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Why do I need to use and cite the research of others?

Scholarship involves researching, understanding and building upon the work of others.

It requires that you give credit where it is due and acknowledge the contributions of others to your own intellectual efforts, be they world famous experts, your teachers or fellow students.

Incorporating the research of others by citing demonstrates your ability to research and your understanding of a topic or problem. It identifies who is bringing what voice to the conversation.

QUT Cite|Write's APA style involves citing resources in-text as well as in your reference list. Read the Getting started with APA which  includes examples of in-text citations and reference lists.

Ways to cite

Direct quote vs paraphrase vs summarise

Original source:

Transit provides basic mobility services to people in their day-to-day activities. It helps to reduce road congestion, travel time, air pollution, and energy consumption compared to other travel modes. Nevertheless, a large proportion of commuters are reluctant to use transit as their preferred mode choice. Understanding of reasons behind disinclination to transit ridership is of utmost importance to transit agencies.   Source: Kashfi, S. A., Bunker, J. M., & Yigitcanlar, T. (2015). Understanding the effects of complex seasonality on suburban daily transit ridership. Journal of Transport Geography, 46, pp. 67-80.

Direct quote: word-for-word from source
It's perfectly phrased
Paraphrase: in your own words
To show I understand
Summary: brief mention in own words
For overview or description

Traffic congestion due to car use is a major issue in cities, however “a large proportion of commuters are reluctant to use transit as their preferred mode choice” (Kashfi, Bunker & Yigitcanlar, 2015, p. 67).

Kashfi, Bunker and Yigitcanlar (2015) found that commuters are hesitant to use public transport as the standard method of travel (p. 67).

It is important to consider why many commuters do not use public transport, as it affords many benefits (Kashfi, Bunker & Yigitcanlar, 2015).


How do I...Example figure

Incorporate others' images, diagrams or tables?...

The image should have relevance to the content, be referred to in the text of the assignment and be referenced.

  • In text: "The strategic priorities of Engineers Australia as illustrated in Figure 1. prioritise sustainability…"
  • Refer to the image with a caption (i.e. Figure 1. Engineers Australia Strategic Priorities)
  • If an online source, provide a link to the URL (e.g.
  • Provide the full reference in the reference list eg. 
    Engineers Australia. (2014). Strategic priorities 2014-15 to 2016-17. Retrieved September 7, 2016, from

QUT Cite|Write

For more information on referencing and academic honesty visit QUT Cite|Write or ask at the HiQ.

Subjects: Engineering / Aerospace engineering, Engineering / Chemical process engineering, Engineering / Civil engineering, Engineering / Computer and software systems engineering, Engineering / Electrical engineering, Engineering / Mechanical engineering, Engineering / Mechatronics engineering, Engineering / Medical engineering
Tags: egb100, engineers without borders, EWB Challenge 2019