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19 February 2018

Referencing & Plagiarism

Student Life

What’s the big deal with referencing? Why do tutors always go on about plagiarism? What is the point?

This week’s post will answer your questions and after reading and following this, you’ll know exactly why plagiarism and referencing are made a big deal.

What is plagiarism?

  • It is the use of another person’s idea or words without acknowledging the source
  • Repeating someone else’s work word for word
  • Presenting other people’s ideas as your own

What should I reference?

  • Everything (definitions, results, viewpoints, ideas etc.) that are not yours
  • Any books, websites, journals etc. you have used

How do I reference?

  • Each reference is made up of two parts:
  1. Citations within your essay
  2. List of references with full details of the source at the end of your essay
  • Use one style consistently throughout your assignment

Why should I reference?

  • To avoid plagiarism
  • Show you have done a wide range of reading
  • To support or contradict your views/interpretations/argument

Sources to avoid:

  • General dictionaries and encyclopaedias (subject specific are more useful)
  • Websites e.g. Wikipedia
  • Blogs
  • Discussion groups e.g. student forums

How can you avoid plagiarism?

See my previous blog for more about Note-taking, summarising and paraphrasing:

Hope this has been useful. If you have any questions, feel free to email me on

By Roshni Dhodakia

I am a third-year student at Edge Hill University, studying English Language. I hope that my blog posts are enjoyable and useful. Feel free to ask me any questions or leave me any suggestions. I hope to hear from you soon and thank you for reading!

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