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Study Skills: Referencing

What is Referencing?

Referencing is the process of acknowledging other people's work when you have used it in your assignment or research. It allows the reader to verify the validity of your arguments. Referencing provides the link between what you write and the evidence on which it is based. 

There are two parts to referencing:

1. Citations or in-text citations in the main text of your assignment.

2. A reference list at the end of your assignment.

What is Plagiarism?

Using someone else's words or ideas without citing or referencing them is plagiarism and is a very serious academic offence (Pears and Shield, 2016, p. 4).

Plagiarism includes:

  • Presenting any part of someone else's work as your own
  • Copying information word-for-word (without quotation marks)
  • Paraphrasing or summarising ideas without acknowledging where you got them
  • 'Recycling' a piece of your own work
  • Citing and referencing sources that you have not used.

To avoid plagiarism, you must reference all of the sources of your ideas and information. Ask library staff for help referencing different sources.

The college uses the software Turnitin which can detect plagiarism in students' work. 

Referencing Styles

A referencing style is a set of rules that specify how to reference different sources of information e.g. books, articles, websites etc.

Check with your tutor if you aren't sure which referencing style you should use for your assignments.


Harvard referencing



If your HE course is validated by Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) use their MMU Harvard referencing style. 


APA referencing



If your course is validated by Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) use their APA referencing guide.


APA 6th referencing



If your HE course is validated by Huddersfield University use their APA 6th referencing guide.

If you are using referencing management software to help with formatting your references, do check your references against the examples provided in your referencing style guide. 

Skills4Study Campus

This interactive resource will help you hone and develop your study skills at your own pace. Each module has been designed so you can assess your current proficiency, track your progress and become more confident and get the most out of your course. 

To log in choose The Manchester College as your institution. You will be asked to log in using your student or staff email address and password. 

Key modules:

View all modules

Referencing Tools

Online referencing tools help you manage referencing, cite references in your work and create bibliographies.  

You can access basic features without buying the full packages.