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Referencing is acknowledging your use of someone else’s words or ideas in your assignment. There are three ways to include an author’s original material in your work: quotation, paraphrasing or summarising. In each case you must supply a reference within the text in abbreviated form, linked to a full reference list at the end of your writing.

Failure to do this is called plagiarism, a serious academic offence.

There are several different referencing styles (e.g. Harvard, MHRA, Oscola). Ensure you obtain guidelines from your department or library about which one to use.

Remember... Excellent referencing will ensure you avoid plagiarism.

The example below shows the Harvard (name/date) system.
For other styles see Learn more below.


Using somebody’s exact words, shown by putting quote marks around the text you have used.


Using your own words to explain someone else’s ideas whilst retaining their meaning.


Giving a condensed version of what you have read.

Reference list  (in alphabetical order by surname)

The information required will include: name of author, date of publication, title of publication, place of publication, name of publisher.

Tusk (2014, p.104) states that “Food provides 90% of the nutrients a child needs for healthy growth. A nutritious diet can also offer a 50% increase in resistance to common childhood diseases.”

Nine-tenths of the nutrients that children need to grow healthily can be found in the food they eat. If they have a good, balanced diet their susceptibility to disease during childhood may be reduced by half (Tusk, 2014, p.104).

In his report, Tusk (2014) highlights the importance of a good diet in childhood, both to obtain the right nutrients for growth, and to ward off childhood ailments. He concludes that government should raise greater parental awareness of the benefits of healthy eating.

Reference list (in alphabetical order by surname)
Tusk, J. (2014) Children and the food they eat. London: Mammoth Educational.

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