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Referencing in the different disciplines

Acknowledging the work of others is fundamental to good academic practice, whatever discipline you are in. It is really important to separate your own thoughts and ideas from the thoughts and ideas of others which you are using to support an argument or discussion. It is also important to understand how to do this within the framework of academic writing. The rules of referencing are there so that you can communicate to others very clearly whose work you are referring to. And this is so important because ideas are the currency of academics.

Exactly how a reference is referred to depends on the discipline you are in. Material is referred to differently, for example, in the arts and the sciences. But then there are alternative methods of referencing within each discipline. You need to either find out exactly what style the person instructing you wants you to use, or if you are given more freedom in this, you have to decide on a particular style that is relevant to your discipline. The key thing then is that you are completely consistent throughout any single piece of work.

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