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MIRI, March 26: Librarians from the Library & Learning Commons section of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently conducted a two-day Research Writing and APA Referencing Style Workshop for secondary school students preparing to compete in the ‘Pertandingan Warisan Budaya Tempatan Antara Sekolah Menengah Wilayah Utara Sarawak 2019’ organised by Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, Miri.
More than a hundred students from nine schools in the Miri and Subis districts are poised to compete in the annual competition in September and are attending various briefings and workshops as part of their preparations.
As the competition requires the participants to write a research paper on local cultural heritage, the Research Writing Workshop was crucial in introducing them to basic research writing components such as literature review and how to analyse topics and type of language used in writing.
Librarian Sorina Ramli said the proper use of references and appendices were also important elements of research writing which the participants had to master.
On the second day of the workshop, the students were introduced to the APA Referencing Style, an author-date referencing system which draws upon the 6th edition of the publication manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), thus the name ‘APA Referencing Style’. It is frequently used in research writing, especially within the social sciences, in order to cite various sources.
The workshop also touched on the legal and ethical implications of using Internet content in academic writing, which is prone to plagiarism. Librarian Nora Hii said that while the students were accustomed to using the Internet, it did not occur to them that use of Internet content could be construed as plagiarism. Also, as plagiarism is usually associated with university-level studies, it is not perceived as a big issue at secondary school level.
Hii said the workshops leading to the competition was an opportunity for the Curtin Library & Learning Commons to change the mindset of the students and prepare them for future studies in university.
“It is never too early to learn or gain an added skill. Such skills can be crucial to both their current studies and in the future,” she said.
A video of the Research Writing Workshop can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/pustaka.sarawak/videos/856690211348018/.