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Religion & Theology

Referencing Software

References, citations, referencing styles and plagiarism.

What is a reference?

A reference is a mention or citation of a source of information in a book or article. ("OED," 1989)

If you use someone else’s work, you must declare this in your own work. In academic writing, this is known as referencing and there are accepted, standard formats for doing this.

If you do not supply a reference for something you read or saw somewhere else, you may be guilty of plagiarism. See the mandatory TCD tutorial on plagiarism here

You include referencing in the body of your work in the form of shortened citations, (for example, the author and date of a work, depending on the Referencing Style you are using, see below) and you link your citations to a ‘list of works cited’ or bibliography (at the end of your essay, paper or thesis).

When you are writing and you use information gleaned from a journal article, for example, you must include the following details in your bibliography: the article title, the article author, the journal title, the volume, issue, year and page, place of publication and publisher. A citation, within the text of your work, is a shortened version of the above information.

There are standard ways, called Referencing Styles, of setting out both the content of a citation within your text and the fuller reference information that will appear in your bibliography. You need to ask your lecturer which Referencing Style you must use in your work.

By using references, you direct readers of your work back to the source of your information, i.e. to the original source of quotations, statements of fact, illustrations, ideas or theories you are paraphrasing; or anything else you have included which you ‘sourced’ from someone else’s work.

You do not need to use references to support common knowledge, e.g., Paris is the capital of France; however, be aware that common knowledge in one area may not be common knowledge in another.

*OED, the Oxford English Dictionary. The Reference Style below is APA 6th.


The Oxford English dictionary. (1989)   (2nd ed.). Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire: Clarendon Press.

EndNote (software tool for handling bibliographies, citations, references) support: