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Where do you need references?


Where do you need references

References to the sources which you have referred to (eg. books, images, journal articles, websites) should be included in all kinds of assignments. This includes essays, portfolios, posters, presentations and dissertations. Each reference has two elements, a brief citation within the main body of your assignment and a reference list at the end of your work.

These elements must match. Everything in the main body of the work (citation) must appear in your reference list and everything listed in your reference list must have a citation in the text of your work.

(a) in the main part of the work - Citation

Within the main text of your assignment, include brief details of the source to which you have referred:

Author(s) surname(s) or organisation name if not a personal author, followed by the date of publication of the source.

eg. People who have smiles on their faces are happier than those with a frown (Smith, 2012).

(b) at the end of your work

A reference list including the full details for all the references (whether quoted or paraphrased) should be provided. The list should be left-aligned and in alphabetical order (according to author). A resource may have a corporate author (like 'Department of Work & Pensions, rather than 'Robinson').  If no author is identifiable, list by the first significant word of the title.  

Sometimes you may be asked to provide a bibliography. A bibliography is a separate list of sources that you used during your research work but  which are not referenced in the main part of your text.

Reference list:



Smith, J. (2012) Analysis of facial expressions. 2nd edn. London: Made-up Publishing 


Silence of the Lambs (1991) Directed by Jonathan Demme [Film]. USA: Orion Pictures Corporation.


Stroke Association (2012) Life after stroke. Available at: (Accessed: 19 March 2013).

Electronic journal:

Zhu, Y. and White, C. (2009) 'Practitioners views about the use of business email within organizational settings: implications for developing student generic competence', Business Communication Quarterly, 72(3), pp.289-303. 

This guide uses the UoB-Harvard system. Always consult your unit handbook or tutor to make sure you are using the correct system for the unit. Some subjects use other systems.
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University of Bedfordshire

A Guide to Referencing» Where do you need references?