Whenever you directly quote, paraphrase, reproduce or refer to someone else’s idea or work in your own, you must credit the source. To do so, you need key information from the source itself, which depends on the type and form of the original source. You 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, follow these steps
In 'Understanding a reference' we discussed how to determine types of sources from looking at the citation in a reference list or bibliography. When you are citing references yourself, you will need to determine what the type of source is from looking at the source itself. This is important because different types of source may require different information to be included in the citation.
In some cases the type of source may be obvious, but in others it may be harder to determine. If you are not sure you could try:
In order to cite sources correctly, you will need to record the following information, as a minimum, from each source:
An understanding of what is required in a reference for each type of source is important. You can check this information on the 'How to reference' page for your citation style on our Referencing styles pages.
You need to construct your citations within the text of your assignment or other piece of written work following the appropriate guidelines for the citation style you are using.
Please see our Referencing styles page for:guidance on establishing which referencing style you should use.
See guidelines and examples for commonly used referencing styles on our individual referencing styles pages:
Although reference management software is a really useful tool for citing references automatically, it does not always get it right for several reasons. You should always check your references and need to understand the principles of referencing to be able to do this.