Referencing styles

What is Citation and Referencing

Citing and referencing source material is a crucial aspect of academic writing. Referencing accurately and consistently is an important part of ensuring the distinction is clear between your words and the words and ideas of others in your assignments.

In-text citation is included in the body of your text and is there to directly show the reader where an idea, piece of information, and/ or a quotation is from. The reader will then be able to match the source cited in the text to the full reference given in your bibliography/ reference list where full details of the publication are presented.

Citing of source materials within your assignment is useful and beneficial to supporting your argument. However, be selective. Do not just use as many references as you can in a bid to impress the marker that you’ve read a massive amount. Your references should be relevant and are an integral part of your argument, that is you discuss or critique them in your writing.

For example, you must cite the source if you:

  • Include data from your reading (eg tables, statistics, diagrams);
  • Describe or discuss a theory, model or practice from a particular writer;
  • Want to add credibility to your argument by bringing in the ideas of another writer – for or against
  • Provide quotations or definitions in your essay;
  • Paraphrase or summarise information which is not common knowledge.

Last Updated: July 30, 2011 | integrity@york.ac.uk

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