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A reference list is a complete list of all the information sources that you have read and included a citation for in your writing. It appears at the end of your work and provides the reader with all the information they need to identify and locate the information sources you have used.

You may sometimes be asked to produce a bibliography in addition to a reference list. A bibliography lists every source that you have consulted as part of your research even if you did not include a citation for it in your work. If you’re not sure whether you need to produce a bibliography in addition to a reference list, check with your tutor.

If several works by the same author, published in different years, illustrate the same point your citation should reflect this in chronological order.

Example direct citation (paraphrase):

It has been suggested by Brown (2009; 2012) that…

Example indirect citation (paraphrase):

Research in the last ten years (Brown, 2009; 2012) has discovered that…

If you need to include several works by the same author, published in different years in a reference list, the entries should be in chronological order starting with the earliest first.


Brown, R. (2009) Study skills. London: ABC Press.

Brown, R. (2012) Academic integrity. Oxford: Clever Publications.

If you are citing information from several works produced by the same author in the same year you should differentiate by adding a lower case letter, in alphabetical order, after the year for each individual item.

Example direct citation (paraphrase):

It had been suggested by Brown (2009a) that this was the case but later research by Brown (2009b) found this to be untrue.

Example indirect citation (paraphrase):

Early research suggested this was the case (Brown, 2009a) but later research found this to be untrue (Brown, 2009b).

You should then list these sources in your reference list in the order a, b, c…


Brown, I. (2009a) In search of the truth. London: Fruit Press.

Brown, I. (2009b) More searches for the truth. London: Poppet Publishing.

You may wish to pull together several sources to support an argument, it is perfectly acceptable to do this.

To do this, you should put the in-text citations in order by publication date, starting with the oldest. Ignore the author names here as the citations do not need to be alphabetised.

Example direct citation (paraphrase):

Research by Barker (1989); West (1992) and Jeffers (2005) shows that…

Example indirect citation (paraphrase):

Research (Barker, 1989; West, 1992; Jeffers, 2005) shows that…

In the reference list at the end of your essay, you should put the full references in alphabetical order as you normally would.

Citations and quotations are often integral to your work as they help back up or counter arguments. For this reason they are usually included in your word count but you should confirm this with your tutor as this can vary depending on the type of assignment you are writing.

Unpublished, internal documentation

You may wish to quote or paraphrase from a document that you have been granted access to but is not publically available (a policy document produced by your placement provider for example). For reasons of confidentiality you cannot fully identify the organisation in question.

You should first obtain permission from the organisation that you can use the information they have produced. Hde the identity of an organisation by anonymising them in your citation and reference like so:

A reference for unpublished, confidential information should include the following:

  • Anonymised author or organisation, followed by a full-stop.
  • Date of publication, in round brackets. If not date put (ND), followed by a full-stop.
  • Title of the document in italics (if the name of the organisation is explicit in the document title, produce a short description of the document to maintain confidentiality), followed by a full-stop.
  • The words ‘Unpublished internal document’, in plain text, followed by a full stop.
  • Location of organisation, if available, followed by a colon.
  • The words [placement provider] in square brackets, if applicable. Followed by a full-stop.

Example direct citation (paraphrase):

School A (2015) makes this clear in their policy.

Example indirect citation (paraphrase):

This is made clear in the policy (School A, 2015)

Example reference:

School A. (2015) Anti-bullying policy. Unpublished internal document. Bradford: [placement provider].

Publicly available

If there is information produced by an organisation that you wish to quote or paraphrase in your work that is publicly available (on your placement provider's webpage for instance) but you are not permitted to identify the organisation in question so as to protect the identities of employees, clients or children for example; you should anonymise them in your citation and reference like so:

Example direct citation (paraphrase):

This is outlined in documentation produced by Company A (2014).

Example indirect citation (paraphrase):

This is outlined in documentation (Company A, 2014).

Example reference:

Company A. (2014) Staff handbook. Bradford: [placement provider].

NB: It is acceptable in this instance to withhold access details if the document is available online for reasons of confidentiality.

