Cite Them Right: The essential referencing guide

by Richard Pears and Graham Shields (Red Globe, 2019): 11th edn, 255pp, £11.55 (pbk)
ISBN 978 1 352 00513 4

Reviewed by Mary Hobbins

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This eleventh edition of Cite Them Right is part of the Macmillan Study Skills series. It is aimed primarily at students and authors, but could also prove a useful resource for those of us who edit publications containing references of any kind. For students and academics there is a full online accompaniment available using their institution subscription login.

The book is written in a clear, friendly, non-stuffy style with a detailed table of contents, a glossary and an index for the Harvard referencing style. The authors begin at square 1, explaining acknowledgement and identification of others’ work to avoid plagiarism, and discuss in some detail quoting, paraphrasing and summarising as well as citing and referencing conventions and software available to manage sources. There follows eight colour-coded sections dealing with the main referencing methods: Harvard; American Psychological Association (APA); Chicago; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE); Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA); Modern Language Association (MLA); Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA); and Vancouver.

The section covering IEEE style is new to this edition and that for Chicago has been updated to bring it into line with the 17th edition of CMOS. For each of the methods, the authors cover a wide variety of sources and show how to cite in the relevant style and how to set out the matching reference entry. They are bang up to date with citing social networking posts as well as datasets, GPS coordinates, surveys, green papers, international standards and much else besides.

I showed this book to a friend – a mature student studying robotics at university – to get his opinion; it turns out that he has been struggling with the whole business of referencing correctly, and he was glued to the new IEEE section with much interest. If you work directly with students this is a good resource to point them at or if you are stumped for how to cite someone’s body art, a MOOC, a museum’s temporary exhibition, an unrecorded telephone conversation or a Twitter post, this may well point you in the right direction as well.


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