Referencing

Referencing

It is important to reference your work throughout, so that readers can locate the sources you have used; to indicate that you are familiar with what other people have written about your topic; to support the claims that you advance; and to avoid accusations of plagiarism.  You must give a reference whenever you quote directly from another source (whether it is a book, journal article, website, movie, etc.).  Likewise, ideas, theories, data and statistics must also be referenced, whether quoted directly or paraphrased in your own words.

Different disciplines employ different referencing conventions.  If you are unsure, you should ask your supervisor to clarify what is expected of you.  English prefer you to use the Modern Languages Association (MLA) style guide, a copy of which can be found in the UL library, and a discussion is available here.  Most other disciplines prefer you to use the Harvard system, detailed in the UL Library’s document ‘Cite it Right’.

Many students find it helpful to use bibliographic software to manage their sources, such as ‘Endnote’ or ‘Refworks’.  You can find a detailed description of such software on the UL Library website.