What is referencing?

Referencing is necessary to give credit to the ideas and written material belonging to other authors which you have used in your own work. It demonstrates that you have undertaken an appropriate literature search and that you have carried out appropriate reading.

Why do it?
  • So that anyone reading your assignments can trace the sources you have used in the development of your work and give you credit for your research effort and quality
  • If you do not acknowledge another writer's work or ideas, you could be accused of plagiarism
  • Accurate referencing is commensurate with good academic practice and enhances the presentation of your work: it shows that your writing is based on knowledge instead of guesses and mere opinion
  • Accurate referencing can improve your marks

There are two elements for referencing: (1) citing and (2) the Reference List. You must do both parts.

So what is citing? 

When, in your assignments, you have used an idea from a book, journal article and so on, you must acknowledge this in your text. We refer to this as 'citing'.