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Referencing guide

No matter what year of study you’re in, you’ve certainly come across referencing for your assignments. Love it or hate…

No matter what year of study you’re in, you’ve certainly come across referencing for your assignments. Love it or hate it – you simply can’t go through university without knowing how to properly reference! But don’t worry, because with this simple guide I hope to show you exactly what you need to ace your references.

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What are references?

References are indications of the sources you use throughout your paper. Whether you’re using someone’s direct quote, or you’re just paraphrasing their words – you need to include an author to acknowledge their ideas. 

It is important to distinguish between in-text citations and the full reference list. Both of them are crucial for your assignments, and none of them can be omitted. Whilst in-text citations usually involve only the last name of the author and year of publication (and pages, if necessary), the reference list provides more information about a particular publication you’re using (usually the type of information that would easily allow anyone to find the source).

Why are references important?

References are extremely important for many different reasons. 

Protect from plagiarism

Plagiarism is a serious academic offence and it occurs when a student passes someone else’s work without citing it properly or not citing at all. Each time you’re using a sentence or even a tiny piece of information from a certain source, you need to give credit to their author.

Strengthen your argument

You might think that using many references is bad because it seems like passing ideas from other people. But the whole point of assignments is to evaluate current research from many different authors before stating your final argument. If you’re using your critical thinking skills, references are a fantastic tool to show how you go about formulating your ideas. 

Show where the information comes from

This is especially important when you’re giving figures or numerical and/or statistical data. You need to provide references so that the information you use can be seen as credible. 

Referencing styles

There are several different referencing styles. Each of them has different requirements, so you can’t just simply pick whichever one you like. Usually, these depend on particular disciplines so if you’re not sure, just simply check in your module handbook or ask your tutor!

In-depth guides can be found here at the University’s Library site, so make sure you check this out as the site involves video tutorials to help you understand how to properly reference according to your style!

Below, I’d like to show you examples of how references look like when providing information from journal articles (as each student is very likely to use this type of source at some point throughout university).

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  • Harvard

Harvard is probably one of the most popular referencing styles. 

Caldicott, R.W., Scherrer, P., Muschter, S. and Canosa, A. (2020) Airbnb – exploring triple bottom line impacts on community. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 14(2) 205-223. 

  • APA

APA is very similar to Harvard – as you can see, there are small punctuation differences between these two. 

Caldicott, R.W., Scherrer, P., Muschter, S. & Canosa, A. (2020). Airbnb – exploring triple bottom line impacts on community. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 14(2), 205-223. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-07-2019-0134

  • IEEE

This referencing style requires you to provide an abbreviation of the journal name. This can be found with a simple Google search!

R.W. Caldicott, P. Scherrer, S. Muschter and A. Canosa, “Airbnb – exploring triple bottom line impacts on community,” Int. J. Cult. Tour., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 205-223, Jan. 2020. 

  • Vancouver

Caldicott RW, Scherrer P, Muschter S, Canosa A. Airbnb – exploring triple bottom line impacts on community. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research. 2020;14(2):205-223.

As you can see, no matter which referencing style you’re using – you always provide the same information – author, name of the article, name of the journal, volume/ issue number and pages (if necessary).  

Referencing can be really easy once you get the hang of it so do make sure you follow the guide to prevent losing marks on making any mistakes! 

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