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Tip 4: Citation and Referencing


Why do we reference?

Referencing is an essential part of academic study; it is a way to support your argument, to demonstrate the extent of your research and to acknowledge the work of others. 

When do we reference?

Whenever you have used an idea from someone else’s work.

You need to reference when you use:

  • Direct quotations
  • Information that you have put in your own words
  • Facts and figures from a source
  • Ideas and arguments from a source

How do we reference?

The exact format will depend on your course requirements but there are some general principles to follow.

There are two stages involved in referencing

  1. In-text citations (within your written work)
  2. Reference list (comes at the end of the assignment)

The in-text citation is a shorter version of the reference and contains the key details of where the evidence has come from: surname of author and date of publication. It also contains a page number if you are using a direct quotation.

Example (using the Harvard style of referencing):

There is also the preference for short term projects with quantifiable results that appear successful on paper, regardless of what the outcomes were in reality (Wallace and Mordaunt, 2007).

The reference list is a full list of all the references used in the assignment. It contains all the details that are needed for someone else to find the source and follows a specific format. This list should be in alphabetical order.

Example (using the Harvard style of referencing):

Wallace, T. and Mordaunt, J. (2007) ‘When is the price too high? Gaining funding from institutional sources’, in Mordaunt, J. and Paton, R. C. (eds.) (2007) Thoughtful Fundraising, Abingdon, Routledge, pp. 142 – 156.



 Final points to remember

Before submitting your work, check for the following:

  • References are included after each piece of evidence
  • Your reference list has details of all sources mentioned in your in-text citations
  • You have been consistent in your use of italics, punctuation marks, fonts and other formatting aspects