Academic Writing page 1 of 10 Referring to Other Work There are 2 main ways of reporting other work. The first way emphasises the information, the second way emphasises the author. The first way is more typical in more factual/scientific reports. The second type is more common in discussion/argument reports where ideas/information are not so certain. 1. Information Emphasis The simplest way to mention other work in your writing is to make a statement summarising the facts or ideas and then give the reference in brackets, or reference number in brackets or as a footnote: Recent consumer oriented applications easily absorb an exponential increase in processing power (Sasaki 1996). 2. Author Emphasis Another way, which emphasizes more the people who have done the work, as well as your or their attitude to the ideas, involves using various reporting verbs or phrases (see the list on the following pages): Quarantelli (1987) and others have added that there is every reason to think we will have both quantitatively and qualitatively more difficult disasters in the decades to come. ……that or …..As.. ? Two ways: Johnson (1990) explains that paintings from that period are rarely found today. As Johnson (1990) explains, paintings from that period are rarely found today. Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 2 of 10 Which Tense to Use? These are the most common tenses: Present Simple – if the idea is recent, or you want to suggest that it is a well established fact, or it is still true today: D’Amico and Rubinstein rightly argue that “the success of a negotiation pivots on issues of language.” They point out that “Language provides a rich resource for cultural research” (1999: 390). Present Simple Grammar Note: be careful with singular/ plural agreement: e.g. CORRECT: “Results from a previous descriptive study suggest that …..” WRONG: “Results from a previous descriptive study suggests that …..” The main idea is: “Results…suggest..” (the subject is RESULTS) not “…study suggests….” Present Perfect – if the idea has just been developed recently, or several pieces of research up to the present are mentioned: The evolution of traffic has been evaluated by Marchetti (1988), using the UMOT (unified mechanism of travel) model Previous work has suggested that the presence of a grandmother in the household may reduce the likelihood of parental childcare involvement for girls more than boys (Short et al.. 2001). Past Simple – you want to emphasise that the work was done in the past, it’s finished, and perhaps things are different now. Wasserman and Varnik (1998) conducted a study of the reliability of statistics on violent death and suicide in the republics of the former USSR. Compare the following and what they could mean: 1. Watson and Harrison (2005) claim that this zircon formed at a temperature of 7000 C. (this is recent and it could be true) 2. Watson and Harrison (2005) claimed that this zircon formed at a temperature of 7000 C. (perhaps this work is older or perhaps it has been shown that this is not true now) 3. Watson and Harrison (2005) have claimed that this zircon formed at a temperature of 7000 C. (this is recent and it could be true) Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 3 of 10 REPORTING VERBS AND PHRASES Below is a list of common verbs that are used in reporting other work, with an example and explanation of the meaning. They are organized in approximately similar areas of meaning. Verb (phrase) Example Meaning Say etc. Say (that) As Smith (1999) says, governments need to look into the problem more Simple – not very carefully. formal though State (that) Quarantelli (1980) stated that research literature had not provided a Same as the above but model of evacuation decision making. more formal Note (that) W. Mills (1959) noted that if there was one unemployed man in a city, Mentions, a less that was his personal problem. important point Point out (that) As Gusfield (1981, p. 13) points out, ‘‘Acceptance of a factual reality often Mentions something hides the conflicts and alternative potentialities possible.” that perhaps not everyone realises Report (that) Noji (1997, p. 11) reported increases in the number of natural disaster Information found from events, deaths, deaths per event concerning the processes of facility a study evacuation. Declare (that) Portman et al. (1989) declare their interest in prolonging the debate. Admit or state your idea strongly, or clearly- perhaps others don’t agree Add (that) Quarantelli (1987) and others have added that there is every reason to More information think we will have both quantitatively and qualitatively more difficult about a subject disasters in the decades to come. Build on …(idea, work, Ainsworth (1978) built on Bowlby’s ideas about exploratory bases Do more work on the research) same subject Predict (that) Pezzoli (1991, p. 207) predicts