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Referencing and Bibliographies

Updated Friday, 30th April 2021

This brief study guide aims to help you to understand why you should include references to the information sources that you use to underpin your writing. It explains the main principles of accurately referencing such sources in your work.

Why reference?


When you are writing an essay, report, dissertation or any other form of academic writing, your own thoughts and ideas inevitably build on those of other writers, researchers or teachers. It is essential that you acknowledge your debt to the sources of data, research and ideas on which you have drawn by including references to, and full details of, these sources in your work. Referencing your work allows the reader:

  • to distinguish your own ideas and findings from those you have drawn from the work of others;
  • to follow up in more detail the ideas or facts that you have referred to.

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