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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 guidance given with the assignment titles. These will show you which referencing style is required and may give you some examples. There may also be examples on the LibGuide for your subject: for example, Law requires students to use the OSCOLA style and guidance is given in the Law LibGuide.

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.

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