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.

The main referencing styles used at Abertay are:

Referencing tools

There are lots of referencing tools available that will help format your references for you. Simple citation tools include:

  • the citation tool which is part of LibrarySearch
  • the citation tool which is part of Google Scholar
These simple tools are commonly used, but RefWorks is by far the more sophisticated and most reliable of these tools. We run regular workshops on how to use RefWorks, or ask at one of our drop-ins.

If you use any referencing tool, remember:

  • there's no guarantee any referencing tool will be accurate. Always check your referencing before submitting your work to ensure all the relevant parts of the reference have been included, 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. Again, check and edit your references before submitting your work.

Help with referencing

We can help you get to grips with referencing through online support, classes and drop-ins.

Until the 30th November, we have a free trial to CiteThemRight Online. This online guide will help you understand how and when to reference with details of how to reference all sorts of different resource types. Let us know what you think by completing a short survey. Doing so, bags you £5 of free print credits, and enters you into a prize draw to win an Apple watch! Details of how to access CiteThemRight Online and the survey can be found from the tile below.