Referencing is an important part of academic writing. It allows you to acknowledge the ideas or words of others if you use them in your work and helps you to avoid plagiarism.

Referencing demonstrates that you've read relevant background literature for your research and allows you to provide authority for statements you make in your work.

Each piece of assessed work you submit should include accurate references.  Your first step should be to find out which referencing style is used for your course.  Consult your course handbook or moodle or ask your tutor. Once you know which referencing style you should use, there is a set of rules you must follow to create your references.  It is important to follow these rules, and you must be consistent throughout your work.

These rules will be fully set out in a style guide/publication. For some of these, there is an online guide. For others, search the Library to find style guides. 

StyleBooksOnline guides

Concise rules of APA style

The big book of APA citations & references

 APA Style

A manual for writers of research papers, theses, and dissertations: Chicago Style for students and researchers

Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide

Harvard (author/date)

Citations made simple: a student's guide to easy referencing. Vol. II, The Harvard format


Harvard Referencing

MHRA style guide: a handbook for authors and editors

MHRA Style Guide


Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities 


MLA style manual and guide to scholarly publishing

Referencing Guide: MLA
Vancouver (numbered)   Referencing Guide: Vancouver

The Library also has a number of general books on referencing which will include details of the most commonly used styles:


Using software such as EndNote Online is a good way of keeping track of your reading, and creating references and bibliographies. The University provides access to EndNote and EndNote Online - see Using EndNote and EndNote Online for more information.

Do you need help?

LEADS for Students offer workshops on academic writing, including referencing and citation styles.

Contact your College Librarian for help on the particular style for your subject.