Academic Integrity: Acknowledging Sources

Apr 12, 2017

This is the second in a two-part series about writing in your own words and citing sources. The first post is available here.

Acknowledging Sources

If you are introducing or building on someone else’s idea, acknowledge the original source in your response. For example:

Fisher argues… (Other ways to acknowledge the original source include: refers to, defines, explains, compares, concludes, suggest, theorizes.)

If the idea appears in a book, include its title, publication date, and publication year in your reference list. If it comes from an online publication—including a blog post—include the author, publication date, article name, format description, and the URL in your reference list. A suggested format for citations appears below:

Author, A. (publication date). Title of document [Format description]. Date retrieved from http://URL.

For a blog post, the citation would look like:

Jimenez, S. (March 6, 2017). Efficient saving for our children’s future [Blog post]. Retrieved March 15, 2017, from

For website content without an author or publication date, the citation would look like:

CPA Canada (n.d.) Building the CPA brand [website content]. Retrieved March 17, 2017 from

There are instances when using a direct quote is appropriate, for example, when referring to the Income Tax Act or citing a section from IFRS standards. In these circumstances, include the quoted text within the body of your response and include the source in a reference list at the end of the response.

For example:

Per the IFRS standards, “Some items have a tax base but are not recognised as assets and liabilities in the statement of financial position. For example, research costs are recognised as an expense in determining accounting profit in the period in which they are incurred but may not be permitted as a deduction in determining taxable profit (tax loss) until a later period.” (Part I-IFRS, 2015 edition, IAS 12 Income Taxes, section 9)

If the quoted text is longer than 40 words, start the quotation on a new line, indent it, and omit the quotation marks. For example:

The level of equity interest in one enterprise held by another leads to a presumption regarding control. An enterprise is presumed to control another enterprise when it owns, directly or indirectly, an equity interest that carries the right to elect the majority of the members of the other enterprise’s board of directors, and is presumed not to control the other enterprise without such ownership. In a particular situation, these presumptions may be overcome by other factors that clearly demonstrate that control exists or does not exist. The greater the difference in an enterprise’s voting interest from the 50 percent level, the more persuasive these other factors must be in overcoming the applicable presumption.

[Part II Accounting Standards for Private Enterprises, 2017, Section 1591.09]