Answered On Last Updated: Jul 26, 2023

What is referencing and how do I do it?

Referencing is the practice of acknowledging and describing other pieces of work that you have read or used whilst completing your own assignment/essay/report etc. There are various referencing styles used at the University of Roehampton, including Harvard, MLA and APA. Ask your department to find out which style you need to use.

Why do you need to reference?

  • To show that you have been researching your subject thoroughly (improve your marks)
  • To acknowledge the words and ideas of others (avoid plagiarism)
  • To enable your readers to find the works that you are referring to (engage with your academic community)

How to reference:

  • Every time you use or refer to a work or idea developed by someone else, you need to cite and reference it. This makes it clear when you are using research carried out by others to support a point that you are making, and when you are writing your own thoughts​.
  • Each time you quote (use the exact words from someone’s work) or paraphrase (describe someone else’s ideas in your own words) you must include a citation in the text. The citation is a marker that draws the reader’s attention to the fact that this isn’t your original idea and gives some information about the research that the quote or idea came from. 
  • You should also include a reference list at the end of your piece of work. The bibliography is a list of all of the citations that you have included in your text. It includes all of the details that a reader needs to track down the research for themselves.​

For more information about referencing, including guides to the referencing styles used at the University of Roehampton and support using RefWorks, please visit our referencing webpage.

For help with referencing, see our referencing guide and the referencing & academic integrity page in the Learning Skills Hub. You can also search for relevant workshops on the Library calendar.

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