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The Scottish Parliament and law making
The Scottish Parliament and law making

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5.3 Referencing

Referencing is an important skill. By referencing you are providing a clear note of where you found information that you are using and sharing this information with those reading your work. Referencing is important in academic work for a number of reasons.

  • the points you make are clearly supported by evidence – for example, what the Section of an Act states
  • you can use the sources for further research in the future – for example, you will know which Section of the Act you were discussing
  • your work will be more persuasive – for example, you reference the Section of an Act around which you based your explanation or discussion – but the reader of your work can see your starting point and evidence
  • your reader can find your sources – for example, you have referenced the Section of the Act around which you based your explanation or discussion and they can go and read the original if they wish to
  • you can demonstrate how widely you have read and show that you understand the area
  • your work will reflect expected academic values and good academic practice.

Referencing, whether to an Act you have discussed, a text book you have read, a piece you have found on the internet, a journal article or this course, demonstrates good academic practice.

You can reference this course as The Open University (2017) The Scottish Parliament and law making, [Online]. Available at www.open.edu/ openlearn/ society-politics-law/ the-scottish-parliament-and-law-making/ content-section-overview [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] (Accessed 13 October 2017). 

In this course you will learn how Acts of Parliament are structured and how to reference them (this is referred to by lawyers as a citation). This is covered in the weeks that follow.