Skip to main content

the University of Nottingham

School of Health Sciences
Referencing Tool


Referencing provides an ability to quickly refer back to the source of the literature you are using to write about your topic. If you need to refresh your knowledge of what and why you need to use references, then please click on the two podcasts to hear a brief explanation.

There are a few general rules to consider in using citations and references. In citations, there is a need to cite the author(s) and the year of publication, whilst the reference list provides the ability for the reader to locate the source of the reference.

Please use these summary guidelines as a guide to support your use of citations and in developing a reference list or bibliography.

Female student working on an assignment in library

What is Referencing?

Whenever you refer to information from another source in your work, be that factual information, a quote, someone else's views or theories, you must acknowledge where the information came from. This acknowledgement is a reference.

Why should I use referencing?

If you use someone else's work or ideas without acknowledgement, you are effectively stealing these as your own. This is known as plagiarism and is a serious academic offence.

On a more positive note, appropriate referencing shows an ability to analyse and apply suitable information sources. You will be given credit for this.

Other reasons include:

  • That it allows you to support your discussion points by referring to the work of others
  • It allows your work to be judged against published information.
  • It places your work into a broader context.
  • And it allows others to find further information that will be useful to them
Return to top of Document