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Sixth Form Study Skills: Plagiarism and Referencing

What is referencing and how do you do it?

Referencing is where you refer to a source in your writing, such as a book, journal article or newspaper article. When you reference you need to properly record the information you have used - this way whoever is reading or marking your work will be able to find the original source. There are many different referencing styles but one of the main ones is the Harvard referencing style which is demonstrated on this page.

There are two parts to referencing. The first part is when you add references within the main text itself (in-text citations). This is a shortened version of the full reference that goes in your reference list, usually just containing the authors surname and year of publication. For example:

Storytelling activates the brain's insular cortex and allows us to experience sensations such as excitement or disgust (Wildrich, 2012).

If you mention the authors name then there is no need to include this in the brackets, for example:

Robinson (2001) suggests that.......

The second part of referencing is the Reference List. This includes all full references for all of the sources you have cited in your main body of work, arranged alphabetically. 


How references should look in your reference list

How to reference a book

Author, Initial. (Year of publication) Title in Italics. Edition if not first. Place of publication: Publisher.

Johnston, G. (1998) Introduction to Penguins. 2nd edition. London: W.H. Freeman.

How to reference a chapter in an edited book

Author(s) (Year) Title of chapter. In Editor(s) Title of book. City published: Publisher, page range of chapter.

Clark, R.E. & Feldon, D.F. (2005) The multimedia principle. In Mayer, R.E. (ed) The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press, 117-134.

Golden Rules

  • Be consistent - use the guidelines provided and stick to them for all your work.
  • Follow the detail in your guidelines absolutely; for example, for punctuation, capitals and italics. If you do this inconsistently, you may lose marks. Referencing is all about attention to detail.
  • If the source of information you are referencing does not fit any of the examples in the guidelines, include enough information for your reader to find and check that source, in a format as near to the appropriate example as possible. 

How to reference a journal article

Author(s), Initials. (Date) Article title, Journal title in italics, volume number (issue number if available), page range.

Al-Wazaify, M., Matowe, L. Albsoul-Younes, A. & Al-Omran, O.A. (2006) Pharmacy education in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 70(1), 18-20.

How to reference a website

Author(s) (Year) Title of webpage in sentence case. Available online: URL [Accessed date].

Individual Author(s)

Reynolds, G. (2005) Top ten slide tips. Available online: [Accessed 27/3/2014].

Company author

SocialBakers (2014) LinkedIn statistics, number of LinkedIn users & demographics. Available online: [Accessed 26/3/2014].

No author or company name

Gourmet coffee boom takes Russia by storm (2013). Available online: [Accessed 2/1/2014].