Following on from our Be Connected: Referencing session, this blog post covers the main points that we covered in our session. You will find links to key resources that we highlighted so you have them in one handy place.
You can also find a copy of our slides and a link to other useful referencing/managing information blog posts at end of this post.
The Managing Information Guide and the slides from the session give you the context of why it is import to reference and why you should be managing your information. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the amount of information out there (and that’s before you start your dissertation/project!), so getting into good habits it essential not only academically, but also for your wellbeing.
Why is referencing important?
- It acknowledges the ideas and contributions of others that you have drawn upon in your work, ensuring that you avoid plagiarism
- It highlights the range of reading you’ve done for your assignment and makes your own contribution clear, showing how you’ve taken ideas from others and built upon them
- It enables the person reading your work to follow up on your references so they can learn more about the ideas you’ve discussed in your work or check any facts and figures.
How does referencing work?
Are there any tools that can help?
There are lots of referencing tools that can help you manage and format your citations and references correctly. Given where you might be within your dissertation or project it might not be best use of your time to start learning a new tool now. But if you are working with lots of references or still writing up most of your dissertation then a digital tool might save you some time in the long run.
Here are some examples of tools that can help:
A very useful online tool that lists all the information you need to include in a reference and provides examples of how a reference will look as an in-text citation and in a reference list.
- Citation Buttons
Keep an eye out for this symbol on Library Search and Google Scholar. Clicking the button will provide the option for you to copy a reference in a particular style and paste it directly into your reference list. You might need to tidy it up a little bit but it will save you time over writing them manually.
- Reference Building Tools: e.g. ZoteroBib
Reference building tools help you to create a bibliography using the correct referencing style. You can input information manually or use import functions to pull information through from other webpages or documents. As with the citation button above, reference building tools can save you time but you may still need to check the references are accurate.
- Reference Management Software: e.g. EndNote
If you are writing a detailed essay, dissertation or thesis, you may like to use a reference management tool such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero to help keep all of your references organised. This software allows you to manually add references or import them from Library Search, Google Scholar or Subject Databases; sort references into groups; attach pdf documents or add notes. You can then use the reference management software while you write to add in-text citations and format your reference list.
The University has a subscription for EndNote which is available in all University clusters and can be downloaded to your own personal device. You’ll find information about how to get started with EndNote on our EndNote Guide.
Remember: whatever tool you use, it’s always a good idea to get to know the conventions of the referencing style your school or lecturer would like you to use.
Need more help?
If you feel you need to work on your referencing a bit more, and still a bit unsure about it all, we recommend that you complete Cite them Right’s Referencing and Plagiarism tutorial – this is available within Cite them Right. You’ll need to log in then select the tutorial button on the top right of the homepage.
Download our Referencing top tips from the Academic Skills Kit.
Take our online referencing quiz to check your own understanding.
Here’s a copy of our slides from our referencing drop-in session: