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This is my first question in this forum and although I have gained a lot of information about proper citation from the web, I am still confused in this case. We are assigned a task by college to make a study from resources available online on a particular topic and prepare a project.

Now, I know the fact that I need to cite everytime I use someone else's idea. But this project work has to be prepared in this order: Title, Abstract, Keywords, Introduction, Review of Literature, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, Acknowledgement, References. This basically means that none of the work is our own and we need to study e-resources available and complete the task at hand.

What I am confused about is the particular heading called Review of Literature. I think that what we are going to write is entirely some sort of review of literature of others work since we've done nothing on our own. So, after making a thorough study of the papers available online, I paraphrased and put proper intext citations as well. Basically, methodology and results are also paraphrased from others work and as such I have put in-text citations not only in case of Review of Literature but also also in Results and Methodology.

So, I want to know whether I am doing it in the proper way or not?

This means, do I really need to provide in-text citations in this particular case in every part of the document if it is someone else's idea?

Sample:

REVIEW OF LITERATURE: The study made by Gautret et al. (2020) notes that hydroxychloroquine (an analogue of chloroquine) has been already demonstrated to have an anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in vitro. Moreover, hydroxychloroquine’s clinical safety profile is better than chloroquine during long term use and also allows higher daily doses and interaction with other drugs is less as well (Gautret et al., 2020).

I have written the Results like this, but I think I've put too much in-text citation here:

Results: Patients treated with hydroxychloroquine (6 out of which received supervised doses of azithromychin as well for initial five days) were aged an average of 51.7 years (~14 years older than mean age of control patients) but not much difference was seen between two groups regarding “gender, clinical status and duration of symptoms” (Gautret et al., 2020).

As time passed, the study showed notable results and the percentage of patients showing negative PCR test of their swab samples at “days 3-4-5 and 6” during study period showed remarkable differences compared to “controls” when 70% of hydroxychloroquine treated patients were “virologically cured” but only a meager 12.5% of the other group achieved this feat (Gautret et al., 2020).

So, this brings me back all way round to the same question: Do I need to cite each and everything which is not my own idea? And is the approach that I am taking correct?

Edit:

This is what we are asked to do:

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The Guidelines:

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    No such thing as citing too much. Better to be overcautious than not give credit for another's words or ideas. – astronat Jun 3 at 7:55
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I can see the use of many references for the review of literature which is to be expected as that is establishing the state of play at the moment.

In the methodology section you describe how your experiment will be carried out, possibly referring to another’s paper or experiment as a “support” or justification. But it is a description of your method, not someone else’s method so it is unlikely to need referencing.

Then, the results should be those from your work, and only your work as any references to the results of others will be in the discussion.

Then in the discussion you would compare your results with subsequent analysis with the results from others so references will be needed.

From what you show and what I understand is that you are referencing all the material for every section from others - where are your results, analysis and conclusions?

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  • Thank you. From what you show and what I understand is that you are referencing all the material for every section from others - Yes, that is what I think we students are supposed to do. Because, we didn't do any of the work ourselves; but everything starting from the Review of Literature to Results is taken from other papers that are available online. We are told to make a thorough study of e-resources and then complete the project, nothing physical is needed to be done from our side apart from writing. So, referenced everything that I took from other papers. I hope I am clear:( – Sanu_012 Jun 3 at 8:52
  • Am I doing the right thing for that case? I mean there was nothing to be done from our side apart from writing. We were asked to read the resources available and write the project in that particular order. So any idea that I wrote about in the paper is not mine but is taken from others' work :( Please elaborate. – Sanu_012 Jun 3 at 8:59
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    @Sanu_012 It would seem, imho, that the only part you are doing is the review of literature and a discussion & analysis with a conclusion. As you don't do any experiment then you will not have results. Your best course of action is to discuss with the lecturer/professor. – Solar Mike Jun 3 at 9:02
  • I have written other parts of the paper as well but the things that I wrote under the heading of Review of literature, Methodology, Results and Discussion are entirely the works of others. I am editing the question to upload a snip about what we are asked to do, just to make it clear :( – Sanu_012 Jun 3 at 9:08
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    @Sanu_012 so have you asked your lecturer/professor? – Solar Mike Jun 3 at 9:10
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When the source of a statement is unambiguously clear from the context, you don't have the give multiple references. Giving redundant references is not technically wrong, but stylistically not optimal, as it breaks the reading flow ("Yeah, I know that it's that particular study, you just said it in the previous sentence.")

I suggest to rewrite your sample 1 as follows:

REVIEW OF LITERATURE: The study made by Gautret et al. (2020) notes that hydroxychloroquine (an analogue of chloroquine) has been already demonstrated to have an anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in vitro. The authors find that hydroxychloroquine’s clinical safety profile is better than chloroquine during long term use, allows higher daily doses, and shows less interaction with other drugs.

Reading sample 2, I assume that there is some text between sample 1 and sample 2 (otherwise it's still the same context). In this case, I would keep the first reference, but still drop the second reference, as it's clear that both paragraphs refer to the same study. Actually, it might make sense to merge the paragraphs.

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  • Thank you for the response. That means I can use to 'the study' or 'the authors' to refer the work and get away without citing the source for that line? – Sanu_012 Jun 3 at 8:54
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    @Sanu_012 Yes, exactly. – lighthouse keeper Jun 3 at 9:00

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