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Library Guides

Architecture and Cities: Oxford Referencing

This guide covers the courses delivered within the Architecture + Cities School

Architecture Oxford Style citations and bibliography

Nick Beech has provided the following guidance for use of the Oxford citation and referencing style used within the School of Architecture. [Updated 2 December 2020]

The following guide is written for students on courses in the School of Architecture and Cities, particularly those students on undergraduate courses that are required to complete ‘Cultural Context’ modules (CC1: A history of architecture; CC2: Architectural history and urbanism; CC3: Dissertation).

The guide does two things: it tells you why you need to provide clear, accurate details of what you have studied; and it tells you how to make sure that you are providing accurate details of what you have studied.

The first part, ‘The Oxford Style Guide’, gives full details (with examples) of how to cite from different kinds of source material. Below the table, you will find discussions of ‘Plagiarism – what it is, and how to avoid it’ and ‘Citation Styles – what they are, and how to use the Oxford Style Guide’.

The following is a full table of different kinds of source material and how to cite them using the Architecture Oxford Style. In this style, you only need to provide full citation details on first citation. In all subsequent citation (in later footnotes) you can provide a ‘short citation’: this only needs to include the author surname, a short version of the main title, and page number (where relevant). Examples are given under Single Author Book, Single Author Journal Article, and Blog.

 

Material Type

Footnote

Bibliography

Single Author Book

1 John Heskett, Industrial Design, London: Thames and Hudson, 1980.

Heskett, John, Industrial Design, London: Thames and Hudson, 1980.

Multi- Author Book

Edwin Smith, Olive Cook and Graham Hutton, English Parish Churches, London: Thames and Hudson, 1976.

Smith, Edwin, Olive Cook and Graham Hutton, English Parish Churches, London: Thames and Hudson, 1976.

Edited Book

Andrew Peckham and Torsten Schmiedeknecht, eds, The Rationalist Reader: Architecture and rationalism in Western Europe, 1920–1940/1960–1990, London: Routledge, 2014.

Peckham, Andrew and Torsten Schmiedeknecht, eds, The Rationalist Reader: Architecture and rationalism in Western Europe, 1920–1940/1960–1990, London: Routledge, 2014.

Chapter in Edited Book

Mary Louise Lobsinger, ‘The New Urban Scale in Italy: On Aldo Rossi’s L’archittetura della città’, in Andrew Peckham and Torsten Schmiedeknecht, eds., The Rationalist Reader: Architecture and rationalism in Western Europe, 1920–1940/1960–1990, London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 346–52.

Lobsinger, Mary Louise, ‘The New Urban Scale in Italy: On Aldo Rossi’s L’archittetura della città’, in Andrew Peckham and Torsten Schmiedeknecht, eds., The Rationalist Reader: Architecture and rationalism in Western Europe, 1920–1940/1960–1990, London: Routledge, 2014, pp. 346–52.

Translations: inserted after first title.

Manfredo Tafuri, Venice and the Renaissance, translated by Jessica Levine, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.

Tafuri, Manfredo, Venice and the Renaissance, translated by Jessica Levine, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995.

Edited Works

Stuart Hall, Selected Political Writings, edited by Sally Davison and others, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

Hall, Stuart, Selected Political Writings, edited by Sally Davison and others, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

e-Book

THE SAME AS ANY PRINT BOOK IF ACCESSED THROUGH LIBRARY AND/OR LIBRARY DATABASE

e-Book (from Web resource)

William Morris, ‘Gothic Architecture’, marxists.org, 1889, paragraph 2, https://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/works/1889/gothic.htm (accessed 20 August 2020).

Morris, William, ‘Gothic Architecture’, marxists.org, 1889, https://www.marxists.org/archive/morris/works/1889/gothic.htm (accessed 20 August 2020).

Journal Article: single author

Jaques Heyman, ‘The Crossing Space and the Emergence of the Modern Professional Architect and Engineer’, Construction History, vol. 31, no. 1, 2016, 25–60.

Heyman, Jacques, ‘The Crossing Space and the Emergence of the Modern Professional Architect and Engineer’, Construction History, vol. 31, no. 1, 2016, 25–60.

Journal article: multi-author

Felipe Contier and Renato Anelli, ‘João Vilanova Artigas and the Meanings of Concrete in Brazil’, The Journal of Architecture, vol. 20, no. 3, June 2015, 445–73.

