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I need to cite different pages for the same source in Harvard style so here's an example of what I am doing (a hypothetical example):

John (2010, p. 10) notes that marketing should not be confused with just the idea of selling people goods and services as it's misleading. The same author claims that marketing is really about value (p. 11) so he coined the term 'relationship marketing' (p. 12).

Is this an acceptable format? I need to find a way to cite specific pages (to pinpoint specific information) instead of simply mentioning all pages as in 'John (2010, pp. 10-12)' at the beginning.

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    Is there a particular reason why you can't do John (2010, pp.10-12)? I would hope most readers could understand that any information you were citing came from one of those 3 pages and could go and search for it themselves. – tonysdg Jun 8 '16 at 21:35
  • Because I simply don't know. Are things usually done that way? Isn't it better to inform readers about the exact place of each particular piece of information? – R. AS. Jun 8 '16 at 21:36
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    I guess in my mind it's a matter of readability over specificity. Part of that comes from my background in computer engineering - I subscribe to the belief that when writing code, it's more important that a human can read the code than its conciseness (with exceptions, of course). Similarly, when writing a paper, I personally think it's more readable to combine the 3 pages into a single citation and only interrupt the reader once. Imagine critiquing an author's argument that spans 10 pages - it becomes a mess after a while... – tonysdg Jun 8 '16 at 21:41
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    ...and I'd rather just see 1 citation that I could dig into if I wanted more specifics. Also - remember that not every field of academia uses the same citation style (and not even every subfield within a field). Nothing is "usually done" in a certain manner in academia. :-) – tonysdg Jun 8 '16 at 21:43
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    I'd be highly surprised if it was seen as either, but if you're concerned I'd recommend talking to an adviser or your instructor if it's for a course. They'll be able to give you the final say for your circumstances. – tonysdg Jun 8 '16 at 21:46
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To avoid reinstating the fact that the author is the one who made these statements, I would develop something in your first sentence that establishes that and makes it clear early on. For example, you could say that John (2010, p. 10) made a series of statements about marketing. That would set the platform to then elaborate on his ideas about marketing, rather than repeating in every sentence that he coined those ideas. Instead of saying "the same author," I would suggest saying "the author" or "he". The reader should be able to pick up on the fact that unless you are mentioning a new author, you're talking about the same one. You could also write it out raw, then go back and edit to make connections and develop a 'flow'....example "The same author claims that marketing is really about value..." you could maybe shorten this into "He mentions that it should be about value, leading him to coin the term..." See how this develops a 'flow'? It goes from describing what the author thinks marketing should NOT be, to what he thinks it SHOULD, and then into a term that he developed to explain that. Think of it as a conversation you had with the author. If you had to turn around and explain that to someone who's never heard of any of this news, how would you best explain it? Paraphrasing, in my thoughts, should sound less like a listed bullet-note, and more of a concise explanation that would make sense to the reader in your own words. I hope this helps!!

  • This partially helps as I am not looking for how to paraphrase but rather if citing multiple sentences with only '(p. x)' for the same author is acceptable. – R. AS. Jun 9 '16 at 6:44
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(At @jakebeal's request, these are my comments turned into an answer.)

Is there a particular reason why you can't do John (2010, pp.10-12)? I would hope most readers could understand that any information you were citing came from one of those 3 pages and could go and search for it themselves.

In my mind it's a matter of readability over specificity. Part of that comes from my background in computer engineering - I subscribe to the belief that when writing code, it's more important that a human can read the code than its conciseness (with exceptions, of course). Similarly, when writing a paper, I personally think it's more readable to combine the 3 pages into a single citation and only interrupt the reader once.

Imagine critiquing an author's argument that spans 10 pages - it becomes a mess after a while:

Smith (2nd Age, pp. 389) claims in his book "The Art of Dragon-Ryding" that red dragons are the easiest to ride. He backs this up by pointing out their smaller stature (pp. 390), their powerful hindlegs (pp. 391), their intelligence (pp. 392-393), their natural resistance to werewolves and other such creatures (pp. 394), and so on.

Much simpler would be to use a single citation and allow readers to go searching for specifics - so long as they know it's not YOUR idea and where they can go to find the idea. Note that (at least in my opinion) this is easier to read with little if any loss of accuracy:

Smith (2nd Age, pp. 389-94) claims in his book "The Art of Dragon-Ryding" that red dragons are the easiest to ride. He backs this up by pointing out their smaller stature, their powerful hindlegs, their intelligence, their natural resistance to werewolves and other such creatures, and so on.

As a final note, remember that not every field of academia uses the same citation style (and not even every subfield within a field). When citing papers or books, the standards may change even from journal to journal within a particular subfield. So when in doubt, talk to the authority in charge - be that a course instructor, a journal editor, a conference organizer, etc.

  • Thanks for the answer. In my case, I'll do whatever keeps me away from plagiarism, even if it was a minor or an unintentional one. – R. AS. Jun 9 '16 at 18:56
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    @R.AS. I think you may overestimate what counts for plagiarism (based on this and other questions you've asked recently), but that may also be field-specific. Plagiarism is usually much more egregious than citing once for a group of pages - it's more like omitting the citation entirely and then claiming the idea as your own with no mention of the original author. – tonysdg Jun 9 '16 at 19:06

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