In this section we are going to consider how we refer to the work of others when writing. Understanding why we reference is key to recognising when we should reference and so in this section we will be asking you to think about the purpose of referencing before elaborating upon how you reference and sharing the support that is available to you to do it well.

(embed Referencing 1) What is referencing?

Referencing is really important in your academic work. It is a way of acknowledging the sources and authors you have used in your own work.

When you reference consistently it becomes clear which ideas are your own and which have come from the sources you have used.

(embed Referencing 1.1) Why is referencing important


You see referencing in scholarly writing such as journal articles and textbooks and you are asked to reference in your academic work. Why do we reference?

Why is it important to the person reading the work?

Why is it important to the person writing the work?

Spend a few minutes thinking and add your responses to this padlet and don’t forget to read responses of other students

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Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the reasons that we reference is to avoid plagiarism.

Work through the ‘Avoiding Plagiarism’ online resource. This resource will allow you to work through different case-studies and stories related to different aspects of plagiarism and academic malpractice. These will help you to recognise and understand good practice in using and incorporating academic sources into your own work.

Avoiding plagiarism online resource
Avoiding plagiarism

Citing It Right: Introducing Referencing

The My Learning Essentials online resource ‘Citing it right: introducing referencing’ will outline:

  • What referencing is.
  • Why we need to reference.
  • What to reference.
  • How to reference.

We have already shared our thoughts on why referencing is important; so, before you start working through this resource, make a list of what you think we need to reference when writing academic work.

Activity — Resource and Reflect

Work through the ‘Citing it right: introducing referencing’ resource.

Reflect on the answers you gave in the first activity; has your understanding of why referencing is important changed or developed?

Look back on the list of what you think we need to reference when writing academic work; do you need to add anything to this list now.

Referencing Guide at the University of Manchester

Referencing guide
Referencing Guide

The Referencing Guide at the University of Manchester is a really useful tool to help get familiar with referencing at a starting point and also to help with specific queries and formatting issues when you start referencing in your assignments.

The Referencing Guide has instructions on how to reference a wide range of sources including eBooks, journal articles, YouTube videos and many more. If you find a source you wish to cite, but are unsure how to reference it, always check the Guide for help.

It is important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to know all about referencing from memory. It is perfectly acceptable to use tools and resources, such as this Guide, to help and remind you about referencing when you need it. Take some time to become familiar with the Guide and bookmark it in your browser so you can access it quickly when you need to.

Activity — Guide Practice

Pick an article or book from your reading list (or something you have found yourself that you are currently reading) and use the referencing guide to help you cite the resource.

Identify what type of source it is.

Find the corresponding source type in the Referencing Guide drop-down list.

Read through the template and advice given.

Use the template and advice to give the correct in-text citation and reference list citation for your own source.

Next steps

Use the guide in the same way you have for the above activity whenever you find a source you want to cite but are unsure how to reference it.

If you cannot find the answer in the guide, you can ask a Librarian by using Library Chat on the Library Website or MyManchester (log in required).

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