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References, citations and avoiding plagiarism - old

An introduction to the function and practice of referencing your sources


In academic work of any kind, effective referencing of your sources will ensure that you:

  • show that you are writing from a position of understanding of your topic.
  • demonstrate that you have read widely and deeply.
  • enable the reader to locate the source of each quote, idea or work/evidence (that was not your own).
  • avoid plagiarism and uphold academic honesty.

How to reference

As described above, whenever you directly quote, paraphrase, reproduce or refer to someone else’s idea or work in your own, you have to credit the source. In order to do so, you need to have some key information from the source itself. What you need will depend on the type and form of the original source, and you will need to present this information in a particular way depending on the referencing style that you are adopting.

When you are referencing a source in your work you must first identify the type of source you are referencing. Then, once you have decided what it is, you can use the information below to guide you through what information you need from that source, and then how to present it in a reference.

For guidance in how to reference sources using referencing styles, follow the links below to go to specific pages of this guide.