Contier, Felipe, and Renato Anelli, ‘João Vilanova Artigas and the Meanings of Concrete in Brazil’, The Journal of Architecture, vol. 20, no. 3, June 2015, 445–73.

Journal article online

THE SAME AS ANY PRINT JOURNAL IF ACCESSED THROUGH LIBRARY AND/OR LIBRARY DATABASE

Journal article (from web resource)

Ruth Levitas, ‘Morris, More, Utopia …and Us’, Morris and Utopia, a special issue of Journal of William Morris Studies, vol. 22, no. 1, 2016, 4–17, http://www.morrissociety.org/publications/JWMS/22.1winter2016/JWMS22.1winter2016.pdf (accessed 20 June 2020).

Levitas, Ruth, ‘Morris, More, Utopia …and Us’, Morris and Utopia, a special issue of Journal of William Morris Studies, vol. 22, no. 1, 2016, 4–17, http://www.morrissociety.org/publications/JWMS/22.1winter2016/JWMS22.1winter2016.pdf (accessed 20 June 2020).

Newspaper article

Simon Schama, ‘The Two Americas’, Life and Arts supplement, Financial Times Weekend, Saturday 31 October, pp. 1–2.

Schama, Simon, ‘The Two Americas’, Life and Arts supplement, Financial Times Weekend, Saturday 31 October, pp. 1–2.

Newspaper article (online)

Oliver Wainwright, ‘Grafton Architects wins 2020 RIBA gold medal, UK’s highest honour’, Guardian, Wednesday 2 October 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/oct/02/grafton-architects-wins-2020-riba-gold-medal-brutalist-buildings (accessed 20 June 2020).

Wainwright, Oliver, ‘Grafton Architects wins 2020 RIBA gold medal, UK’s highest honour’, Guardian, Wednesday 2 October 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/oct/02/grafton-architects-wins-2020-riba-gold-medal-brutalist-buildings (accessed 20 June 2020).

Web Document

RIBA, ‘A Decade of Action: RIBA members and the sustainable development goals’, RIBA, London: RIBA, 2020, https://www.architecture.com/-/media/GatherContent/RIBA-Part-3-examination-information/Additional-Documents/A-Decade-of-Action-RIBA-Members-and-the-Sustainable-Development-Goalspdf.pdf (accessed 19 October 2020).

RIBA, ‘A Decade of Action: RIBA members and the sustainable development goals’, RIBA, London: RIBA, 2020, https://www.architecture.com/-/media/GatherContent/RIBA-Part-3-examination-information/Additional-Documents/A-Decade-of-Action-RIBA-Members-and-the-Sustainable-Development-Goalspdf.pdf (accessed 19 October 2020).

Website

Alice Strang, ‘Fountainbridge Library, Edinburgh’, Twentieth Century Society [website], https://c20society.org.uk/building-of-the-month/fountainbridge-library-edinburgh (accessed 31 October 2020).

Strang, Alice, ‘Fountainbridge Library, Edinburgh’, Twentieth Century Society [website], https://c20society.org.uk/building-of-the-month/fountainbridge-library-edinburgh (accessed 31 October 2020).

Blog

Laura Sangha, ‘Decolonising and Black British History: a teaching resource’, the many-headed monster: the history of ‘the unruly sort of clowns’ and other early modern peculiarities [web blog] 21 September 2020, https://manyheadedmonster.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/decolonising-and-black-british-history-a-teaching-resource/ (accessed 19 October 2020).

Sangha, Laura, ‘Decolonising and Black British History: a teaching resource’, the many-headed monster: the history of ‘the unruly sort of clowns’ and other early modern peculiarities [web blog] 21 September 2020, https://manyheadedmonster.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/decolonising-and-black-british-history-a-teaching-resource/ (accessed 19 October 2020).

Unpublished Thesis

Michael Andrew Johnson, ‘Architectural taste and Patronage in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1870–1914’, Doctoral Thesis, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria University, 2009.

Johnson, Michael Andrew, ‘Architectural taste and Patronage in Newcastle upon Tyne, 1870–1914’, Doctoral Thesis, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumbria University, 2009.

Film

Brief City, directed by Jacques Brunius and Maurice Harvey, Central Office of Information/The Observer, 1952.

Brief City, directed by Jacques Brunius and Maurice Harvey, Central Office of Information/The Observer, 1952.

