The Research Process

References and Citing Sources-

Once you have found all the information that you need and you are writing your assignment/project/dissertation you will need to quote from the sources you have read and you will need to acknowledge those sources.

One of the definitions of a Reference in the Oxoford English Dictionary is "a mention or citation of a source of information in a book or article". Citation is defined as "the action or an act of quoting or referring to a passage, text, author, legal precedent, etc., esp. as an authority or in support of an argument; quotation" (OED online).

It is very important to acknowledge the owners of the work that you may have used in your assignment, whether you have quoted them directly or referred to an idea or research concept. If fail to do this you do not protect yourself from plagiarism (taking other writer's ideas and pretending that they are your own). The consequences of being accused of plagiarism are extremely serious. For more information please consult the information provided by your School, or see for help.

What is...?

  • A Reference/Citation provides brief details of your source in the main body of your assignment e.g. the author, date of publication and page numbers.
  • A Reference List is a list of the items you quote or refer to in the assignment. It can be located at the back of  your work or at the end of chapter. This list does not include items that you may have read during your research but not actually referred to specifcially within the assignment.
  • A Bibliography is a list of all sources used for your research, but not necessarily all cited in the body of your assignment.

Citation Styles

There are different citation styles (ways of laying out your references and composing your bibliographies) depending on the discipline you are studying. Each School has guidelines on what particular citation style they want you to use and you should follow their guidelines. The preferred style for Art, Design and Photography is Chicago.  The library has numerous books on citing and citation styles e.g. 'The Chicago Manual of Style' is available at the call no. 808.0270973.  We also have some great books on 'writing assignments'/'writing at university' at the call no. 808

Referencing/Citation Software

There are many different resources available online to help you with gathering your references and producing bibliographies.
Endnote Basic is a free online citation manager which provides users with a web-based bibliographic research and formatting solution. You can use Endnote to keep all your references in one place and then use the 'Cite While you Write' plug-in to insert them into Word and automatically create a bibliography in whatever referencing style you choose. This excellent resource should ideally be used from the start of your research for your dissertation/thesis. The library's ‌Endnote Online shows you how to set up an account, import references from a database and insert them into your document.



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