What is referencing?

Referencing is acknowledging the sources of information (originated by another person) that you have used to help you write your essay, report or other piece of work.

In your work, you should use the existing knowledge of others to back up and provide evidence for your arguments. This makes your arguments stronger and gives them true academic value. The sources of information you use may include books, journal articles, newspapers, government publications, organisational reports, websites, videos, computer programs and so on.


This is a shortened version of the full reference and goes in the body of your essay whenever you use information taken from another source. It usually just contains the authors surname and year of publication. For example:

Storytelling activates the brain's insular cortex and allows us to experience sensations such as excitement or disgust (Wildrich, 2012).

If you mention the authors name then there is no need to include this in the brackets, for example:

Robinson (2001) suggests that.......

Reference List

A reference list includes all the full references for the sources you have cited in your main body of work and goes at the end of your essay. It is arranged alphabetically by author surname. 

Further Information