How to reference your work

Today, we’re going to look at how to reference your work. What is referencing? Hey, Dave. Have you finished your essay yet?

Are you having problems with the referencing? Well, it can be tricky, but the library’s ‘Referencing your work’ guide should help. It shows you how to reference most types of sources using the Harvard system.

So, Dave. Do you know what referencing is? OK. Let’s ask Dave’s tutor, Professor Frisbee.

Good academic writing and research relies on the effective use of previous work. Sir Isaac Newton – one of the greatest scientists of all time – acknowledged this. He said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Referencing is the acknowledgement of where you have used other people’s work in your academic writing.

You must do this whether you are using direct quotations, paraphrasing or using others ideas or theories. Thanks Professor. Is there anything else we should know? Yes. If you use other people’s work without acknowledgement you are effectively passing off that work as your own.

This is what we call plagiarism and it is considered a form of cheating. How to reference So, Dave… Let’s look at what referencing looks like using the Harvard system. You should check with your lecturer which system you are required to use as there are many different types. So, let’s reference this book. In the Harvard system, we begin with the author surname and date of publication and these are used within the main body of the text of your essay.

This is why it is sometimes referred to as the author/date system. Sometimes, you may want to directly quote from the text. If you’re going to do this you’ll need to add the page number and you will also need to add quotation marks. Quotations of three lines or more should be set in their own paragraph indented from the main text and in single line spacing.

If there is no author of a work identified, the name of the company or organisation may be used or in some cases the title of the publication. So, Dave. Now you know what citing is, let’s see how you do it. Discussing your reading How you introduce what you’ve read depends upon what you are using the citation for and your own writing style. You can put the author name after a citation or before it.

There are a number of different words you use to introduce your reading. So, that’s how you cite references in the text. The citation within your essay refers the reader to a list of references at the end of your essay. This is sometimes called a bibliography List of references So Dave. Let’s write your list of references. The list of references is an alphabetical list of all the sources that you have cited containing the full publication details.

This should start on a new page after your main text and be titled ‘List of references.’ Some lectures may ask you to include references to works that you have read but not cited. So, Dave… you’ll need to check your guide to referencing to see how to reference different sources. You may need to refer to more than one. Ok, Dave. Do you want to see some examples?

A reference to a book includes: the author date of publication title place of publication and publisher. A reference to a journal article includes: the author date of publication, title of the article title of the journal volume and issue numbers and page numbers. If you have accessed the article online, you need to acknowledge this. If you have accessed via a database include the database name and URL and you should also include the date you accessed it.

If you have accessed the article from the open internet use the URL of the article. For a website, you should ideally include: the author, date title page format copyright owner URL and the date accessed. Remember to assess the authority, reliability and credibility of any websites that you use! So, Dave. Does that help?

Is there anything else you’d like to add Professor Frisbee? Yes. If in doubt, remember three golden rules… Be accurate be consistent and provide enough information to find the source. I hope this helps you with your essay Dave! Happy referencing!