From the outset you should think about how you will ensure you are maintaining academic standards to avoid plagiarism. Having a solid knowledge of referencing formats will also help you to understand the types of items on your reading list.
All research, including the work you produce for your academic programme, builds on previous research. It is important when producing academic work that you acknowledge the works on which it was built, to validate your ideas and arguments, so that the reader can find out more and see how your ideas were formed, and as courtesy to the authors of those works. You therefore need to acknowledge these works by including references to them. Failure to do so can result in plagiarism.
Our guide to Referencing, Citations and avoiding plagiarism explains what you need to know to get started with referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.