Referencing- A Complete Guide

06/08/2020 | 4953

Referencing has an important role to play in academic work. It is the referencing which helps readers in determining from where information has been gathered. Proper formatting and citations of references are crucial for getting a good score in college exams.

In this article, our professionals are providing Postgraduate students with tips and tools which are essential for completing their academic work. This article contains a brief over of referencing.

By reading this article, you will be able to develop in-depth knowledge about the meaning, significance, types, and procedure of doing references in academic work.

What is referencing?

Referencing is basically a practice of acknowledging the sources from where students have gathered the information for writing an academic paper. The main purpose of referencing is to support claims and avoid the risk of plagiarism.

Different types of referencing style

There are different types of referencing styles which mainly comprises of 2 things these are

The Citation helps the reader in determining the source from where the writer has collected information for writing text.

You need to include a reference list at the end of the academic paper. It is the reference list which contains complete detail about sources.  The most common referencing styles which students in universities and colleges of UK use for doing referencing are the Harvard citation style. This is a reference style that consists of the name of author and date. If you are Harvard style of referencing then you need to do in-text citations author name and year. Other types of referencing styles are APA, MLA, Chicago, Vascular etc.

Example of Harvard referencing

In-text citations 

(Samantha, 2014)

Reference list

Samantha. K. (2014) Regression analysis. 3rd ed. UK: London. 

Importance of referencing

Referencing has great importance such as:

  • It helps in tracking of an idea

Referencing provide the reader with ease in identifying the source of information and origin of an idea.

  • Developing ideas

It is the proper referencing which provides the writer with ease in developing relationship between ideas.

  • The validity of arguments

Students need to provide valid arguments in their paper. Referencing provides a tutor with ease in ensuring the reliability and validity of evidence in assignments.  It also helps the teacher in determining whether the writer is using the information from the past.

  • Sharing knowledge

It is a referencing which provides tutors and other researchers with the chance to increase their knowledge about a particular topic. Referencing provides readers with ease in tracking the sources which the writer has cited.

  • Getting a good score

Masking choice of relevant evidence and doing proper referencing is very much essential for getting good scores in exams particularly at postgraduate level. It is a proper referencing which represents intellectual integrity. Referencing also helps you in demonstrating that you have put all your efforts into completing your academic paper in a systematic manner.

  • Avoid plagiarism

An accurate referencing will help you in avoiding plagiarism. But at the same time, you should also remember that the copying of references from the same sources can increase the chances of plagiarism. It can put you in great trouble.

What to reference?

Students need to do referencing of information which they have taken from different sources such as:

  • The book wrote by a single author
  • Editing of the book done by multiple authors
  • Legal documents
  • Articles ion newspaper
  • Journal articles
  • interview transcripts
  • case studies
  • DVD and CD database
  • internet sources such as web blogs,  E-mail
  • Reference books of all types.

When to do referencing?

College going students need to do references in their assignments in the following circumstances:

  1. To provide the reader with the source from where you have taken statistics, graph, pictures and charts.
  2. It is very much important for you to provide references while having a discussion about theories.
  3. You should include references if you intend to increase the credibility of the arguments which you have included in your assignment.
  4. When giving emphasis to a particular theory, model or practice that has found a measure of agreement and support among commentators
  5. Students can include references if they intend to inform the reader about sources of direct quotations.
  6. At the time of paraphrasing, the text is written by another author you should include references. It is the tactics which will help you in avoiding the chances of plagiarism.

Format of the referencing list

You need to arrange the reference list alphabetically according to the name of the authors. ||It is very much essential for you to do each entry from a new line. If in case an entry extends to multiple lines then you need to apply hanging indent.

Example of the reference list

Billiam, R. B. (20014) ” Modernisation. Thomas Magic Mountain, in Bartram, G. (Ed.) the Cambridge companion to the modern German novel. Cambridge University Press.pp. 79-90.

Fitz, K. R (2018) the great Gatsby. Edited by Prince, Z Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pears, M. and S. Linds 92014) the magic mountain. Translated from the German by B.T. Lowe-Porter. London: Vintage.

Rules for doing referencing

The main purpose of the Golden rule of referencing is to provide the reader with sufficient amount of information. It also intends to help the reader in addressing the sources which the writers have cited. Every referencing style has a specific set of rules which you need to follow when presenting the information. For instance, In-text citations, some students utilize footnotes or endnotes. While in other you need to provide a surname of author and date of publications to be put in brackets in the main text.

Before selecting any of the styles of referencing you need to properly review university guidelines.

How to cite the source with in-text citations?

Students need to utilize in-text citations whether they include Quote or phrase the content written by other authors. If in case you are referring to book, article, image or website then also you are required to include references.

  • Quoting and paraphrasing

Quoting include directly copying the text of other author and including it in your own assignment by quoting it to represent that it’s not your own.


Godwill states that ‘The information is ambiguous on this point'(2014, p.156).

  • In-text citations

These are basically Quick references to sources. In relation to Harvard referencing, students utilize surname of author and date of publication in brackets. You can include the name of three authors in Harvard in-text citation. If in case there are more than three authors then you need to put after the name of the first author.

For instance, (James, 2018)

Principles of referencing

College going students need to follow the following principles for doing references these are:

  •  Access Principle of referencing

Arranging the references in a proper manner is very much crucial for helping the reader in identifying and locating documents.

  • Principle of economy

As per principle, students should provide detail information to assist the reader in locating the sources. You also provide references in such a way that it eliminates the lengthy explanation of the text.

  •  Standardization

According to this principle, you need to present references in such a way that it enables the reader to address and understand the meaning of codes and formulas.

  • Transparency principle

This principle states that there should be no ambiguity in relation to the use of expression and terms.

Difference between references, citation and Bibliography

Students generally have confusion between bibliography and references. They some use both words interchangeably.

Reference is basically a list which contains detail information about the sources which the writer has to cite in their assignment.

The bibliography is a more extensive list which also contains a list of sources consulted but the writer has not to cite them in their assignment. It is completely optional to include a bibliography in your academic paper.

Citation is mainly used for referring a source in a text.

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Doing referencing is a time-consuming and difficult task for you then you can take help from Students Assignment Help. Our professionals will help you in collecting references. They will also assist you in organizing citations and creating bibliographies. We also provide students with assignment writing and editing services that too at reasonable costs.

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