Podcast

‘Cave Art’, In Our Time, with Melvyn Bragg, BBC Radio 4, 2020. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mqn7 (accessed 19 October 2020).

‘Cave Art’, In Our Time, with Melvyn Bragg, BBC Radio 4, 2020. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000mqn7 (accessed 19 October 2020).

What are you being assessed for?

In all academic work that you submit, you need to demonstrate what you have learned. Assessments are designed so that you can demonstrate what you have learned. Many students studying architecture and related design courses fall into the trap of thinking that assessments in cultural context modules – essays, workbooks, short pieces of writing, or even a dissertation – are either

• An alternative to an exam (testing to see if the student has retained all the key ideas in a module)

• A ‘product’ that can be started once the ‘teaching’ has stopped (testing to see if the student is able to create new ideas)

This is not the case.

Assessments in cultural context modules are designed to introduce you to ways of finding out about the world – they ‘test’ your ability to study. The assessor doesn’t want ‘brilliant ideas, beautifully written’ when they read an essay. An assessor wants to know specific things: did you understand the question; have you addressed the question; have you found evidence to support your answer; have you shown critical skills to determine what is ‘good’ evidence and what is ‘bad’.

In almost all cases this means that assessors are primarily making a judgement about the following:

• Have you read anything – and if so, what have you read?

• Have you been able to choose which things you have read are relevant and useful and which are not?

• Have you found useful drawings (plans, sections, elevations, perspectives) and photographs and have you shown why these are useful?

• Have you organised your answer/ideas so that they make sense to other people, and have you understood and engaged with other people’s answers/ideas?

A key part of demonstrating all of the above is to let the assessor know what you have studied. One of the first things an assessor does when they mark your work is look at the bibliography (sometimes called a ‘list of references’, if you don’t know what a bibliography is, see below - ‘Bibliographies: What they are and how to style them’). That’s because the main thing an assessor wants to know is what you have read.

The next thing an assessor is likely to do is skim through your essay/dissertation checking to see what citations you have made to support key arguments, ideas, and facts in the essay. Again, this is because they want to know what you have read – but also, they want to know that you have understood what you have read, and that you have used what you have read to answer the question. Before finally reading your essay in detail, an assessor will likely look through the illustrations in your essay/dissertation and check whether they are relevant (that they show the plan for the correct building, or that the photograph of a particular detail is referred to and discussed in the essay) and not just ‘illustration’ (put there because the image looks good and it fills up lots of space), and that they have a reliable source (they are not just taken from a quick ‘google image’ search, that the photograph was taken by you or by an identifiable photographer, or the drawing was done by you or the designer).

As you can see – the assessor is always trying to find out two things at the same time:

• Have you got evidence of reading and researching – proven by showing sources for ideas, arguments, facts and supporting images?

• Is that evidence relevant to the argument you have produced for the essay/dissertation?

So – forget about being a ‘genius’, or coming up with a ‘clever argument’, or ‘using complicated words’, or ‘sounding clever’, or whatever it is you think that is being looked for in an essay. The most important thing you can do to succeed in writing assessments for cultural context modules is: show your work – what have you studied, how have you studied, what have you got to show for it?

 

Plagiarism - an academic offence; or, 'what happens when you write an essay the wrong way round'

Plagiarism isn’t just an issue in academic/university life: plagiarism happens in the ‘real world’ (journalism is often used as an example – but it can happen in architecture and other urban and design professions too) and it is a potentially criminal offence. At university, if you are caught plagiarising you can expect anything from a lower grade and warning at first offence, all the way through to a zero grade and exclusion from the university. Outside of university, if you are found plagiarising in a professional context you can face penalties – losing your job, your professional accreditation, and your reputation – and potentially legal proceedings. It is a serious business and equivalent to and potentially worse than theft, in ethical and material terms.

But what is ‘plagiarism’?

STEALING SOMEONE ELSE’S WORK

Plagiarism is the act of stealing someone else’s work – whether verbatim (copying word for word) or by paraphrasing (changing the words but keeping the idea). Just as if you copied someone else’s music on to a hard drive and then tried to sell that music as your own; or if someone else designed and made a chair and you took it and presented it as your own; or if someone spent a whole year making their design portfolio and on the day of submission you ripped their name from it and submitted it under your name – just as in all these cases it is clear that you would be acting in bad faith, stealing their work, and you would be penalised (academically or legally), so you will be if you copy someone else’s ideas and make them seem like your own in an essay. It doesn’t matter if you read it in a book, in a magazine, on the internet, or you saw it in an online lecture – if someone else has written or said the thing that you are trying to write or say, if you don’t acknowledge them as a source you are committing an act of plagiarism.

