When you write an academic paper, it is common courtesy to acknowledge your sources. There are various ways of doing this, and here we give you one system. The list of references at the end of your paper must contain all the works you have quoted or made reference to or used in any other way in your paper. It is important that the reference is correct, because it should be possible for an interested reader to find the text you are referring to.

A short quotation of up to 2-3 lines is put in quotation marks and integrated in the running text. The quotation is followed by a short reference to where it was taken from. This is an example of how you give a short quotation: "grammatical labels are very rarely appropriate for all instances of a category" (Halliday 2004: 199). The full reference of the book/article you are quoting from must be given in the reference list.

Longer quotations are written like this, with indentation. You do not use quotation marks, since the quotation is marked by the indentation. The reference to the work the quotation is taken from has to follow the quotation, as with shorter quotations. (author, year of publication, page number)

If you highlight a part of the quotation, you should state that the emphasis is your own, and did not appear in the original text. Example:

The theme extends from the beginning of the clause up to (and including) the first element that has a function in transitivity. This element is called the 'topical Theme'; so we can say that the Theme of the clause consists of the topical Theme together with anything else that comes before it. (Halliday 1994:53, my emphasis)


If there is a mistake in the text that you are copying from, you write a [sic!] immediately after the mistake.
If you need to add anything to a quotation (e.g. full noun phrase instead of pronoun) you do so in square brackets.

Making references
When you refer to other people's work without quoting them directly, you insert a reference in brackets. Here are some examples of how you can do it:

The theme is a 'containing inferable' (cf. Prince 1981:236) which is related to the hypertheme of the text, thus preserving the thematic progression of the original. (The reference is given because the term is introduced and explained in that paper.)

However, as has been pointed out in a number of studies (Thompson 1987, Matthiessen and Thompson 1988, Ford 1993), the syntactic subordination entails a backgrounding of an initial clause in relation to the main (or matrix) clause.  (The reference is given in order to give examples of writers who have this view, and point the readers to where they can find it.)

Syntactically, one of the most conspicuous differences between English and Norwegian sentence openings is that English has an even greater preference than Norwegian for subjects in initial position, and conversely, that Norwegian has a wider variety of sentence elements in initial position (Hasselgård 1997). (The reference is given because these things are explored in greater detail in that paper.)

Reference list

Referring to books: 

Author. Year of publication. Title of book in italics. Place of publication: Publisher.

Example: Halliday, M.A.K. 1994. An introduction to functional grammar, 2nd ed. London: Edward Arnold.

Referring to book chapters: 

Author. Year of publication. "Title of the paper with or without quotation marks, but in normal type". In  Editor (ed.), Italicized title of book.  pp. x.-x. Place of publication: Publisher.

Example: Virtanen, T. 1998. Direct questions in argumentative student writing. In S. Granger (ed.), Learner English on Computer, 94–106. London: Longman.

Referring to journal articles: 

Author. Year of publication. "Title of the paper with or without quotation marks, but in normal type". In Italicized title of journal., Volume:issue,  pp. x.-x.

Example: Hong, H. & F. Cao. 2014. Interactional metadiscourse in young EFL learner writing. A corpus-based study. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 19:2, 201–224.

Referring to websites: 

Author (if known/relevant). Name of website in italics. Date (if known) <Complete URL in angled brackets>. Time of access.

The Internet Grammar of English.<>. Accessed October 2019.
The Oslo Multilingual Corpus. <>. Accessed October 2019.

Referring to unpublished material:

MA theses: Author. Year of submission. "Title of the thesis with or without quotation marks but in normal type." Unpublished MA thesis, University of XX. [If available online, add website and date of access.]

Handouts: Author. Year. "Title with or without quotation marks but in normal type". Handout (+ date if known), Name of course, University of XX.


Capitalization in titles
It is relatively common, but not obligatory, to capitalize the content words in titles of books and periodicals, less often in titles of articles in books or journals. Whatever you choose, be consistent!


The Internet Grammar of English,
Connectors and Sentence Openings in English and Swedish.

NB This is not standard practice with Norwegian titles, which are in lower case.

Example of reference list

Aijmer, K. 2013. Analysing modal adverbs as modal particles and discourse markers. In L. Degand, B. Cornillie & P. Pietandrea (eds), Discourse Markers and Modal Particles. Categorization and Description, 89-106. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Biber, D., S. Johansson, G. Leech, S. Conrad & E. Finegan. 1999. Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. London: Longman.

Charles, M., D. Pecorari & S. Hunston (eds). 2009. Academic Writing. At the Interface of Corpus and Discourse. London: Continuum.

Ebeling, S.O. & Heuboeck, A. 2007. Encoding document information in a corpus of student writing: the British Academic Written English Corpus. Corpora 2(2): 241-256.

Fløttum, K., T. Dahl, & T. Kinn. 2006. Academic Voices. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Granger, S. 2015. Contrastive interlanguage analysis: A reappraisal. International Journal of Learner Corpus Research 1:1, 7-24.

Halliday, M.A.K. 1994. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Arnold.

Hasselgård, H. 2009. Thematic choice and expressions of stance in English argumentative texts by Norwegian learners. In K. Aijmer (ed.), Corpora and Language Teaching, 121-139. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Hyland, K. 2009. Corpus informed discourse analysis: The case of academic engagement. In Charles et al. (eds), 110-128.

Paquot, M., H. Hasselgård, S. O. Ebeling. 2013. Writer/reader visibility in learner writing across genres: A comparison of the French and Norwegian components of the ICLE and VESPA learner corpora. In S. Granger, G. Gilquin & F. Meunier (eds), Twenty Years of Learner Corpus Research: Looking back, Moving ahead, 377-387. Louvain-la-Neuve: Presses Universitaires de Louvain.

Prince, E. F. 1992. The ZPG letter: Subjects, definiteness, and information-status. In W. C. Mann & S. A. Thompson (eds), Discourse Description: Diverse Linguistic Analyses of a Fund-Raising Text, 295-326.. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company

Scott, M. 2012. WordSmith Tools version 6. Stroud: Lexical Analysis Software.

Simon-Vandenbergen, A.-M. & K. Aijmer. 2004. The expectation marker of course in a cross-linguistic perspective. Languages in Contrast 4:1, 13-44.

White, P. R. R. & A. Don. 2015. Appraisal Website Homepage. (last accessed on 18 August, 2017).


Sources of material:

The English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus:  <> Accessed October 2019.

The British National Corpus: <> Accessed September 2019.

The Oslo Corpus of Tagged Norwegian Texts: <> Accessed October 2019.