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When to reference? What to reference?

When to reference? what to reference? This article explains what and when you should cite within your research text and produce a bibliography for.
© University of Southampton

The list of things that you could possibly draw evidence from, cite within your text and produce a bibliography for, is virtually endless.

Some examples might include books, journal articles, newspapers, websites, statistics, graphs, photographs, television shows, radio programmes, blogs, official or legal documents, sacred texts, conferences, lectures, reports, computer programs, maps and so forth.

When exactly should you put a citation into your text? Any time you quote, paraphrase or take an idea, fact or theory from another author you should reference them.

A rule of ‘if in doubt, reference’ is a useful one to employ; if someone or something has influenced your thinking or argument in any way you must acknowledge it.

There are some important bibliographical details that we need to take down in order to be able to reference properly, regardless of the referencing style you choose to use.

Take the quiz in the next step to see how much you already know about completing a bibliography.

It doesn’t matter how many you get right – the correct answer will give you all the information you need to know. Perhaps explore some of the incorrect answers just to make sure you know why you are right.

© University of Southampton
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