The Student Friendly Guide to Referencing


One place where students seem to struggle is when it comes to referencing studies and sources in their coursework. It’s really important to reference the studies you use so show that you’re not plagiarising – plus it’s a great skill to have (especially if you’re going to do psychology at university).

The style that most academics use is called the Harvard Referencing. The whole idea behind referencing is that anyone reading your work will be able to find the studies, research or quotes in the original book if they wish. There’s different ‘rules’ for different sources so it’s important that you get it right. Also, if you’ve cited a study that’s in someone elses book then you need to reference that slightly differently.

The big problem many people have is telling the difference between references and a bibliography – and to get full marks for presentation and communication the examiner will be looking for references not just a bibliography. Basically a bibliography is a list of books or resources that you have read to understand what you’re writing about but you haven’t acually referenced anything or quotes anything from these sources throughout your writing. References are used when you have actually refered to a specific source, person, piece of research or have put in a quote.

Here are some excellent sites to help you with your referencing:

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