It would be unfortunate lose marks for lack of (or poor) referencing. On the other hand a clearly referenced piece of work will demonstrate that you have researched your topic well. Think of referencing as a positive tool; it is a way of making your work look professional and improving your grades. It truly need not be difficult.
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.
If you do not include references in your assignment, you can experience problems around plagiarism. This is when a writer does not acknowledge where information that they have used in their work has come from – plagiarism is considered to be an academic offence.
There are a number of situations that are viewed as plagiarism. These include:
Make sure you leave sufficient time before the hand in date, to have a break from the assignment once you have written it in its final version. Once you have finished it, put the assignment away somewhere and try to allow at least 48 hours before you look at it again.
As well as reading an assignment through silently, read it out loud to 'hear' where things do not sound right. Using another sense enhances your proofreading skills further than just relying on sight alone.
Proofreading is more effective when you focus on specific types of error. Read your assignment several times, looking for different types of mistake. Areas to focus on when proofreading include, spelling, grammar, use of evidence, flow, structure and referencing.
You may sometimes be asked to provide a bibliography at the end of a piece of work, in addition to a reference list. What is the difference?
Both types of lists should be organised alphabetically and laid out in the same way. Most courses in the university use the Harvard style of referencing. However, many subject areas have chosen to use a different system.
This online guide demonstrates how to use the UoB-Harvard system. Always consult your unit handbook or tutor to make sure you are using the correct system for the unit. Remember some subjects use other systems.
If you are unsure whether an assignment requires a bibliography, check with your lecturer.