Citations of first year students at the University of Botswana


  • Unity Nkateng University of Botswana
  • Mphoentle Makoko University of Botswana


Academic disciplines are often called discourse communities in research into academic discourse. Citing and referring to other authors in writing shows respect to the intellect of individuals. Students need to cite sources properly in order to be members of the Academic discourse community. This study explored in-text citations in research projects written by first-year students in the Faculty of Education at the University of Botswana. Using Swales’ notion of a discourse community, text analysis and qualitative content analysis, twenty research projects were analysed and three students and two lecturers were interviewed. The findings suggest that students need to be taught the importance of in-text citations and also be assisted to be members of the academic discourse community. There is a need for clear guidelines on citations and regulations for in-text citations and plagiarism for students as soon as they are admitted into their first academic year.  


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Author Biographies

Unity Nkateng, University of Botswana

Dr Unity Nkateng is a Senior Lecturer in the Communication and Study Skills Unit. She Hold a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Warwick (UK). Her research interest is in discourse analysis, writing skills and professional communication.  Email

Mphoentle Makoko, University of Botswana

Ms Mphoentle Makoko is a Lecturer who facilitates Communication & Study Skills in the University of Botswana. She holds a Master’s Degree in English Language and Linguistics.  Currently, she is pursuing her PhD. Her research interests are mainly on linguistics and media communication. Email:




How to Cite

Nkateng, U., & Makoko, M. (2023). Citations of first year students at the University of Botswana . JULACE: Journal of the University of Namibia Language Centre, 6(2), 42–56. Retrieved from