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School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science: Referencing

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What is referencing?

Referencing is a practice of acknowledging other peoples works, ideas, sources used in a paper, assignment, report and conference papers in academic writing.

What is a referencing style?

A referencing style is the preferred format for creating references to sources of information. Format includes the order of elements of a reference as well as punctuation. Unfortunately there is no universal style and every discipline and journal has its own preferred style.



Referencing is the practice of indicating the information sources used in a document and gives credit to the original authors. A referencing style is the way in which references are presented in a document. Unfortunately there is no universal style and each discipline has its preferences.

 Why  should I reference my assignment?

·       It is academic courtesy to acknowledge the work of others – none of us know everything and we we rely on the work of others

·       Your lecturers/readers need to see from where you obtained your information 

·       Your lecturers/readers need to see how widely you have read; whether you have used key sources and how up to date your information is

·       Your lecturers/readers need to be able to verify the information you have used

·       Plagiarism – using someone else’s ideas as if they were your own is unacceptable and a punishable offence.

The Library has created basic guides for these styles. Please find the guides below:


EndNote is an electronic package for creating and storing a library of references (citations plus abstracts, notes etc) which can then be used in conjunction with the typing of Word documents. Full text documents, figures, tables etc can be added to the references as attachments.

The Library offers training in EndNote.


Plagiarism is not just about copying a classmate's assignment but also taking someone else's ideas and writings from books, journals and websites and pretending they are your own. In the academic environment it is essential to indicate where you got your information and ideas from - your lecturers want to see what you have read.

Types of plagiarism

The types of plagiarism have been well documented. recently undertook a plagiarism survey and have presented their findings on types of plagiarism in the document: White paper: the plagiarism spectrum.


Turnit in is an internet based tool used to check and detect plagiarism in an essay or any kind of academic related document. Its a licensed based software which universities and school obtain through subscription.

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