FAKING IT IS STILL STEALING IT

You are also committing an act of plagiarism if you pretend to have studied someone else’s work that you have not studied. This can often happen when students read a general history of architecture in which an author makes reference to an architect or other historian – the student then copies a quotation from that general history of architecture, and provides the citation given in that general history of architecture to another source, as if they, the student, had read the original work. For example: A student reads a chapter in Alan Colquhoun, Modern Architecture, about Le Corbusier. In that chapter, Colquhoun quotes Le Corbusier. Colquhoun provides a citation to the original text by Le Corbusier. The student then copies out the quotation, and the citation given by Colquhoun. This is an example of plagiarism in which a secondary source (Colquhoun) has been used to get details of a primary source (Le Corbusier) without acknowledging that. It is just the same as if you were a scientist working in a laboratory and, instead of actually conducting an experiment, you got the results from someone else’s experiment and published them as if you had done the work yourself.

YOU CALL IT CHEATING – WE CALL IT PLAGIARISM

If you get someone else to write your work for you – whether it is a friend, a member of the family, or you a get a stranger to do it (by persuasion or paying for it) – you are committing an act of plagiarism. And the penalties are just as severe as copying a passage of text without acknowledgment, in fact, they are far, far worse. This may seem straightforward – and in essence, it is. We expect students to submit their own work for assessment – and frankly, if you are not, it is not very clear why you are bothering with University at all. After all, what are you paying for? If you think the ‘certificate’ is what you are paying for, you are sorely mistaken: you are paying for access to those who can accurately assess your development as a student: your knowledge, your skills, your attributes. If you get someone else to do the work for you, you’re not only cheating others, you’re cheating yourself. But sometimes you need help: peers on the course, friends or family, often help out, particularly with written assignments. It’s OK to ask for help – we even offer services at University to help with study skills, writing skills, reading skills, note taking skills and so on. But if you ask for help, you can’t ask the person who is helping to do the work for you. It’s fine to ask someone to check your essay plan, or read your essay and give feedback. But if they spot things that need checking, if they suggest it needs redrafting – you are the person who needs to do that. And by doing it, you will learn how to do it better.

YOU CAN DO IT TO YOURSELF

There’s a final point about plagiarism in academic work that needs to be made clear: you can plagiarise yourself. If you have written the same thing before, in another piece of work and you don’t acknowledge that in a citation, you are committing an act of plagiarism. When you plagiarise yourself, the offence is related to the work – you have not acknowledged that you have already done the work. Remember the central point in the introduction: in assessments we are assessing what you have studied and how you have studied. If you haven’t done any study, just copied and pasted work from another course, or module that you’ve already completed, then we cannot assess your study (you haven’t done any). So, this counts as plagiarism. This isn’t just about ‘student life’. There are ‘real life’ consequences – if you pass off as new work something you have already done (and have already been paid for), then you are doing ‘something for nothing’. But it gets more serious than that: if you ‘pass off’ work that is old as work that is ‘new’, you may give the impression that something has happened, that someone has done something, or someone has said something, that hasn’t happened before, when actually it has: not only have you stolen, you have deceived.

TESTING OUR UNDERSTANDING OF PLAGIARISM

Below are some scenarios. Look through them and see if you can identify which are examples of plagiarism. In each case, consider both whether there is evidence of plagiarism, and what could have been done differently to prevent that plagiarism.

1. Studying for an essay about Mies van der Rohe, a student finds a useful website all about Mies’s design for the Farnsworth House. Not only does the website give useful details and facts, it also cites published academic sources for those facts. The student uses the information in their essay and cites the academic sources in their bibliography.

2. A student realises that a 2,000 word essay they did for a module in their second year really interested them and they would like to do a similar topic for their 10,000 word dissertation. They discuss this with their dissertation supervisor and she suggests that they concentrate on one particular issue that came up in the essay and research that in detail. When the student comes to write up their final dissertation, they realise that their original essay could make a really good introduction. They know they shouldn’t use their own work twice, so they rewrite the essay as an introduction – changing a few words but keeping the argument and the citations of the original.

