Top ten tips for good referencing

thesis writing

What is referencing and its importance?

Referencing is an important part of academic writing services, professional writing services and assignment writing service at university level especially because it adds to the shared knowledge of everyone involved in an academic area. Referencing and citations also make our writing more persuasive. Taking others' ideas in our academic writing without appropriate acknowledgement is regarded as a form of intellectual deceitfulness.

What kind of information requires referencing?

Any words, ideas or information taken from any source requires a reference such as:

  • pamphlets or brochures
  • books and journal articles
  • newspapers and magazines
  • websites or electronic resources
  • letters, emails, online discussion forums
  • personal interviews
  • films, documentaries, television programs or advertisements etc.

Common tips for good referencing:

  1. Try to establish a recording of bibliographic information and page numbers at the time when using any source.
  2. Be consistent, this is one of the most essential guideline of referencing that make sure we apply the same format steadily throughout.
  3. To avoid plagiarism. An easy way to do this is to use a coloured highlighter pen.
  4. It will be helpful if we are referring lots of sources to write reference information on individual index cards and file them alphabetically.
  5. Check that for each in-text citation in our essay there is a corresponding entry in the reference list, unless it is taken from an unrecoverable source.
  6. Make sure to allow one plenty of time for doing the references and that to proofread the reference list before submitting the assignment; unnecessary mistakes can cost you lose marks.
  7. Be thorough, referencing is necessary for all higher level academic work because it lets an interested reader to outline the source of ideas and relevant material.
  8. Try not to confuse author with editor, and always refer to the former rather than the latter, because it is all about the styling of referencing.
  9. Looking at how published academics do it. Any decent journal article will have a long list of references likely to contain edited volumes, translated material, collaborations and reprints; simply copy the notation.
  10. With the most popular referencing systems, notably Oxford and Harvard are mostly used.
  11. Determine whether we are expected to use a particular system or the mixture of both. In higher education, most work will carry detailed specifications regarding format and referencing as well as content.
  12. Never cite what is not seen. If we come across an abstract of interest then obtain the original before adding it to our bibliography.
  13. Finally, check the list of references for accuracy, currency and consistency before submitting.


Therefore, reference managing tools can help us to gather and manage the references we find for our assignments and independent study. We don’t have to use them, but we may find it valuable for classifying and interpreting references for particular topics and assignments. It can also produce lists of references in a selected referencing style.