You can use the following abbreviations:

Abbreviation - Meaning


ch. or chs. - chapter(s)

ed. - edition

Ed. or Eds. - editor(s)

et al - and others

Dir. or Dirs. - director(s)

ND - No Date

p. - page (single)

pp. - pages (range of pages)

para. - paragraph

Prod. or Prods. - producer(s)

vol. or vols. - Volume(s)

Corporate authors

You are permitted to abbreviate the names for corporate bodies and organisations in citations provided that you use the full name in the first instance with the abbreviation in brackets to avoid confusing your reader.

1st citation:

Research undertaken by the National Health Service (NHS) (2012) has highlighted...

2nd citation:

This has been established by research conducted by the NHS (2013).

You should always use the full name for a corporate body or organisation in your reference list at the end of your work.

When cutting and pasting a URL from Office 365, the link may display differently in Word. For example, the link would appear in Word as BBC - Home, or in curly brackets with the word HYPERLINK in front of it. This should be avoided because it makes links harder to follow, especially if there is a broken link.

To avoid this, copy the link as normal, then right-click to paste. Under Paste Options, select Keep Text Only. This will display the original text of the link e.g.

What you are reading may refer to the work of another author which you would like to reference in your own writing, e.g. a journal article about cheese, written by Di Grigoli et al., has the following sentence and you wish to use it in your own work:

“Research carried out by Urback (1997) concluded that the equipment used to make cheese influences the flavour.”

Try and get hold of an original copy of the work that is referred to and cite and reference from that. If you can't then you can include what is called a secondary reference - see below for an example.

Example direct citation (paraphrase):

Research carried out by Urbach (1997, cited in Di Grigoli et al, 2015, p.82) demonstrated this.

In this example the journal article by Di Grigoli et al is the information source that has been read. The article refers to work by Urbach and a secondary reference has been used. The citation includes the page where Di Grigoli et al have referred to Urbach’s work.

Example indirect citation (paraphrase):

Research carried out has demonstrated this (Urbach, 1997 cited in Di Grigoli et al, 2015, p.82).

The entry in your reference list would be for Di Grigoli et al:

Example reference:

Di Grigoli, A., Francescan, N., Gaglio, R., Guarrasi, V., Moschetti, M. L., Settani, L and Bonanno, A. (2015) The influence of the wooden equipment used for cheese manufacture on the characteristics of cheese during ripening. Food Microbiology, 46, pp.81-91.

You should use secondary references sparingly as you are essentially relying on somebody else’s interpretation of the original work.

Ebooks are available on various platforms and devices, we have included an example below for books that are freely available, accessed via a device, via an ebook platform and via Leeds Trinity University Library search.

A reference for an electronic book should include the following:

  • Author’s surname, followed by a comma and their initials with a full-stop after each initial
  • Year of publication in round brackets (if no date is obvious put ND)
  • Title of the book in italics, followed by a full-stop
  • [e-book] or [Kindle], [Nook] etc if accessed on a device
  • Edition details (only include this if NOT the first edition), followed by a full-stop
  • Place of publication, followed by a colon
  • Name of the publishing company, followed by a full-stop
  • Available at, followed by a colon and the access details (i.e. web address)
  • The word Accessed and the date of access, in square brackets, followed by a full-stop

Example reference (via Leeds Trinity University Library search)

Paxson, H. (2013) The life of cheese. [ebook] Berkeley: University of California Press. Available at: Leeds Trinity University Library [Accessed 10 March 2015].

Example reference (via eBook platform)

Paxson, H. (2013) The life of cheese. [e-book] Berkeley: University of California Press. Available at: DawsonEra [Accessed 10 March 2015].

Example reference (freely available online)

Paxson, H. (2013) The life of cheese. [e-book] Berkeley: University of California Press. Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2015].

Example reference (via a specific device)

Paxson, H. (2013) The life of cheese. [Kindle] Berkeley: University of California Press. Available at: [Accessed 10 March 2015].

Example quotation

“Jasper Hill exemplifies the new American cheese” (Paxson, 2013, p.1).

Example direct citation (paraphrase)

Paxson (2013) argues that cheese embodies life.

Example in-direct citation (paraphrase)

It has been argued that cheese embodies life (Paxson, 2013).