English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 31.2
Volume 31 No 2 60 English Australia Journal in this study, the EAL students primarily employed external and indirect voice, with only 7% of their references involving direct quotation. In comparison, the English L1 students used direct voice more than twice as frequently. The present study, however, is somewhat small in scope (i.e . ,16 participants and 32 texts); therefore, further exploration with a larger sample size is necessary to determine if more extensive analyses of EAL learners are consistent with these findings. Conclusion This study has closely examined the ways in which undergraduate AC students integrate evidence using direct, indirect and external voice and has identified several problematic patterns in learners’ deployment. These findings support the notion that referencing and integrating evidence requires more than ‘dropping in’ quotes, ‘ tagging on’ citations or summarising information that simply ‘sounds good’. Effective referencing requires higher-level thinking skills to select and prioritise what is most credible, reliable and relevant to the topic being researched. It involves the ability to extract critical information from a variety of sources, not simply to report on what has been said, but to develop new ideas and present them with an authorial voice. Therefore, we propose a holistic definition for understanding referencing as more than a convention or a preventative measure to simply avoid plagiarism. Rather, referencing is an epistemological construction, the practice of demonstrating knowledge and distinguishing informed, justified positions from unsupported conjecture. Referencing as an epistemological construction encompasses more than applying the mechanics of proper citation conventions or the skills of paraphrase and summary; it is about establishing an understanding of how evidence can best be situated through direct, indirect or external voice to promulgate the argument. When students achieve this ‘performative transformation’, they may no longer be fearful of plagiarism, instead demonstrating their competence as proficient writers, promoting their authorial position (Warner, 2011, p . 142). In conclusion, how we perceive referencing and what we believe about the role it plays in academic communication will determine our students’ referencing paradigm and practice. If referencing is conceived simply as a process, students will align to a regulatory approach, performing the minimum standard to avoid being penalised. If it is an epistemological tool, then learners can develop increasing skill over the integration of evidence to demonstrate their knowledge of the subject matter and propose new ways of understanding it.
English Australia Journal 31.1
English Australia Journal 32.1