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Why do we reference?

What is referencing and why is it important?

Referencing means making it clear when you have used another person’s work or ideas in your own writing. It is an important academic skill that is necessary in order to:

  • Demonstrate that you have undertaken independent research to inform your work.
  • Show that you can back up your argument with evidence.
  • Give credit to the work of others and make it clear which ideas are your own and which have come from other people.
  • Allow anyone reading your work to locate the information you have used from the citations and references you have provided.
  • Improve your written work. Accurate referencing demonstrates your ability to select and appropriately use suitable evidence for a piece of academic writing.
  • Avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is a form of cheating which involves presenting another person’s work as your own. Understanding when and how to reference will help you avoid plagiarism.

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