that such conflicts and contradictions will Say that something Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 4 of 10 increase will happen in the future Identify etc. Identify Drabek (1991) identified perceived personal risk as a characteristic Information found from positively associated with initiating an adaptive response. a study Show (that) Results from laboratory studies show that E. coli can remain alive for up Show! to 5.5 months (Gerba and Keswick, 1981). Demonstrate (that) Astin’s (1993, 1999) work on college adjustment demonstrates that active Show , make clear, involvement in all areas of college life is associated with emotional well- perhaps by explaining being and academic and social success. how something was done Indicate (that) The American Academy of Microbiology indicated that the safety of Show (more formal) drinking water is declining throughout the world because of suggest microbiological contamination (Hart,1996). Present (the case) De Falla (19994) presents the case in support of tighter controls. Show, explain, describe Testify (to) The work of Bryant and May (1987) testifies to the need for greater Show, confirm (that) precautions in such studies. Observe etc. Observe (that) Aastrup and Munck (1982) observed that a line with low ß-d-glucan Noticed in the content possessed a thin cell wall. experiment, or mention Describe However, a 1961 paper by Plotkin and colleagues described seven pools of Say what something is CHAT, two of which were made at the Wistar Institute, and three at other like or what happened laboratories (Plotkin et al.. 1961) Detail Ferguson (1998) has detailed how this affected the civil right movement. Describe in detail Record Mathur (1942) and Brown (1968) record Morus as a host-plant for P. Write down, note nugatrix. Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 5 of 10 Mention and stress etc Mention (that) Franck (1999) mentions some of the difficulties connected with Say in short way, or enforcement. about something not very important Refer to Key research on evacuation in the United States refers to the evacuation mention process (Drabek 1969) Draw attention to (the Blanche (1995) draws attention to the limitations of this approach. Mention something fact that/ the Burton R. Clark (1960) drew attention to the importance of cooling-out in that could be forgotten importance of) higher education Point out As Henner-Stanchina and Holec (1985) point out, self-assessment need Mention something not be norm-referenced. that could be forgotten Point to ( + noun) Fillmore et al.. (1988) point to the need for greater flexibility in dealing Mention something with the concept of the word. important Emphasise (that) The study emphasizes urban rather than plantation slavery (Peterson To say that it is more 1999). important, or talk more about Highlight Bramki and Williams (1984) have highlighted the problems specialist Similar to the above Underline vocabulary can pose. Stress (that) Bring out Similar to the above Explain etc. Explain (that) Define Fredrickson and Mitchell (1984) defined a comprehensive decision-making Explain the exact process as one that is exhaustive in the generation and evaluation of meaning of a word or alternatives. idea Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 6 of 10 Find, discover etc. Find (that) In this study decreasing glucanase activity during grain filling was found. Find! (Leon et al. 2000) Discover (that) Livingston et al. (2000) discovered a worrying trend in migration Find patterns. Detect (that) Randall (1984) and Bowers and Brown (1992) detected regularity in the Find – perhaps with spacing of D. spectabilis mounds. more difficulty Reveal (that) Major research findings reveal that organizations typically experience Find – perhaps with serious problems in the movement of institutionalized populations such as more difficulty or a hospitals, jails, nursing homes, and residential campuses (Hans and Sell more surprising 1974). discovery Establish (that) Taylor and her colleagues’ (Taylor & Pham, 1996; Taylor et al.., 1998) Show from their work research on mental simulation has established that imagining the process that something is quite of pursuing a goal facilitates obtaining that goal. certain Confirm (that) Brancaccio et al. (2000) confirmed that amyloid deposits strongly reacted We thought this was with the deposits. true and this information also makes us believe that it really is true Identify (that) Kipnis, Schmidt, and Wilkinson (1980) identified eight influencing Found and described tactics at work in organizational situations. Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 7 of 10 Opinions… Hold the view that Montefiore (1988) holds the view that this can lead to genetic imbalance For an opinion Make the case that in the population at large. Express the view that Six in ten (60%) Canadians express the view that Canada should only Put forward the view provide military assistance for any military action taken against Iraq if that the United Nations, not just the United States, decides that military action is required Argue (that) Charles Crothers (1991) argues that, as a group, students undergo "status Says this idea but perhaps degradation" other people don’t agree Agree (that) This does not agree with the findings of Wangsotorn (1981) or Blue Have the same idea (1988). Affirm (that) Phillips et al.. (1997) affirm that the PMR statistic is not a suicide rate. Similar to confirm Admit (that) Vidal (1978) acknowledges the limitations of the sample size. Agree that another Acknowledge (that) person’s idea is correct Accept (that) the Hong Kong Education Commission (1990) accepted the logic of this perspective Support (the view The present study supports the findings of earlier work on subcultures in Agree with that/of - the /findings the workplace. that/of) Recognise (that) Wu and Zhu (1981) recognised that there were two species of Chlumetia Notice, Accept, understand on mango in China. as true Assume (that) Baumann (1989) studied the assumption that adult children often abuse We accept that an idea is (noun: assumption) elderly parents. true even though we are not sure Presume (that) Similar to the above Believe (that) Question (whether) Speilman et al (1988) question the need for further work in this area. Question here means disagree Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 8 of 10 Ask him/herself why Wonder (if/why) Disagree (that) Disagree! Dispute (that) Strong disagreement Reject (the claim that) Parkinson and Swithin (1988) reject the claim that their work Very strong disagreement (the view that) interferes with the natural process. Contradict Our findings contradict those of earlier researchers. Say the opposite of something Suggest etc.. Suggest (that) Results from previous descriptive studies suggest that ratio analysis Makes us think that this is true is not the appropriate analytical procedure (Biggs et al. 1989) Suggest (that) Ware (1979: 80–1) suggests that the ‘membership style of party Mentions a new idea organization’ produces ideologically and organizationally rigid parties. Maintain (that) Express belief firmly, perhaps others disagree Claim (that) Pantin (1968) claims that certain disciplines are restricted. Says this but other people might not agree (stronger than the above) Assert (that) Cervero and Wilson (1994a) asserted that bargaining is the strategy Same as above (but stronger) of choice. Contend (that) Same as above Warn (that) Mausner & Kramer (1985) also warn about interpreting the PMR as Tell of the danger a risk measure. Allege (that) Say that someone did this bad thing Propose (that) Simon (1960) proposed that human thought is governed by programs Suggest a new idea that organize myriads of simple information processes into orderly, complex sequences. Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 9 of 10 Urge Watson (1999) urges the government to increase funding for this Suggest strongly work. Uncertain…. provide evidence that These models provide evidence that existing knowledge in this area Give information that makes us is limited (Libby 1981) think something is true Appear to The work of Beal et al.. (1983) appears to suggest the need for Similar to the above, but perhaps (suggest/claim etc. ) pressure treatment of wood in contact with soil. some might not agree that Seem to (suggest/claim Similar to the above, but perhaps etc. ) that some might not agree Imply (that) The findings of the present study imply that the situation is not as Makes one believe that something clear as previously thought. is true from the information found Suspects (that) Bavelier (2004) suspects that it is the complex demands placed on Thinks that this is the probable the visual system by action games that leads to the improvements. explanation but is not sure Study etc. Review This essay reviews the archaeological interpretations of slavery in Discuss all the other research in the southern United States. this subject Study Look at Robert Dreeben (1968) looked at school culture and concluded that it Study, look at taught students to "form transient social relationships,…. Examine Boothroyd (99) examined the data from the computerized process- Study carefully tracing experiment In conclusion… Conclude (that) Bowers and Brown (1992) concluded that other rodent species may State an idea based on the be relegated to areas beyond 13m. information collected Sum up (by) Similar to the above Reach the conclusion Similar to the above Academic Writing Referring to Other Work Page 10 of 10 that Summarize Lambert (1990, 1992) summarized his research about what has Make a summary become known as the Canadian immersion program.
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