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Referencing and Plagiarism


Referencing is a crucial and essential part of University which you will have to learn regardless of your discipline. It isn’t that tricky but it is important to understand early on so your assignments aren’t so daunting! Referencing involves correctly quoting or paraphrasing a specific source within your assignment; including a citation or brief reference detail; or full reference details cited in a bibliography at the end.

But why would you reference? You’ve not had to do it before, so why now? Referencing is all about engaging with the research and consulting the work of those in your subject area. There are many misconceptions about University because many think it’s just about attending lectures and socialising. In reality, there is a lot of reading and research involved and you have to reference other’s work to give them credit, as well as improving and backing your argument.

For more information about referencing, visit the library or support pages  


Plagiarism is copying someone else’s work but then it is passing it off on as your own. Whether you plagiarise by accident or knowingly, seek advice from a member of library  or academic staff. It is possible to unintentionally plagiarise such as failing to indicate that a text is a direct quote.

None of this is meant to scare but plagiarism is an academic offence, so do not be tempted to do it.

In addition, the University subscribes to originality checking services, which include an electronic detection service which checks a submitted piece of work against:

  • work submitted by others on the course
  • previously submitted work for the course
  • work from around the UK held on the service database
  • over 1.8 billion websites
  • essays from cheat sites and
  • some e-journal databases.

You can access more support and help on the library webpages