Why Cite Sources?

High-quality academic work is based on conscious use of key scholarly sources, and uses them to build on existing knowledge. Your references will reflect the scope of your work. They are also evidence of your integrity in using other people’s work. For these reasons, referencing is one of the factors that will be taken into consideration when your thesis is graded.

     • Bibliography is the list of publications you consulted.

     • Reference is the detailed description of the document from which you have obtained the information.

There are two principal components to citing references

     • the way you acknowledge, cite the source in your text

     • the way you list your sources at the end of your work to enable identification, i.e. the bibliography (or reference list )


Example of In-text citation


Citation Style

A citation style dictates the information necessary for a citation and how the information is ordered, as well as punctuation and other formatting.

 American Psychological Association (APA) style

APA is an author/date based style. This means emphasis is placed on the author and the date of a piece of work to uniquely identify it.

 Harvard style

Harvard is very similar to APA. Where APA is primarily used in the USA, Harvard referencing is the most well used referencing style in the UK and Australia, and is encouraged for use with the humanities.

Chicago Style

These are two separate styles but are very similar, just like Harvard and APA. These are widely used for history and economics.

Vancouver Style

The Vancouver system is mainly used in medical and scientific papers.

Modern Languages Association (MLA) style

MLA is most often applied by the arts and humanities, particularly in the USA. It is arguably the most well used of all of the citation styles.

NLM Style


Citation management tools

Citation management software can help organize research results and make writing papers easier by creating properly formatted bibliographies and footnotes.