PSAS Subject Guide

Guides to the best databases and resources for each subject area.
Why Citations are important?

If you're a student, you're probably familiar with citations. But why do we use them? This short video explains the value of the citation system both for the original author, for you as the student and for human knowledge as a whole.

When you are writing a piece of work and use someone else’s words or ideas you must reference them. This means that you need to include detailed information on all sources consulted, both within your text (in-text citations) and at the end of your work (reference list or bibliography).

Another way to understand referencing is to think of an analogy – when you buy designer clothes there is usually a label attached to say who made them; this brand identity is like an author of a book or a writer of a paper / journal article.

  • Acknowledge the author.
  • Acknowledge the source of direct quotations.
  • Avoid Plagiarism & Respect the Intellectual property and Copyright issues.
  • Your ideas will be supported with fact.
  • To acknowledge the source of paraphrased information that the reader may question or may want to pursue further.
  • There is no standard style used at UPM.
  • Students are advised to follow a style used by an authoritative journal in the field of study.
  • Students should check for the latest versions of different reference styles.


Samples of Commonly Used Reference Formats are as follows:

  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • The Chicago Style
  • Council of Biology Editors (CBE)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)

Plagiarism involves deliberately or inadvertently presenting someone else’s ideas as your own. It is cheating. It doesn’t just apply to direct quotations but summarized and paraphrased argument too. Plagiarism is treated very seriously and usually results in disciplinary action.

How to avoid plagiarism?

  • Plan your work in advance and manage your time effectively.
  • Read a passage and then make notes afterwards. This makes it easier to use your own words.
  • Note down all the details for each source as you work. This will help you to compile a reference list or bibliography.
  • Save your notes and work until you receive your final mark.

Postgraduate Student’s Guide : Thesis Preparation (UPM,2013)

The School of Graduate Studies at the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) promotes and educates the UPM community on the importance of academic integrity by providing a guideline for thesis preparation. This guideline contains both general and specific guidelines in preparing for the final submission of the thesis, including clear instructions on matters relating to format, length, footnotes, tables and appendices, bibliography/references, citation and referencing styles, plagiarism, copyright and publication prior to submission, the languages required for abstracts, and permissible languages.