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Correctly reference sources used in a dissertation

What is referencing?

Referencing is the way in which you:

a. Acknowledge the sources (articles, books, data) you have used in writing your dissertation

b. Enable the reader of your dissertation to easily identify and access your source documents in order to verify the validity of your arguments and the evidence on which they are based


Why is referencing important?

Referencing is important because:

a. It helps you to avoid accusations of plagiarism

The quotation of any facts, figures, theories and theorums without accrediting their original source is plagiarism.

b. Good referencing can help you to obtain better marks

By referring to the works of authorities in your subject area you can add weight to your arguments and demonstrate that you have read widely.


How are sources referenced?

Your identify your sources by:

a. Citing them in the main text of your dissertation -- called citations or in-text citations

Further guidance on setting out citations in your writing is available online from 'Cite them right'.

b. Referencing them at the end of your dissertation -- called the reference list or end-text citations

 Examples of in-text citations and reference lists are illustrated here in Harvard and APA styles.


Which referencing style?

There are two main types of referencing : Author-date and Author-title

The Faculty of Economics recommends the use of an author-date referencing style and students in the past have successfully used both the Harvard and APA author-date referencing styles. The exact style used is probably less important than applying whichever one you choose accurately and consistently.


Further information on referencing and the avoidance of plagiarism may be obtained from ...


 1. Cite them right

The best source for further information about referencing is 'Cite them right'  online. Its a very user friendly resource and will help you to reference just about any resource - printed or electronic -  and to avoid plagiarism.

Resource to be referenced

Further information from Cite them right on how to reference in Harvard or APA styles


Printed books Harvard APA
ebooks Harvard APA
Chapters or sections of edited books Harvard APA
Multi-volume works Harvard APA


Journal articles Harvard APA
Prepublication journal articles Harvard APA
Magazine articles Harvard APA

Digital and Internet

The Internet Harvard

No other referencing system

is available for this resource type

Digital repositories
Personal and virtual learning environments

EU / UK Government & international organizations

European Union (EU) publications Harvard

No other referencing system

is available for this resource type

Parliamentary Command Papers
UK Government Department publications
International organization publications


2. The Marshall Library

The Marshall Library maintains a collection of books covering a wide variety of student study skills. Those relating to referencing and the avoidance of plagiarism are shown below:

Cite them right Complete guide to referencing Referencing and understanding plagiarism