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I don't understand how to reference properly


In my first year I kept losing marks because my referencing wasn’t up to scratch – some journals I’d mentioned in the text and then forgotten to put in the reference list, not using brackets, commas in the wrong place etc etc – the list goes on!!

But I feel like every time I correct something, like remembering to put the date in brackets (how pedantic can you get!?), I end up forgetting to do something else.

I’m going into second year now so it’s about time I got my head round how to reference. It can’t be as hard as I’m making it out to be and it seems ridiculous to lose marks on referencing when it’s just a set formula.

Has anyone found any useful tools or ways of remembering?


Readers' comments (2)

  • See if your Uni offers study support sessions at the library. Mine does and they go through the referencing. Also, we have a downloadable guide that tells you exactly how to do it which you can constantly refer back to. That’s what I did, then once I had done it a few times I’d kind of got it. I still refer back now, and I’ve just finished year 3. They change the rules every now and again, and always good to refresh your memory.

    Also, if I cite in my text, I always add it straight to the reference list, that way I never miss one. And then you don’t have to make a reference list all in one go.

    Referencing tools can be useful, like refworks etc, but they don’t format them perfectly, you’d still need to adapt it but it can keep track of what you’ve used and also provides you with most of the information.
    Hope that helps.

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  • If your university offers workshops and downloadable guides they would be useful,I found these helped me massively! End note is also used in my university, which is an online tool that builds the references and reference list for you.

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