Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

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 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.