Skip to main content

Art Design Architecture: Referencing and Plaigerism

Taught Postgraduates

Referencing software (Endnote)

Referencing is important part of your writing process. A referencing style is a set of rules to guide authors in citing the work of others and creating bibliographies.  There are several referencing styles - the golden rule is to be consistent. Your student handbook should provide you with information and guidelines on the style your school or program requires you to use.

The main styles used in the school of Art and Media are:

An online tool to help you understand how to reference lots of different types of material. Although based on the Harvard style, it is also useful for anyone wanting to understand how the full reference should look       This style is used by many programmes in the faculty of Arts and Humanities and is a referencing style that uses footnotes based on the MLA style



'Plagiarism is an offence under the University regulations on examination and assessment offences.' Plagiarism is taken very seriously by tutors and committing this act can lead to a formal disciplinary process. No matter how small a section of your work is found to have been plagiarised, it may result in a '0' mark for that assignment.

Plagiarism applies to words and ideas. Simply changing someone else’s words is not enough. It is still their idea – acknowledge it.Plagiarism is defined as ‘using someone else’s words or ideas without properly acknowledging them or, put another way, presenting someone else’s words as your own’ (Pears & Shields, 2005, p.1).

On the cover sheet for each piece of written work you hand in, you are asked to affirm, by signing your name, that it is entirely your own work. If you use any kind of material (information, ideas, particular words or phrases) from a published source you must clearly indicate the source from which the material comes. Otherwise you are plagiarising - in effect you are stealing someone else’s work. Plagiarism is not permitted under any circumstances and is subject to severe penalties when detected.

It does not matter whether or not you are consciously trying to deceive your tutor by passing off borrowed material as your own work, or simply reproducing words and phrases from a source without acknowledging it; in either case you are guilty of plagiarism. It is your responsibility to make sure you do not take material from a source without proper acknowledgement. When you are taking notes while reading make sure that you indicate where they come from: list full details of the publication and record the page number(s) for the information you noted.

Ignorance is no defence. Accidental plagiarism due to poor referencing is still an offence. If you do not know where something comes from do not use it.
When writing a report or an essay you are expected to reference fully the materials you have used, whether or not you refer to it directly in your work.

Here is a 15 minute tutorial from Cardiff University that will explain the issues and test your understanding.

and video will also give you food for thought