Many students I speak to find the referencing side of their assignments and articles challenging. They are wondering if they are formatting the reference list and citing sources correctly. They feel frustrated that so much importance is placed on referencing data in the correct manner. We know that it is the content that makes us more informed and increases our knowledge. If this resonates with you, you’re not alone.
These few ideas may allow you to look at referencing in a different way.
- Referencing is a sign of respect to authors or writers
Whether it be to inform yourself, to build your discussion, form your argument, or complete an assessment, remember that the writers behind the articles, journals or books you’ve read have done the hard yards to put together their piece of work.
They have spent time researching, collecting information, evaluating, analysing, hypothesising, and reporting on their topics. These people deserve the credit of having their work acknowledged by having their name attached to someone else’s work.
When you think of referencing from this point of view, it will help you to deal with the frustration it can sometimes cause you when you are trying to put together a perfectly formatted reference list with every dot, comer, bracket, name, initial and year in the place it should be placed.
Acknowledging and rewarding other writers for their contribution is very important.
- Referencing shows credibility
Referencing demonstrates that you have engaged in research yourself to help you form the conclusion you have in any assignment you’ve been writing. Acknowledging someone else’s study or results of their research strengthens the words and statements you use in your assignment/article.
Recognising another authors work shows that there is further evidence confirming what you have outlined in your discussion. Using multiple authors shows the breadth of your research and helps to demonstrate the argument or topic of discussion is not just your own thoughts or personal opinion but rather that it is backed by experts in the field.
- Different Styles of Referencing
There are many referencing styles, all of which have their own special, unique requirements. Find a referencing style that you feel comfortable with and use this one. APA abridged guide or Harvard referencing quick guide offer good examples of how to reference.
Referencing is tricky and it can take time to learn. If you need further help, or want to talk about a particular style or an element of referencing that has you confused please do not hesitate to reach out for support.
Assessor The Nutrition Academy