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Intended Learning Outcome:

To use citations to build an argument in academic writing


Students often find it hard to cite texts and use them to build their own argument. This exercise addresses this and gets them doing short writing exercises in the room. It can generate useful discussion of the topic as well as the process of referencing texts. This tool is part of a scaffolded set of TLAs to encourage students to write and use Harvard Referencing.


Give students a short article relevant to your session/module topic or something in the music-business news. Discuss the article as a group.

Give the correct Harvard Reference for the article and show students how they cite the article in their text.

Ask them, in pairs, to choose a sentence in the article that speaks to them or seems key to the topic.

Set a time limit, say 10 minutes, for students to write, quoting that sentence in the article, citing the reference appropriately.

Students swap their work with a peer and they review and discuss each other’s writing.


You may want to scaffold this with extra information on the knowledge to be written about.


Large Group Teaching:

This is a solo activity however you could get students to review each others work in small groups. You could also give out a few articles and have a plenary at the end about the differences in them.

Online Teaching:

Students could paste their text into Zoom personal chat to share with their peer or they could email it to each other.


Students are confident at citing articles in their writing.

Next Steps:

Ask students to find the correct Harvard Reference for the article to be cited rather than giving it to them.

Links to other activities:

Further reading:



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