Formatting your work

Advice on how to format your essays, reports, projects and dissertations.

General advice

The format of your assignment (eg margin size, font size, word count, line spacing) will vary module by module. Please consult your module handbook (via Blackboard) or ask your module tutor for advice.

Using charts, figures and tables

Using charts, figures, or tables to present the data that you have produced or found can be a powerful supplement to support the point that you are making in your writing.

Quoting other works in your assignment

You are expected to acknowledge the books, journal articles and other sources of information that you use when preparing and completing your university work. This is known as referencing.

You will often find you need to quote from your sources of information. Use your own judgment to make sure that the layout and flow of your writing is logical, and that use of quotations is clear and easy to follow as well as being consistent throughout your assignment.

(The following guidance applies when referencing using the UWE Harvard style only.)

Quoting one or two lines

Put quotation marks around the quote and include within a standard-format paragraph of your text.  Include any italics and errors of spelling or punctuation found in the original.

Example:

As Pearson et al. state (2007, p.72), "The basis of evidence-based practice is, of course, evidence."

Quoting more than two lines

Indent the quotation in its own paragraph and leave out the quotation marks.  Include any italics and errors of spelling or punctuation found in the original.

Example:

Pearson et al. (2007, p.74) summarise the issue as follows:

Critical appraisal is a difficult component of the systematic review process, and a good understanding of research design is required. The major aim of critical appraisal of any type of evidence is to establish the validity of the evidence for practice. Validity refers to the soundness of the evidence; in other words, it is about the degree to which we can accept the evidence as trustworthy and believable.

Editing a quote

You can make minor changes to a direct quotation as long as you don't change the meaning and indicate where you have made changes: 

  • If you insert your own words, or different words, into a quotation, put them in square brackets [ ]
  • To draw attention to an error in a quotation (for example a spelling mistake) do not correct it, but write [sic] after the error
  • To emphasise something in a quotation, put the emphasised words in italics, and state that the emphasis is your own

"Mobile-learning (m-learning) is learning in which mobile technologies play a central role" (Davis, 2011, p.125, my italics)

Omitting text within a quote

If you wish to omit part of a quote, indicate the omission by inserting a space, three full-stops, and another space.

Example:

Pearson et al. (2007. p.74) conclude that "Critical appraisal is a difficult component of the systematic review process ... The major aim of critical appraisal of any type of evidence is to establish the validity of the evidence for practice." 

Single or double quotation marks

When quoting from other works you can use single or double quotation marks. If your source of information is quoting direct speech, use the two types of quotation marks to differentiate them.

Check with your module tutor if you need advice and be consistent with the use of single or double quotation marks throughout your piece of work.

How to cite the source of information you are quoting

Guidance on how to cite the source of information you are quoting in the UWE Harvard referencing style.


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