Ptlls uses the Harvard Referencing System (or Author Date System) for the essays. Good referencing shows you have read around the topic and taken account of expert views and avoids accusations of plagiarism. It’s a two part system with the first acknowledgement in the actual body of the essay and then the full reference at the end in the bibliography or references section. I’ve found the guidance in the Ptlls handbook focuses on the latter stage, the bibliography, and not the initial reference in the text so we’re going to have a closer look at that.
The “in essay” part gives the author’s name and the date of publication. If a direct quote is used you should also include the page number. Brackets are used but the information doesn’t have to be in them as long as it is within the sentence. It’s a sort of mix-and-match approach. A Ptllsy example using Ann Gravells’ Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector would look like this:
Gravells (2006) recommends a different style of speech when presenting at the board.
A different style of speech is recommended when presenting at the board (Gravells, 2006).
When presenting at the board it is recommended to ‘read presentations more slowly than you would normally hold a conversation’ (Gravells, 2006, p59).
Gravells (2006, p59) recommends to ‘read presentations more slowly than you would normally hold a conversation.’
All of these are properly referenced even though they look quite different. I just picked a random sentence from the book, I can’t think why you would need to be quoting that.
In the bibliography it would use the same format, regardless of the above:
Gravells, A. (2006) Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, 3rd edition, Exeter, Learning Matters. p59.
Information found online also needs to be fully referenced. Just like a book you need the author name and date. If you can’t find who the author is or feel a bit hesitant about citing it because it might be a bit dodgy then look for a different source. People can be snobby about information found online even from trusted sources and these are very few – the internet is a minefield of wonderful information mixed in with the false. The Great Wikipedia Debate highlights these issues and many academic institutions have banned Wikipedia from being used as a reference for papers. Even though it is a fantastic repository of information the risks and potential downsides can be enough to rule it out.
Just like books websites are referenced by author and date (Directgov, 2011) and within the bibliography more or less as books are, except you should add the date you actually accessed the resource.