3. A student submits their work in a draft form to a website that checks for grammar and spelling errors. They realise that there are a lot of mistakes in the essay. As they don’t have time to make all the corrections they get a family member who is very good at English to redraft the essay. They make sure that none of the ideas or arguments are changed and that all the citations are kept the same.

4. A group of students have started to work together. They meet regularly and like to share ideas and information in a chat group online. They often share journal articles, online books, and websites with each other, and generally discuss ideas. They continue to do this when they have essay assignments – they don’t write each other’s work, they don’t copy and paste quotes, but they do tell each other about good sources for information and ideas. They also comment on each other’s essay drafts – pointing out where the writing is unclear or hard to follow, or where they might need citations or source material.

5. A student needs a good plan of a building they are writing about to show how the architect developed their spatial designs. They find a drawing online, but it doesn’t have any details about who drew the plan or when. They copy and paste the plan into their essay and give the details of the original architect and the date when the building was completed.

6. A student finds a reproduction of a drawing by John Ruskin in a book about Victorian architecture – they scan the drawing from the book and insert the image in their essay. They provide the full details of when the drawing was made and that it was drawn by Ruskin.

The following shows which of the above are examples of plagiarism and which are not. In each case, examples of how to avoid plagiarism are also given. These might be slightly different to how you would have avoided plagiarism – but hopefully the principle will be the same: that to avoid plagiarism, you acknowledge other people’s work.

1. This IS PLAGIARISM. The author of the website did all the work – finding all the facts and finding the useful source material for those facts. All the student has done is copy the website. To avoid plagiarism the student has two choices – either provide a citation to the website itself and acknowledge the website as the sole source of their study. Or, go to the academic sources cited by the website, study those, and cite those as well as the website in their essay.

2. This IS PLAGIARISM. It isn’t enough to change the words of the original essay – the student is still using work they have already done and copying that for a new assessment. The student has two choices – either acknowledge the work is based on an essay they have already written, or, resist turning to their old essay and start study from scratch in the first place.

3. This IS PLAGIARISM. The student has asked someone else to rewrite their essay – their essay is not their own work. In this instance it would be fine if they asked the family member to confirm what the website has said, and even sit with them as they worked through the essay to improve it – but they cannot ask someone else to do that work for them.

4. This is NOT plagiarism. The students in this scenario are working together, supporting each other in their studies, but they are not copying each other’s work. They have to take care – they can’t offer to write each other’s essays, and they should be careful if they are writing on the same essay topic – ensuring that they develop their own arguments and structure for the essay question. Similarly – they shouldn’t be reading articles on behalf of each other and pulling out the most useful parts: but recommending articles, books, websites, etc. to each other is absolutely fine.

5. This IS PLAGIARISM. The student has copied and pasted someone else’s work into their essay. As they haven’t found the details of who made the drawing originally, they cannot attribute it to them – they have assumed that the original architect did the drawing. This is both poor scholarship (it is ‘guessing’ rather than establishing a fact) and it is a form of plagiarism. To avoid this form of plagiarism the student has two options: either find an image that is published with full attribution details (that is – details about who made the drawing, when they made it, and where it is currently stored) or, if such an alternative cannot be found, use the drawing that is anonymous, and provide details of the website from which it was taken.

6. This IS PLAGIARISM. It may seem that the student has provided all the necessary details – they have given the name of the original artist and the date it was drawn. However, they ALSO need to give details of where they found the drawing – which book, article, or website they found it in. This is very important because images, like texts, can be reproduced with different qualities (black and white instead of colour, distorted during the print process, details given that are in error). Identifying the source tells the reader where the student got the image from.

STILL UNSURE?

If you are still unsure about plagiarism – what it is and how to avoid it – there are a number of very helpful resources that you can access.

• For a generic guide to plagiarism see Academic Matters: Plagiarism

• For a guide to penalties applied by the University of Westminster for acts of plagiarism, go to the website here: Library Guides: Plagiarism

• An Avoiding Plagiarism Tutorial is available in Blackboard for all current students

• You can book a workshop on referencing and plagiarism here: Academic Skills Workshops

Please note – all the resources above are provided for students on all courses at the University, they may refer to specific citation styles – in the School of Architecture and Cities we encourage students to use the Oxford Style. The next section provides an introduction to citation styles and the Architecture Oxford Style Guide.

What are citations and when do you use them?

