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The Library: Referencing

Referencing Your Work

Here you will find the relevant referencing guide for your course, along with other useful information on how best to manage your references as you plan, gather and write up your research.  You will also find guidance on plagiarism and top tips on how best to avoid it.

A photo of a desk with a blank laptop. Piles of books and papers fill the desk.

What is referencing?

Referencing is acknowledging the source of your information. For example, this could be a textbook, webpage, newspaper article or image. There are different styles of referencing. Your tutor will tell you which to use for your assignment.  All FE (level 2 & 3) students are required to use the University of Lincoln Harvard style.

Good Practice

  • When you find facts and figures to include in your assignment, keep a note of where you found them so you can reference them at the end of your assignment
  • If you use an image from a website, remember to include the web address where you found it
  • If you have to complete an individual assignment, make sure you do your own research
  • Plan your time well so you have time to research a topic properly and are not tempted to just reword information you’ve found on the web or in a textbook
  • Ensure you can tell apart your own notes and ideas from the notes you have made from other sources. An easy way to do this is to use a coloured highlighter pen
  • Don’t copy and paste sections from websites into your assignments
  • Remember that copying another student’s work is also plagiarism
  • Did you know you can ‘self-plagiarise’ by re-using content from one of your previous assignments?

What is plagiarism?

Photo of hands typing on a laptop, with a second laptop open nearby

Plagiarism is using someone else’s work, ideas or writing and presenting them as your own without acknowledging them. For example, copying and pasting a section of text from a website, journal or book into your assignment and passing it off as your own is plagiarising someone else’s work.

Plagiarism is treated very seriously by the College. Disciplinary action may be taken under the Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.

How do I avoid plagiarism?

Your tutors will want to know where you have found the information you have included in your assignment. You can use a technique known as referencing to show this. Take a look at our Referencing Quick Guides on the right hand side of the page, which explains about this further.

‚ÄčTop Tips

  1. Keep a record of the books, websites and other types of resources you use
  2. Follow the referencing guidelines
  3. Be consistent by making sure you apply the same format consistently throughout
  4. Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time for doing your references and that you proofread the reference list before you submit your assignment; unnecessary mistakes can cost you marks
  5. If in doubt, ask your tutor or your subject Library Information Adviser

ProQuest Refworks logo

RefWorks is an online reference manager. It helps you keep track of all your research and create reference lists in your chosen referencing style.

Sign up to RefWorks here using your College email address.

RefWorks Quick Guide

RefWorks Libguides

An image of the book The Complete Guide to Referencing & Avoiding Plagiarism

The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism

"Demystifying the referencing process and providing essential guidance to make sure you are not committing plagiarism. It provides clear guidelines on why and when to reference as well as how to correctly cite from a huge range of sources."

An image of the book Referencing & Understanding Plagiarism

Referencing and understanding plagiarism

This guide explains why referencing is an essential part of good writing and shows how to do it. It explains what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. With clear explanations and examples, this handy, easy-to-read guide has engaging illustrations and an informal style.

Useful Sites

If you need any help with this topic, get in touch with one of our Library Information Advisers.


Quick Guides