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Referencing with MS Word

19 September 2012

Dear Mum,

Last week I got a rare chance to speak in my supervisor’s class. The class was a Research Methods class, and I was required to take the class through using Microsoft Word to create citations and reference list/ bibliographies. I was quite challenging. Within the 1.5 hours I had to prepare my slides and think of how to best present it, I also had to take a shower, and take a hike to the lecture hall located on the 5th floor (using a steep staircase). I even forgot how I wanted to break the ice.

I vowed to sustain the interest of the class though, and to feel natural and relaxed as if I were conversing with my colleagues at the ‘Think Bowl’. Drawing from Colin Fisher’s book (Writing a Dissertation), I took the MSc. Development Finance participants through the all the citation types; using MS Word 2007. We explored some of the deficiencies too, that MS Word (unless I did not know how to do it;

  • does not automatically recognise and change multiple-authored citations into the “et.al” form.
  • does not automatically remove unused citations from the list of works cited.
  • does not recognise citations converted to static text as part of ‘used’ sources.
  • does not allow citing a source to form part of a sentence’s logic
    [e.g.] Budu (2012) responds to the call for more empirical studies applying the dynamic capabilities theory in different industrial contexts. [You need to rephrase this to perhaps say
    “A study (Budu, 2012) responds to the call for more empirical studies applying the dynamic capabilities theory in different industrial contexts.
  • does restrict you to use the ampersand sign to concatenate multiple authors’ names (when the APA 6th version expects otherwise)

I still told the class that, I tried to use EndNote to get around these limitations, but made no headway, thus decided to use only MS Word (my open source colleagues should pardon me because I’m yet to try this in OpenOffice). You could download the slides here. They are still under perfection though, but wanted to make it available as version 1. Let me know anything you’ll want to see added.

Have a good one.
Your son, Kweku

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