Citations – sometimes called ‘references’ – are short pieces of text that tell the reader where you have got your information from. If you have ever read a textbook, academic article or book, or scholarly work of any kind, you will have come across citations. They come in two major forms –either in-text, usually in parentheses like this: (Name, 2020), or in a note, either at the bottom of the page (a ‘footnote’) or at the end of the work (an ‘endnote’). I give full details below in Part Two: Citation Styles – what they are and how to use the Oxford Style Guide. But, before looking at that, when should you provide a ‘citation’? You must provide a citation every time you use someone else’s work. There are three kinds of instance where you will need to provide a citation:

1. When quoting another person’s work

2. When summarising another person/other people’s work

3. When making an argument or statement that requires evidence.

The following are three simple examples of these three instances that require citation:

1. Le Corbusier once said that: ‘Theory demands concise formulation’.

2. In the 1920s, Le Corbusier tried to formulate a theory of modern architecture.

3. Many modern architects formulated new theories of architecture in the 1920s.

Each of these sentences requires a citation that provides a precise source. But they require this source for slightly different reasons:

1. Le Corbusier once said that: ‘Theory demands concise formulation’.

This is a quotation – the quotation marks (single ‘quotation marks’) indicate to the reader that the words contained by them are not written by the author, they are written by someone else – in this instance, Le Corbusier. The reader needs to know exactly where this quotation is taken from so that they can go to that source and check it – including the page details if possible (if you only give details of the book then the person following up the citation would have to read the whole thing to find the one line that has been quoted!). The reason the person reading the work might want to find the source is not only to check that the quotation is correct, but so that the reader can check the context in which the statement was made. So, the page number and the publication details are really important. The reader also needs to know exactly which source was used: who published it, when, whether it is a reprint, whether it has been translated from one language to another (and if so, by whom), where it was published, and so on. These details are vital in case any errors in translation have crept in, changing the meaning of the quoted material. You may have very carefully written out the quotation, just as you read it: but what if the printer made an error! It’s not your fault – and you need to show the reader where you got your information from. But you may not have got the quote from a book by Le Corbusier – maybe someone else quoted him, and you are just using their quotation. You need to give the full details of where you got it from (and below, we show you how to do that). It’s important for the reader to know whether you read Le Corbusier’s work directly, or whether you read someone else who themselves quoted Le Corbusier – this will tell the reader what study you have done, and, importantly, it acknowledges the work of the person who quoted Le Corbusier. It isn’t ‘good’ or ‘bad’ whether you got Le Corbusier’s words from a book or article that he wrote, or whether you got it from another historian (or student!) of Le Corbusier – what matters is that you tell the reader where you found the quote.

2. In the 1920s, Le Corbusier tried to formulate a theory of modern architecture.

This isn’t a quotation of Le Corbusier’s words, and it is much less specific about the subject at hand. But it still requires evidence: you are still making a claim, and, given that you definitely were not around in person in the 1920s, the reader is not going to ‘take your word’ for it. So, we need evidence, we need a citation. Le Corbusier wrote about a lot of things in the 1920s, and he did more than try to formulate a theory of modern architecture – so we need a precise source, including page numbers. Again, the reader needs to know all the information about the publication that is being used as evidence – it may be a reprint, written at a different time, and so on. And again – it may be that you didn’t learn this, or think this, because Le Corbusier wrote something you read – it may be that you read someone else who said this – it’s important to tell the reader who that was. In either case – whether you have stated this because you have read something by Le Corbusier; or because you have read someone else stating this, you need to give the reader full details of not only the publication, but which pages in that publication, that you got this from.

3. Many modern architects formulated new theories of architecture.

This isn’t a quotation, and it is much broader than the previous two examples: in fact, this might just be your impression from listening to some lectures and reading a few books: after all, modern architects did seem to write about new theories! In day-to-day conversation, you don’t necessarily need to come up with evidence for this assertion. But when you are writing an essay, and trying to demonstrate that your argument is sound, the reader may think, either ‘no, modern architects didn’t come up with any theories of architecture’; or they might think ‘no, modern architects didn’t come up with any new theories of architecture’. Either way – if you wanted to ‘prove’ the argument, you would have to show some evidence. The reader needs to know exactly what kind of evidence there is to make this claim. In this instance, because you have referred to ‘many modern architects’ you can do one of two things: provide a citation to a historian or critic of modern architecture who has already made this claim (the danger being that that historian or critic might be wrong) or provide evidence for this claim by citing some of the many modern architects themselves (the danger being that you might not have the time to study all those architects!). In either case, you need to provide a citation – that citation might include one source (one author, from one text who’s claim you are repeating and affirming), or it might include multiple sources (many authors, many modern architects, all of whom have written, or claim to have written, new theories of architecture).

