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CDS: Professional and Scholarly Tasks

Executive Summary

The report essentially entails how the CDS has helped the learners carry out researches and assignments in other modules of study. The report has discussed how the CDS prepares the learners for both the professional and scholarly tasks in the outside world. To a large extent, the report has discussed what author-date referencing or Harvard referencing is all about. In addition, the report has defined what a formal report is and what its major components are.

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1) Introduction
What is referencing?
2) Author-date Referencing
a) In-text referencing
b) Reference page
3) What is a Report?
a) Report components
4) Benefits of CDS
a) How have CDS prepared learners to carry out research in other modules?
b) Does CDS prepare learners for the outside professional world?
5) Conclusion
a) Recapitulation of the main points in the report


Referencing can, in other words, be referred to as a citation. It simply means acknowledging the sources of information and or ideas that one has used in his academic paper or even class assignment. By referencing academic research, report or essay indicates two things. First, referencing shows the range of ideas and approaches in a given topic that one has found and thought about. Secondly, it indicates that the writer of that academic work has acknowledged the sources of these ideas. (University of South Australia, 2007).

Author-date Referencing

The Harvard referencing is also referred to as the author-date citation. In this system of reference, there are two basic steps that are followed; first, there must be in-text referencing. That is, every reference must be shown each time it is used in the text. Secondly, each reference must be listed once in the reference list at the end of an academic paper. The in-text referencing or citation should have the author’s family name, the year of publication of the academic article and the page number that is in case it is provided. The reference page is supposed to be arranged alphabetically using the author’s surname. This is according to the University of South Australia (2007, pg 4).

The Harvard system of referencing is associated with a number of advantages. In the first instance, if the reader is indeed familiar with the topic, he or she will be able to recognize the citation without necessarily checking the reference section. In this system, the same reference is cited more than once, making it easier for even a careless reader to memorize the name of the author. Harvard referencing can easily be combined with a number of footnotes. It becomes awkward to write footnotes together with the endnote; by using the author-date citation, this problem is avoided.

What is a Report?

A report is a document that mostly gives the results of an experiment or research. In order to write a good report, one should follow the known conventions in writing a report. It has various important components; the abstract or the executive summary is the first part of a report, but it is usually written last. The executive summary takes into consideration everything that is there in the whole report. The outline is another component of a report. An outline is not mandatory, but it is essential as it puts the thought processes in a way that will make sense and appeal to the readers. In addition, the report should contain an introductory paragraph that gives the audience the necessary information. Any background information on the topic of the report is also included in the introductory paragraph. The report cannot be complete without the discussions on the findings or the topic of the report. Discussions should be thorough so as to provide the audience with the vital information to understand the message that the report is conveying. Moreover, there is the conclusion and the recommendation. The conclusion paragraph simply summarizes what is there in the report. Recommendations are the views of the person writing the report and what he believes needs to be done in relation to the topic of the research. (How to write a Formal Report 2008). A report is a vital skill that virtually all the professionals in each and every field need to practice. A report is different from an essay as it is brief, clear and to the point. At the same time, an essay presents an argument a report is supposed to present information. Reports are meant to be scanned through as opposed to essays that are supposed to be read in detail. A report also makes use of headings and subheadings. It always contains short and brief paragraphs. Reports differ according to different disciplines of study and also depending on the particular function of the report. (Academic Skills Program, 2007).

Benefits of CDS

CDS is of great importance as it will help learners undertake assignments comfortably in other modules. The internet has brought with it vast information. Learners are able to quote and cite sources that would have otherwise been inaccessible without the internet. This has brought with it some serious implications—for instance, the cut and paste tendency in classrooms. CDS, in fact, taught the students how to get information from internet sources. In other assignments, the students will simply use the internet information to support their personal ideas. (The Importance of Citing References 2008). The skills gained in this course (CDS) will enable the students to practice them in their differences in different modules. Both referencing and citation have various advantages. A reader going through a well-cited work will not fail to notice the quality of the research. The learners are encouraged to read widely so as to identify a particular latest thinking on a particular topic of research. This will give the student an opportunity to support and emphasize his ideas in academic research. Through references, the student will not simply copy and paste but will acknowledge the source of his information.

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This course CDS has proved to be very helpful to students when carrying out researches in other modules. A lot of people getting access to the internet for the first time do not understand how to cite electronic references. CDS teaches the students how to quote and cite online references appropriately. The students then avoid plagiarism which can simply be defined as academic theft; that is, presenting the ideas of another person as if they belong to the writer of a research paper. To avoid plagiarism, effective paraphrasing should be adopted so as to put the ideas of another person in different words. On top of it, the learners are taught correct punctuation, which enables the students to write a paper that is neat and presentable. Furthermore, quoting the source of information on the assignment gives the reader the advantage of reading from the original source where the student got the information. The reader may also want to verify whether the information given is true or not.

The Harvard system of referencing has not only been associated with the sciences but also with scholarly research in the field of Engineering. The University of Chicago (cited in the 2005) indicates that the Harvard system of referencing has professionally frequently been used in the sciences. Medical research and follow the Harvard referencing system. Most professional outfits have been using the Harvard referencing system ( 2005). By studying CDS, the students can become very much competent in their future professional work. For instance, they become aware of the different internationally acceptable methods that are used when writing journals. According to (Bobby Griffith 2008), quite a number of professional institutions have invented their own original approach for scholars to follow when publishing in various fields. This will be an advantage for the students who have been studying CDS for they will be able to identify the various ways that different professional institutions carry out their scholarly research.


In a nutshell, this report was tackling a number of issues. To begin with, the report has tried to look at what the Harvard style of referencing is. It has briefly given the steps to follow when carrying out the author-date referencing. The advantages of this style of referencing have also been given briefly in the report. The paper has also clearly stated the essential components of a formal report and how it should be written. The difference between an essay and a report has also been mentioned in passing. Finally, the paper has pointed out how CDS has helped students in the research and study of other modules. On top of this, it has mentioned why CDS is important in scholarly and professional endeavours.


Academic Skills Program 2007.

How to Write a Formal Report 2008. Web. Encyclopedia. Harvard referencing 2005.

Scholarly and Professional Style Manuals Bobby Griffith 2008.

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The Importance of Citing References (n d).

University of South Australia. 2007. Referencing Using the Harvard Author-date system.

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