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Using In-text reference verbs

Learning Outcomes

This package will help you to:

  • distinguish between integral and non-integral in-text references
  • use referencing verbs effectively

Integral referencing (author-prominent), highlights the author’s name(s) and uses a reporting verb to introduce the source information. The year of publication is given in brackets after the author’s name. For example:

  • Qian (2013) investigates the association between vocabulary knowledge and L2 reading ability.

  • Knowing a word, as pointed out by Roberts (1976) and Simmonds (2014), involves much more than associating the form of a word with a simple statement of its meaning.

If you include a direct quotation, the page number is needed, e.g

  • In a recent article, Booker (2011, p. 12) maintains that “levels of English in Hong Kong’s universities have remained similar in recent years”.

Non-integral referencing (information-prominent), highlights the information presented. The name and the year of publication, both in brackets, are given before the full stop. For example:

  • Vocabulary is often regarded as the most essential aspect of English learning in mainland China (Cortazzi & Jin, 1996).

The table below compares reasons for employing integral and non-integral citations.

  Integral Non-integral
for use
  • highlight author(s)
  • reporting verbs can be used to show opinion, distance and attitude as well as type of information and research cited
  • highlight information
  • useful for widely accepted facts, data and statistics
  • lower word count

Quotations in academic writing

Sometimes, quotations are used as part of citations. With a quotation, the original text is unchanged. Note that long quotes are not often used in academic writing. Instead, phrases or even a single word are more commonly quoted. When quoting, you need to make sure these phrases or words fit your context and are used to clearly communicate your intended meaning. See examples below:

  • English is still considered as the “high” language in Hong Kong, and is related to “success, stylishness and academic achievement” (Pennington, 1998, p. 13).

  • English has never been a second language for “the majority of the population” in Hong Kong although it might once have been a second language for “a small elite of the population” (Palvey, 1998, p. 77). 
A quote of one sentence is also acceptable, but if you want to quote two or more sentences from a source, you should start on a new line and indent (indent = press the tab button on your computer keyboard).
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Using Reporting Verbs

Integral referencing is generally preferred by academic writers as their use of reporting verbs can provide readers with further details regarding the source information and the writer’s attitude towards the information cited.

Task 1   Reporting verbs

Complete the table below by typing the reporting verbs below in the corresponding function box in the table. Some examples are already there to guide you.

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