Some less clear examples.

Hopefully the above three examples are clear – you should take a look at them if not and think through the key points. What students find less clear are the following:

4. Le Corbusier’s architecture of the late 1950s, following the Second World War, was much more expressive and sculptural than his earlier pre-war works of the 1920s and 1930s.

5. The Second World War ended in Europe in 1945.

6. The rendered white surface of the Villa Savoye produces a clinical, cold effect on the ground floor.

These seem to be either opinions (in the case of 4 and 6) or basic, known facts (in the case of 5). How should you deal with these, and do you need to provide citations?

4. Le Corbusier’s architecture of the late 1950s was much more expressive and sculptural than his earlier works of the 1920s and 1930s.

In this instance you need to either provide a citation to another architectural historian or critic who has made this claim, or demonstrate what you mean, perhaps by comparing designs from the 1950s with those of the 1920s and 1930s and saying exactly how they are different. In both cases the sentence could be improved. In the first case, by writing: ‘[Insert architectural historian or critic’s name here] argues that Le Corbusier’s architecture of the late 1950s was much more expressive and sculptural than his earlier works of the 1920s and 1930s’. In this case, you would need to provide a citation to that architectural historian or critic, including full details of the publication and the page number. But what if this really is your opinion, based on what you’ve noticed about Le Corbusier’s architecture? In that case, you would not provide a citation. But you would still need to provide evidence. It is just that the evidence would come from providing photographs or drawings as figures (more on those below) and discussing them. In that case, the sentence might be better as follows: ‘Le Corbusier’s architecture of the late 1950s was much more expressive and sculptural than his earlier works of the 1920s and 1930s. The following shows why.’

5. The Second World War ended in 1945.

Students often ask ‘do I need to provide a citation for basic facts like the date of the end of the Second World War in Europe’? The answer is ‘no’ – you don’t need to provide citations for the names of cities, buildings, or people. You don’t need to provide citations for the dates of major historical events that are widely known.

6. The rendered white surface of the Villa Savoye produces a clinical, cold effect at the ground floor.

This is a similar case to (4) above – except now this really does seem to be an ‘opinion’, or ‘subjective feeling’ not grounded in any particular ‘facts’ at all. But once again, you do need to show how you know that the Villa Savoye produces a ‘clinical, cold effect at the ground floor’. If you have visited the Villa Savoye, and this is your first hand experience of the building, you should make that clear in the sentence – ‘When I visited the Villa Savoye, the white surfaces felt clinical and cold, particularly on the ground floor’. It’s very important that you make that clear to the reader – because the building you have visited may have changed since the 1920s, it may have decayed, it may be restored, it may feel different because it is being used differently. You may be right to feel that it is clinical, and cold, in effect – but the reader needs to know that you are basing that judgement on your first hand experience. But if you have read that this is the effect, you need to say who has said so. In fact, though this sentence refers to a ‘feeling’, not an objective fact in the world, it is even more important than ever that you provide a citation – either to something you have directly experienced, or to a reliable witness (historian, critic or architect), because otherwise the reader really will wonder ‘how do you know it has a ‘clinical, cold effect’?

You might start to wonder if there are any parts of the essay that shouldn’t include citations!

Throughout your essays, writing, dissertations, you will be writing about your arguments – how you have understood a question, how you are going to answer it, what your argument is, what your understanding is. In all these cases – you do not need to give a citation. On the other hand – yes, there are many, many places in an essay when you need to provide citations. In ‘Part Two’ I discuss various ways to manage citations so that you aren’t having to put them in at every sentence. But before exploring that issue further, let’s look at what happens if you don’t include a citation where you should.

Citations styles - what are they?; and how to use the Oxford Style Guide

All academic work must acknowledge the work of others. To do so requires that you provide citations: information that shows exactly where the reader can find the material you have used. This must include – the original author, the title of the work, where and when the work was published, and where relevant, details of any translators or major editors.

Because citations contain a complex set of information, they have to be provided with a fixed style: a set of rules that state exactly what information goes where in the citation. This is so that the reader can easily identify where to find the information cited – if a fixed style isn’t followed the reader can end up confused about who the author of a work is, which edition has been used, or where to find the information. Imagine a website address where all the details were jumbled up – you wouldn’t be able to find the website and would have to spend hours rearranging the details until you got the right address. Citations are the same.

