Referencing top tips: the basic steps

Learn the basic steps of a reference, and you can hit the rhythm with any style you need.

Referencing – why is it snow important?

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

When walking in the snow we need the right footwear, and to keep warm, a scarf, hat, and gloves are also of great help. By doing so, we are adapting to the environment and using the right tools at the right time for the job at hand.

The same is true when adapting to academic writing where referencing is a key tool.

When you are writing a piece of work and you use someone else’s thoughts, words or ideas, you must reference them. But why do we talk about referencing so much at University, and why is it so important? Why should you bother spending time on ensuring that your references are consistent, accurate and correct?

It all comes down to why we reference in the first place:

  • To make your contribution clear by showing which words and ideas are yours, and which have come from your reading.
  • To acknowledge the work of others and to demonstrate how you have built on the knowledge that you’ve gained from your reading.
  • To ensure that the reader can follow up on your references for themselves.
  • To avoid being wrongly accused of plagiarism.

Watch our short video to find out a little more about why we should bother with referencing.

Find out more on our Managing Information skills guide.

Routine for Referencing

What are the key steps to a successful routine for referencing? Of all the enquiries we get in the Library, referencing is the most common.

Referencing is the acknowledgement of the sources that you use in your work. You must reference all sources that you use in your assignment, project or dissertation, including words and ideas, facts, images, videos, audio, websites, statistics, diagrams and data.

Over the next two weeks weeks we’re focusing on referencing, giving you the routine for success. As a novice, you might need a little help to understand the steps and techniques for your referencing style.

We’ll tell you where to get advice and help

Understand why we reference and how

How to avoid plagiarism

How to manage your information to make your life easier and assignments less stressful, giving you the routine for success.

Building Types Online

After positive feedback from a trial in 2018 we are delighted to announce we now have access to this database.

This platform is based on Birkhäuser’s architecture books, a selection of Birkhäuser manuals and additional analysis Annual updates which add new building types and more contemporary international case studies.

This resources features :

  • Over 6000 high quality architectural drawings/ building plans. These are mostly vector-based, drawn to scale and available for download.
  • 2500 photos of building types
  • 1200 case studies
  • Over 900 international projects
  • 160 thematic articles providing background information on specific aspects of individual building types e.g. lighting, acoustics, urban considerations, access types or planning processes.
  • Types of buildings include: housing, schools, libraries, office buildings, sacred buildings, hospitals, museums, industrial complexes, infrastructure, transport and other building types.

This makes it an excellent choice for both teaching, research and understanding the practice of architectural design.

Search options include :

  • Full Text
  • Architect
  • Building Types
  • Decade
  • Height
  • Country
  • Author
  • Urban Context

You can also browse by grant systematic access to all content according to Building Type, Urban Context and Morphological Type.

This is an important resource for anyone studying building typology or writing architectural design assignments. In nutshell a fantastic online resource covering building types in the last 30 years. 

The Search Help document from the resources explains the database’s functions in detail. An overview of the terminology used in the building analysis and the Search and Browse options is available as well.

To access the database, click on the link via Library Search.

Walton Library: Reading Lists and the STC

Hopefully you are feeling settled at the Walton Library and finding your way around.  During your induction session you may have heard Library staff mention reading lists and STC books. This blog post breaks these terms down to help you get the most out of the Library.

What are reading lists?

When it comes to reading lists, the clue is in the name. They are materials your lecturer(s) have selected to help you understand your subject – and are not necessarily books! Reading lists can contain journal articles, websites and other media, such as podcasts and videos. The material on your reading list is broken down into essential, recommended or background reading for your convenience.

Not all reading lists look the same. Some lists are divided into the above categories, and some are divided into weekly or even daily reading. Speak to your lecturer if you have a query about the content on your module’s reading list.

Where are they?

There’s more than one way to access your reading list. If you use the Medical Learning Environment (MLE), you can access your reading list from the “Reading” tab on the “Learning Materials” window. These are embedded in each Case. See below for reference:

A reading list on the Medical Learning Environment (MLE).

You can click on the items within the reading list and it’ll take you directly to Library Search, where you will be able to see the item’s location and availability.

If you use Blackboard, once you’ve logged in, you will see that the “Reading Lists” link is on the “Overview” page for each module you’re registered on. See below for reference:

The location of a module’s reading list on Blackboard.

You can also access your reading lists from the Library homepage. Follow this link and click the green “More information for students” button.

If you’re having a technical problem when using your reading list, email: med-reading-lists@ncl.ac.uk and we’ll investigate the problem for you.

What is the STC?

The Student Texts Collection (STC) at the Walton Library.

If you’ve been to the Walton’s service desk asking for a stapler, you may have heard the staff directing you to the STC. STC or Student Texts Collection is a separate room, located next to the printers and the self-issue machine, which contains our high demand texts. Many of these will be essential on your reading lists. These books are available for short loan only – four hours during the day, unless you take them out four hours before the Library closes, when you can loan them overnight (providing you return them before 9:30AM the next weekday and 10:30AM on weekends!)

These short loan books are perfect if you’re on the go. You can issue one before a lecture and then return it just after! They’re also ideal if you only need to use a short section of a book: you can copy up to one chapter or 10% of a book (whatever is greater) using the photocopier.

How does it work?

Just like long loan items, STC books are on Library Search. However they can’t be reserved if all the copies are out on loan. STC books need to be checked out and returned from your account using the self-issue machine in the STC room.

STC books are listed separately on Library Search.

If you have any further queries about the STC, you might want to check out our Library FAQs here. Desk staff at the Walton can also be called upon to lend a hand if you’re stuck.