Referencing Referencing

  • What is referencing?
  • Why do you need to reference?
  • When do you need to reference?

Related guides (available as PDFs): ‘Effective Note Making’, ‘Using Paraphrase’ and ‘Using Quotations’.

What is referencing?

References give details about where the information or ideas in your written work come from. Sometimes references are called citations. References appear in your text with the information or ideas you have used from other sources. The example text below shows how references might appear in the body of a written piece of work when the Harvard referencing system is used. The references are shaded:

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You also need to include a list of all the sources you have used in a reference list at the end of your work. Sources are listed alphabetically by author or organisation name. The way that you present the sources in your reference list depends on what kind of sources they are (book, journal article, website and so on). More detailed information on this is available in the tables at the end of this guide (pp. 8-12).  Below is an example of a reference list using the Harvard referencing system:

Higher Education Funding Council for England (2005) Widening Participation. Available at:  (Accessed: 5 August 2005).
Neville, C. (2007) The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism. Maidenhead: OUP.
Pask, G. (1979) ‘Styles and strategies of learning’, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46(1),
    pp. 128-148.
Ryan, J. (2005) ‘The student experience’, in Carroll, J. and Ryan, J. (eds.) Teaching International
    Students. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 147-151.