Tablet displaying CadaStudent referencing feature

Academic referencing at college or university

It’s crucial to use academic in your at or ; but why, when and how?

Why reference?

  • To support and strengthen your arguments by referring the reader to the academic sources which confirm what you are saying.
  • To give credit to whose work you have quoted, or to whose work you have referred
  • To demonstrate academic integrity and avoid a charge of plagiarism by ensuring you have acknowledged and credited sources when using words, ideas or materials that are not your own
  • To allow the reader to be aware of what you have read
  • To demonstrate you understand the conventions of academic writing
  • To illustrate the depth and the breadth of your reading
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When to reference?

  • Every time you quote directly from work that is not entirely your own
  • Every time you indirectly refer to the work of someone else, for example, if you:
    • paraphrase
    • summarise
    • quote
    • use information
  • When you want to provide sources of further information, clarification of points, or additional evidence to supporting your arguments

You must reference all sources, including:

  • Art sources including artwork, poetry and plays
  • Books
  • Communication including presentations, emails and interviews
  • Computing sources
  • Course material
  • Databases
  • Documents such as company reports and dissertations
  • Healthcare sources
  • Images, graphs and tables
  • Journals
  • Legal sources
  • Media
  • Newspapers
  • Online sources
  • Reference materials such as maps and dictionaries

The above list is not exhaustive as referencing could also include, for example, conference papers, standards and patents.

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How to reference?

Always check which referencing style is required for each assignment as different referencing styles use different approaches, e.g. Oxford use footnotes, while others, such as Harvard and APA use inline author names and publication year.

Always check which referencing style is required for each assignment as different referencing styles use different approaches, e.g. Oxford use footnotes, while others, such as Harvard and APA use inline citations. Click To Tweet

When researching and taking notes, always write down the full details of the source – CadaStudent has a feature entirely devoted to referencing. Taking and recording notes will ensure the writing and referencing process is more manageable and will help avoid accidentally copying and plagiarising.

Sources: RGU Referencing  Why Reference

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