In your academic work, when you include information from a source, for example a book, journal article, website, etc. you are required to acknowledge it so the reader can clearly distinguish between your own work and others. This is called referencing or citing.
There are many reasons why you should reference at university:
You should provide a reference whenever you use an idea or information from a source, e.g., book, journal article or website. You need to cite the original author to make it clear where that idea came from. This is required when you have directly quoted, paraphrased or summarised
There are lots of different referencing styles so it is important that you find out which one your school uses. To help with understanding referencing styles the library has produced six referencing handbooks. Select your school's style from the options below.
When writing at university you will need to find and evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources. You should identify who has produced the information you are considering using – it is important to refer to information from credible sources. A credible source should be free from bias and supported with evidence. It should be written and/or published by a reputable author or organisation.
It is important to evaluate the credibility of any source before including it in your work. The CRAAP test is a popular method to evaluate the sources you are considering:
There are generally two parts to referencing. The first is identifying in the body of your written work, any information, ideas, views you have read about in primary and secondary sources. This information tends to be minimal, just enough to link it to the full reference, and is called a citation. The second is a complete list of the full references, which goes at the end of your work.
Your Academic Subject Librarian can provide support and guidance with referencing and advice on avoiding plagiarism. In addition to this, there is lots of support material available.
Click on the relevant referencing style below to find out more.