Citing a source more than once

Sometimes you may have to cite the same source for several sentences in a row. By using effective signal verbs and citing carefully, you can create a paragraph that’s easy to read and clearly communicates where you got your source material. Look at the following examples to help you understand what methods to avoid and what methods will work best when citing the same source multiple times.

Tip: For more information on signal verbs, see Integrating evidence effectively.

Incorrect: one citation at the end

     British Columbia was one of the first places to institute a carbon tax to try to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Following principles favoured by economists, the province began with a small tax and increased the rate over several years, allowing taxpayers to ease into the plan slowly. In addition, the province also implemented a framework that mitigates the extra tax burden that lower-income citizens tend to bear under most carbon tax regimes. An external study showed that GHG emissions have decreased somewhere between 5%-15%. This reduction is higher than expected, suggesting that a carbon tax not only works because of the extra financial burden, but also because of some other social cost of consuming fossil fuels, but the exact mechanism is not yet understood. This is very good news, as public resistance to carbon taxes prevents many governments from instituting them. British Columbia’s experience shows that not only can a carbon tax work, it can also work without harming disadvantaged households (Murray, 2015).

This method is incorrect because it’s not clear where all the evidence has come from. This paragraph does not meet academic integrity standards.

Correct but awkward: citations after every sentence

     British Columbia was one of the first places to institute a carbon tax to try to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Following principles favoured by economists, the province began with a small tax and increased the rate over several years, allowing taxpayers to ease into the plan slowly (Murray, 2015). In addition, the province also implemented a framework that mitigates the extra tax burden that lower-income citizens tend to bear under most carbon tax regimes (Murray, 2015). An external study showed that GHG emissions have decreased somewhere between 5%-15% (Murray, 2015). This reduction is higher than expected, suggesting that a carbon tax not only works because of the extra financial burden, but also because of some other social cost of consuming fossil fuels, but the exact mechanism is not yet understood (Murray, 2015). This is very good news, as public resistance to carbon taxes prevents many governments from instituting them. British Columbia’s experience shows that not only can a carbon tax work, it can also work without harming disadvantaged households (Murray, 2015).

This method meets academic integrity standards, but the writing is choppy and stilted. All the parenthetical citations are distracting and disrupt the flow of the writing.

Correct and stylistically good:

Following is a good example of a paragraph that meets academic integrity standards and has good flow at the same time.

     In his article, “British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax: a review of the latest “grand experiment” in environmental policy”, Murray (2015) examines the outcome of that province’s first attempt to institute a carbon tax. The main goal was to try to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Murray explains that, following principles favoured by economists, the province began with a small tax and increased the rate over several years, allowing taxpayers to ease into the plan slowly. In addition, he analyzes the framework the province created to mitigate the extra tax burden that lower-income citizens tend to bear under most carbon tax regimes. The external study showed that GHG emissions have decreased somewhere between 5%-15% (Murray, 2015). This reduction is higher than expected, and the author suggests that a carbon tax not only works because of the extra financial burden, but also because of some other social cost of consuming fossil fuels, but the exact mechanism is not yet understood. This is very good news, as public resistance to carbon taxes prevents many governments from instituting them. British Columbia’s experience shows that not only can a carbon tax work, it can also work without harming disadvantaged households (Murray, 2015).

This paragraph introduces the name of the text and the author in the opening sentence. It then continues with clever use of signal phrases to let the reader know that all the information in the paragraph was taken from that article.

Source: Murray, Brian. (Nov. 2015). British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon tax: A review of the latest “grand experiment” in environmental policy. Energy Policy, 80, 674-683.