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May 15, 2024

Assignment Task Overview:

This assignment focuses on the critical aspect of literature research and the proper use of citations and bibliography in scientific writing. It emphasizes the importance of sourcing high-quality literature and using appropriate citation methods to acknowledge the work of others.

Literature Research:

Writing an essay or dissertation involves conducting comprehensive literature research to gather relevant information. It is crucial to critically evaluate the quality and scope of the literature found. Reliable sources include peer-reviewed scientific journal articles, textbooks, and specialized books related to the topic. While the internet can provide initial insights, sources like Wikipedia are inadequate for scientific referencing due to inconsistent standards.

Quality of Scientific Sources:

  • High Quality: Peer-reviewed journal articles and specialized books are preferred for their credibility and reliability.

  • Good Quality: "Grey literature" from official publications like government agencies or think tanks can provide valuable insights, though quality can vary based on the publisher and information source.

  • Bad Quality: Common websites, anonymous-authored texts, or newspaper articles are unsuitable for scientific papers due to potential biases and lack of credibility.

Citation and Bibliography:

In scientific writing, proper citation practices are essential to acknowledge the work of others and enable readers to access the same sources. Citations serve to differentiate between personal thoughts and referenced information, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Citation Rules:

  1. Summarization or Paraphrasing: When summarizing or paraphrasing information, include author names and publication year in parentheses. For example: "Protected areas displace local people in Africa (Cernea, 2006)."

  2. Summarizing from Multiple Sources: If summarizing information from multiple sources, order citations by year and name, separated by commas. For instance: "Protected areas have displaced local people (Schmidt-Soltau, 2001; Cernea, 2006)."

  3. Direct Quotations: When directly quoting, specify the page number in addition to author and year. For example: "The conservation community should reconsider its engagement in African countries" (Cernea, 2006, p. 182).

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