowledged:

  • your own experiences
  • your own experimental results
  • common knowledge.

Common knowledge includes:

  • facts that are commonly known (eg there are twelve months in a year)
  • facts that are so well known that they are easily available in a number of different kinds of sources (eg World War II began in 1939)
  • commonsense observations (eg interest rates going up will affect mortgage payments).

Consider these situations

Q: As part of a History research task you conducted an interview with your elderly neighbour to find out about his experiences during the Second World War.

Should you acknowledge this interview as a source even though you have not used any of his exact words?

Q: You worked in a group to research a segment of your PDHPE assignment. Each group member was responsible for contributing and writing information related to their own experiences.

Should you acknowledge the information contributed and written by another group member?

Q: Your uncle wrote you a letter about his experiences as a soldier in the army and enclosed an old newspaper article that gave you an idea for your Visual Arts Body of Work.

Should you acknowledge the letter and the newspaper article?

Quiz

What next

Work through each step in the module:

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