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Public Communication: Evidence

“You cannot succeed at university study if you do not master referencing.”

The Skills Team, Referencing Guide

Even though Public Communications and academic writing are different, you still need to provide evidence to support your points.

Using references in your work will make it more credible, it will also show your expertise on the topic. Readers see that you have done further research and not simply made things up, or over exaggerated, making them more likely to take your opinions on board.  

Providing references allows your readers to access further information. An aim of public communications is to educate people; showing them where to go to continue learning about the topic provides the education they may be seeking.  


Using evidence in Public Communications 

The formats used in public communications are shorter than your standard academic essay, so you don’t want to use too many citations, or quotes in your text. Find a few valuable references to use, so you don’t overwhelm your readers.  

This won’t be the case if you are using a wiki for a shared bibliography though. Each format will always be different to others; therefore, you need to familiarise yourself with the format you have been asked to create. Most formats will have references cited within the text and a bibliography at the end.  

 Screenshot of a wiki from Stanford Encyclopaedia with citations circledscreenshot of a bibliography

Screenshots from: Critical Thinking (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Citing Images

If you were to use images in your work, these would also have to be annotated and cited correctly. No matter the licensing of the image, you must always credit the owner like any other reference you use. Go to our Visual Elements section for more guidance on how and when to use images/visuals in your work, as well as guidance on creative commons and licensing of images. 

Photograph of The University of Hull's campus

Figure 1 – The University of Hull campus, Hull (Rawnsley, 2020) 

Pulled Quotes

The same goes for pulled quotes. You may be using them for cosmetic purposes, as well as emphasis, but they still should be cited correctly.  

“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

For information on how to format references go to our Referencing Guide