Top tips

Check your style
Make sure you know what style you need to use to make sure you have the right information

Look for missing information
You need your references to be complete, so check that there are no gaps

Use referencing software
This will make the whole process easier and quicker

Referencing is a two-part process. In addition to the citations within the text, you also need a list with a full reference for each source you have used. This list should contain all the information needed to find each piece of research. Correct citing and referencing should guide your reader to the sources of your information and evidence.

What's the difference between a reference list and a bibliography?

Reference list

A reference list is a list of everything that you have cited in your work.

The list will be drawn from everything that you have either paraphrased or quoted in your assignment.


This is a list of everything that you have cited in your work and any other sources that you might have consulted during your research but have chosen not to cite in the assignment.

Whether you are asked to provide a reference list or a bibliography, both should provide accurate and full references. You need to give enough information that people can easily find your reference. It will vary depending on the type of material you need to reference, but you will always need to include the author, date of publication and title.

For books, you’ll need to include information on the publisher. For journals you’ll need to include facts on the journal itself - journal title and volume, issue and page numbers. For other types of reference you’ll need different pieces of information.

The more academic work you read, the more you will get used to recognising different types of reference.

The easiest thing to do is use some reference management software. For undergraduates, we suggest RefWorks. RefWorks is available online and free for you to use. It will manage the references for you but you’ll still need to make sure that the information that you put in is accurate.

The information you need to include in your reference will vary according to the style you’re using – make sure you know which style your department uses.

In the Library we support two styles, Harvard and Vancouver.