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How Reference Your Work Successfully

To support your arguments and give your paper a solid basis you need to include references in your work. You must cite someone else's words and ideas, statistics, audio and video files, images and diagrams. When you cite a source, you indicate that you took information from another place.

Why is referencing important?

You need to cite references for a number of reasons:

  • to demonstrate that you've conducted a deep research

  • to strengthen the position you took and support it with the facts gathered

  • to avoid plagiarism by quoting thoughts of other authors

  • to let the reader follow your sources

  • to back up your ideas with a trustworthy point of view

Different colleges may require different referencing styles for various types of assignments, so always check which style you need to use for a particular task. When making a research and reading different materials, make sure to write down the full details of sources (title, authors, publication date, number of pages etc.). This will make the writing process much easier.

Check out our referencing guides:

Harvard Referencing

APA Referencing

What are the functions of references?

As you have already understood, referencing is the basis of academic writing. In most academic texts references have at least one of the following functions:

To approve previous study

You need to demonstrate your awareness of the related research in the field. Some disciplines have a huge base of the previous analysis and inquiry and you should present your fully understanding of the subject. Surely, you can show the opposite point of view in your own work but nevertheless it's important to use the point of view of other writers as a basis for your personal argument.

To arrange new research in relation to previous works

The main aim of any research is to extend knowledge. In order to demonstrate what is new, you need to position your work in relation to previous research in a particular field. This arrangement can be done in number of ways: you can describe the previous study and then add new information or you can contradict it.

To present primary data to support your point of view

The choice of primary data depends on the discipline and field of research. The best way here is to consult your supervisor what type of data you should use to back up your claim.

What to cite

You need to cite the sources when you paraphrase, quote or refer to the ideas of another work in your own writings. Be sure to cite:

  • Articles, book chapters, theses.

  • Ideas and theories of another person used in different materials

  • Facts and figures that are not common knowledge

  • Another person's exact words

Avoiding plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's ideas as your own. Such cheating is treated very seriously in most educational institutions. Students can be even expelled from college for submitting plagiarised papers. To be safe, you need to properly cite the sources you use in your own writings.

Here are several efficient methods to avoid plagiarism:

  1. Plan your work in advance.

  2. Read some part of material and take notes. It will be much easier to paraphrase your own thoughts afterwards.

  3. Write down all details about the sources you read and use. You'll work with them when preparing the list of references.

  4. Follow the referencing guides to complete the task due to all required standards.

  5. Save your notes until you submit a paper and get your final mark.

Looking for proficient help with paper referencing?

If you are not sure how to cite the sources properly, consider getting expert help. With our top-notch assistance, your work will look professionally written. Our experts will pay special attention to the referencing of main sources, that's why no plagiarism will be detected for sure. We will take all your suggestions into account and provide you with the work to meet your expectations.

For more information about getting qualified assistance, go to our service page. You can also contact our support team to receive answers for all your questions. We are here to help you with all your college tasks!

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