What is referencing, and why should I reference?
When researching a topic, you might use information, ideas and content from a wide variety of sources such as books, journal articles, web pages/websites, newspapers, videos, audio, diagrams and statistics to support your own work.
Referencing shows what sources you have used and acknowledges the work of the original creators of these sources. You must reference ALL the sources you have used in your work.
- Shows the extent of your research
- Supports and strengthens your argument
- Demonstrates academic integrity by giving due credit to the creators of the sources you have used
Some referencing styles use footnotes, (e.g. Oxford), while others require the name of the author/s, and year of publication in the body of the paper, (e.g. Harvard). So check which style is required for your assignments.
When reading and taking notes, always write down the full details of the source: author/s, title, date and place of publication, and page number. This will make the referencing process much easier, and will help you to avoid accidentally copying and plagiarising the work of someone else.
What is the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?
- A reference list is a list of all of the sources you have actually used (e.g. cited) within the body of your assignment
- A bibliography is a list of all the sources you have used (whether cited or not) as part of your research
- Both lists should be in alphabetical order based on the author’s last name (or title if author is unknown)
What is in-text citation?
- In-text citation is when you cite information about the source in the body of your work
- It should be used when quoting or paraphrasing directly from a particular source within your work
- An in-text reference consists of the author’s name, the year the information was published, and the page number where you found the idea
- Watch the video ‘A Guide to Harvard referencing’ for more information
Harvard Referencing is clearly explained.
The Harvard Referencing Generator
Another excellent free tool to help your research and referencing
How to avoid plagiarism
A guide to writing and referencing from the University of Wisconsin
Why should I Cite?
Useful links to important information about referencing
Reference list example
APA – Referencing Guide