Top Tip #3 - Get to grips with referencing

We know it can be confusing, but referencing is an essential skill in academic writing for every course in Higher Education; so it makes sense to get to grips with it. Thankfully, there’s a whole heap of support and resources available at UoG to help you understand everything from bibliographies to reference lists, citations to quotations, and everything in between.

What is referencing?

Referencing is when you acknowledge the sources that you have used to inform your assignment. It ensures that the people who wrote the original sources (e.g. the textbook or journal article you use to support a point in your assignment) receive appropriate credit and shows that you have read widely around the topic you are writing about. Referencing is important to help you avoid plagiarism (passing someone else’s work as your own) which is considered an academic offence.

What style of references should I use?

Different courses use different styles of referencing, so it’s important to know which one you should be using before you start writing assignments. If you’re unsure, ask your module tutors or take a look at this handy list on MyGlos help (you may be asked to LogIn or ‘enrol’ on the DigiKnow course - don’t worry, it’s free to do and you just use your UoG username and password).

I don’t understand how to reference correctly - help?!

Don’t worry, referencing can be confusing and a lot of students struggle to get to grips with it at first. Once you know which style of referencing to use, take a look at these handy referencing guides put together by the lovely staff in the libraries. You can download the relevant guides as PDF documents or work through an online tutorial via the MyGlos Help DigiKnow site (you may be asked to LogIn or ‘enrol’ on the DigiKnow course - don’t worry, it’s free to do and you just use your UoG username and password). The library staff also put on regular referencing workshops so if you’re still unsure, speak to a librarian or book an appointment with the Student Achievement Team who can guide you through referencing too. You can book appointments with the Student Achievement Team via the Future Plan Portal here.

What happens if I don’t reference correctly?

If you don’t reference correctly, you may not be acknowledging other people’s work adequately; this is known as plagiarism. Unfortunately, plagiarism is an assessment offence and can lead to you receiving lower grades and/or failing assessments, failing modules or even being asked to withdraw from the university . You can find out more about assessment offences here.