Different Citation Styles: In-text and note

There are all sorts of different citation styles available and they are named after the universities and organisations that first founded them: Chicago (University of Chicago), Harvard (Harvard University), MLA (Modern Languages Association), MHRA (Modern Humanities Research Association), and so on. At the University of Westminster School of Architecture and Cities we use a style called the Oxford Style (University of Oxford).

All of these styles fall into one of two formats: in-text citation or note citation.

In-text citation styles give very basic details of any source in the text in parentheses (brackets) – typically the author’s surname, the date of publication, and a page number, thus:

(Bloggs, 1998, p. 12).

The full details of that citation are then provided in a bibliography (or ‘List of References’), which is put at the end of the essay and organised in alphabetical order of surname: Bloggs, Joe (1998). Note Citation Styles. London: Publishing Fun.

The alternative type of styles - note citation - provides full citation details (name of the author, title of the work, location of publication, publisher, and date of publication) in either a footnote, at the bottom of the page, or endnote, at the end of the essay. The footnote or endnote is indicated with a superscript numeral at the end of the sentence which corresponds to the footnote/endnote. Note citation styles also require a bibliography (or ‘List of References’) which is placed at the end of the essay. The bibliography for a note citation style contains the same information as the note, but again, it is organised in alphabetical order according to the surname of the author.

Architecture – Oxford Style Guide

In the School of Architecture and Cities we use a variation of the Oxford Style for providing citations. The Oxford Style is a note citation style. You insert a superscript number after the full stop to the sentence that you want to provide a citation for. This corresponds with a superscript number at the foot of the page. There you provide a full citation to the source/s. An example is given here.1

To do this, you can simply use the ‘Insert>footnote’ function in your word processing app (Office Word, Mac Pages, Google Docs, etc). Word processing apps will automatically update your footnote numbering. Footnotes should always run in a continuous series from 1> : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.

You can place more than one citation in a footnote if necessary, as we have here.2 But you must not use the same numeral in different parts of the text to refer to the same source. Instead, you insert a new footnote, and provide a ‘short version’ of the citation – just the author surname, title, and page number. An example is given here (compare this to the first footnote).3 The superscript numeral that links to the citation in the footnote should always go at the end of the sentence after the full stop. The citation in the footnote refers to the previous sentence – the best way to think about this is that you are first providing the information, and then giving the reader the details of where that information came from. That means that any citation details in a footnote must be relevant to the preceding sentence.

Footnotes:

1Joe Bloggs, Note Citation Styles, London: Publishing Fun, 1998, p. 12.

2Ashok Kumar, A History of Citation Styles, Dehli: University Press, 1994, p. 16; and, Jane Smith, Another Citation Style, Cambridge, MA: Big University Press, 2012, p. 13.

3Bloggs, Note Citation Styles, p. 13.

What if you have a paragraph, with four or five sentences, all of which refer to the same source – let’s say you are summarising a historian’s work about a particular architect. Do you have to give a footnote after every sentence? That depends – there are a number of solutions available. If the whole paragraph is a summary – and that is made clear in the paragraph itself – you might just insert a footnote at the end of the paragraph. If it isn’t clear in the way that you have written the paragraph, you might insert a footnote after the first sentence, and in that footnote write ‘The following paragraph is based on … [insert full citation]’. Finally, if the paragraph is all a summary of a particular work – but some sentences include direct quotations - then you will need to include footnotes after each sentence. When in doubt – provide a citation.

Parts of a Citation

Citations provide details of source material that you have used, and different sources have different kinds of information. Typically, a citation will include who details (who wrote, drew or otherwise made the source you are citing); what details (the title of the source that you are citing); where (where the source you are citing was made); when (when the source you are citing was made). Different kinds of source material provide different kinds of citation - books, journal articles, newspapers, edited collections, websites, films – all these sources have different details that identify the source.

In addition, some sources are subject to high degrees of change – this is particularly true of contemporary media such as websites, blogs, online databases, and online newspapers and journals. To compensate for this, online sources not only require the above ‘who, what, where, and when’ but another set: how (what website did you use), when (when did you access the information).

All citation styles provide rules for how to organise these details. If you don’t use a style, you end up providing all the information ‘jumbled up’.

The following section gives details of the Architecture Oxford Style, which is itself based on the Oxford Style.