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Citing references

Guidance on citing references for students at the University of Reading

"I know how to reference - why should I use this guide?"

Referencing is a key academic practice for university students. Through correct referencing, you acknowledge the author/s contribution to your understanding, and give your reader the opportunity to reproduce your research by following the same cited texts. You also show that you can work with accuracy and rigour by learning and following a set of rules.

You may have used citations and references before, in school or college, or when studying outside the UK. However, this is likely to be quite different from what we expect you to do at the University of Reading. You should always check the Course Handbook for the subject you are going to submit your assignment to and any specific requirements given in the assignment brief. The Course Handbook will show you which referencing style is required and may give you some examples. We've also listed the styles in use in each department along with links to more specific guidance on the 'Which style does your School/Department use?' page in this guide.

You can lose marks for incorrect referencing, or even find yourself guilty of accidental plagiarism. So do read through all of the sections - not just the sections on how to write citations. Once you have learnt the principles, you will be able to adapt them to cite all the different materials you may use in your studies at university.

Use the menu on the left to explore topics in this guide.

Referencing shortcuts

Watch this short video for some tips on creating references using Summon and Google Scholar, and editing them to match your departmental guidance.

If you are unable to view this video on YouTube it is also available on YuJa - view the Referencing shortcuts video on YuJa (University username and password required)