What is referencing and why do I need to do it?

Referencing is a crucial part of academic writing. Referencing demonstrates your academic development and establishes authority, allowing you to support claims in your discussion.  It is very important to learn how to reference, not only to avoid plagiarism, but it allows the reader to track what you've read and your understanding of it.

There are two parts to referencing:

NOTE: every in-text citation should have a corresponding entry in the reference list. That way, the reader sees your citation in text, and can then go direct to your reference list to find the rest of the details of that item.

The main referencing styles used at Abertay are:

Reference management

There are lots of referencing tools available that will help format your references, but it's advisable to have a good working knowledge of the principles of referencing first before using them. Simple citation tools include:

  • the citation tool which is part of LibrarySearch
  • the citation tool which is part of Google Scholar
These tools are quick and easy to use, but should only be used as a starting point for your referencing:
  • there's no guarantee the reference produced will be complete or accurate - check to ensure your reference has all the relevant parts, in the right order, and formatted correctly.
  • if you're using Harvard, not every referencing tool will format according to Cite Them Right Harvard which is the version we use at Abertay - check and edit as required.
  • Law students referencing to OSCOLA should refer to the OSCOLA guide. 

Remember, referencing is part of your submission and it's your responsibility to check it for accuracy before submitting your work.

Abertay supports RefWorks, a more sophisticated and reliable referencing tool. Information and details on how to create an account can be found from the tile below. 

Help with referencing

Contact us at library@abertay.ac.uk for help with referencing, or to make an online appointment.