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Citation

This page explains when and how to use citations in your assignment. 

When writing assignments, you sometimes refer to the observations and works of others. Citations can be used to back up your findings and arguments. 

Note that a citation should never be detached from the rest of the text; you need to comment on it and explain it as part of your overall argumentation. It is important that you cite correctly and consistently throughout your assignment so your reader can see to what and to whom you are referring. 

Read more about AU’s principles for referencing (see p. 4 of the publication (in Danish)). 

As a general rule, a citation 

  • is a verbatim reproduction of written or spoken text. 

  • is clearly marked in the text by means of quotation marks, formatting or indents, for example. 

  • includes clear specification of source. 

  • is always in the original language 

How to cite a work?

Your citation practice first of all depends on the type of referencing you opt for. 

A citation can be marked in different ways, e.g. with quotation marks, an indent, narrower line spacing or a different font. If you leave out a part of the citation, you can indicate this with (...) or [...]. You can also leave out the brackets. 

The rules for how to include citations in your assignment differ depending on the length of the citation. Read more about the difference between short and long citations below.  

Short citations

The rules for how to include citations in your assignment differ depending on the length of the citation. Short citations:  

  • are less than 40 words (APA) or less than 3-4 lines (MLA). 

  • are written into the running text and marked by quotation marks. 

  • usually do not have to be emphasised further, but if you want to put more focus on citations, e.g. with italics, be consistent throughout your assignment. 

Example: 

The main purpose if this study was to examine "one of the leading causes of death worldwide" (Fleuren et al. 2020), and furthermore...

Long citations

The rules for how to include citations in your assignment differ depending on the length of the citation. Long citations: 

  • are longer than 40 words (APA) or more than 3-4 lines (MLA). 

  • are marked with a line break before and after the citation, and with an indent. Quotation marks are not required. 

  • usually do not have to be emphasised further, but if you want to put more focus on citations, e.g. with less line spacing or a different font, be consistent throughout your assignment. 

Example

The study proposes further investigations to determine clinical impact:

"Finally, future research is needed to determine effective integration strategies of these models into the clinical workflow and assess the effect on relevant clinical outcomes. Interestingly, most models only use a small subset of the wealth of available data to clinicians, which may present an opportunity for future models to further increase predictive performance." (Fleuren et al. 2020).

Further investigations are necessary to not only enlighten the potential these models hold but also provide information about...

Integrate your citation into the text

It is important when citing that the citation is not detached from the rest of the text, but is commented on and integrated into the text. Below is an excerpt from an assignment where the citation is discussed in the following text. 

Example

The purpose of art is defined as follows: 

"with the means of materials, to wrest the percepts from the perceptions of objects and the states of a perceiving subject, wrest affects from the affections as a transition from one state to another. To extract a block of sensations, a pure being consisting of sensation" (op. cit. p.211ff.). 

Deleuze and Guattari thus operate with a definition of a work in which the work – as far as I can see – is largely autonomous and independent of both the artist and recipient (the work must be able to stand on its own), and also independent of any contextual connection. 

The example is taken from “Koncept-Poetik. Undersøgelser af en dramaturgisk term med The Wooster Group og Remote Control som eksempler”, Master's thesis from 1998, Department of Dramaturgy, Aarhus University, by Kjetil Sandvik, Master of Arts, dramaturgy, aesthetics and culture, PhD and associate professor of media studies at University of Copenhagen 

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The information about formalities is general guidelines. They do not replace the provisions in your academic regulations, your lecturers ' guidance or information on your course's website. First, please contact the above-mentioned locations. If in doubt, ask your supervisor.