Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Referencing: Referencing

Referencing banner

Cite them Right

Cite them Right online resource showing you how to reference any source and advice on avoiding plagiarism. 

Referencing allows you to distinguish your own ideas from the research you have read so that your lecturers can clearly see your understanding of a topic. 

References will have 3 components

Content: This is how you use the information within your work. You may choose to paraphrase, summarise and or quote the source.

Citation: This is the brief reference within the body of your text or in your footnote immediately after the quote or summary. This refers the reader to the reference list.

Reference List: This is the full list of all the sources you have read with all the details to enable your reader to find the source themself.

Understanding references is also important to help you find the sources that your lecturers refer to in reading lists, lectures etc. 

Below are some common examples:

Book: Cottrell, S (2013) The Study Skills Handbook Basingstoke: Palgrave

(search for the author Cottrell or the title 'The Study Skills Handbook' to find the book on Primo)

Book Chapter: Grunert, K. (2006) 'Marketing Parameters and their influence on consumer food choice' in Shepherd, R. and Raats, M. (ed.) The psychology of food choice. Wallingford: CABI Publishing, pp.161-177.

(search for the editors Shepherd and Raats or the title 'The psychology of food choice' to find the book on Primo and then navigate to the correct chapter)

Journal Article:  Entwistle, N.J. (1982) 'Study skills and independent learning', Studies in Higher Education, 7:1, 65-73, DOI: 10.1080/03075078212331379321 

(search for the article title 'Study skills and independent learning' or search for the journal 'Studies in Higher Education' and then find volume 7, issue 1)

Referencing is an essential part of academic work and helps you demonstrate a number of skills. It is important because:

  • it demonstrates your own contribution,ideas and understanding of the topic
  • it acknowledges the research you have done and enables readers to follow up on your references
  • it demonstrates consistency and attention to detail

Rather than see referencing as a chore try and view it as an opportunity to make your work more professional and also improve your grade. 


There are many different styles of referencing the most common are: 

  • an author and date format
  • footnotes 
  • numbering style

The most important thing is to ensure you are consistent. Your student handbook should provide you with information and guidelines on the style your school or programme requires you to use. 

The most common styles within the University are

  • Harvard (Cite them Right) style - information on this style including how to reference different types of information is available on Cite Them Right Online.
  • Humanities (footnotes) - information on the style including how to reference different types of information is available on our Humanities Referencing Guide
  • APA - information on the style including links to guides on how to reference and format available on our APA Referencing Guide

How to reference...

Click on the icon to find out information on how to find the reference information for common sources and test your knowledge with our short tutorials

book icon  ebook reader iconjournal article iconcomputer iconPDF icon