When writing an essay, report or other assignment you will often need to support your arguments by referring to other published work such as books, journal or newspaper articles, government reports, dissertations and theses, and material from the Internet.

You will need to give accurate references:
  • To give credit to other authors' concepts and ideas
  • To provide the reader (often the marker/examiner of the assignment) with evidence of the breadth and depth of your reading
  • To enable the readers of your work to locate the references easily
  • To avoid being accused of plagiarism, an academic offence which can lead to loss of marks or module failure

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is the act of presenting someone else's work as your own, deliberately or even by mistake. The material you use could be text, data, image, sound or performance. Your work includes major projects, dissertations and any assignment, not just written ones, such as a presentation, work of art or performance.

Plagiarism includes:
  • copying the work of another student with or without permission
  • using an assignment bought from the Internet
  • cutting and pasting text or images into your own work without referencing the sources
  • quoting or putting the work of others into your own words without referencing the sources

What we expect from you

We will make sure you have the chance to practice your academic skills and avoid accidentally breaking our Academic Regulations. On page eleven of the Student Charter, it says you have to 'be aware of the academic rules relating to your studies'.

To make sure that you are aware of the rules, we expect you to agree to:
  • read this guidance and make sure you thoroughly understand it;
  • work through 'Information Skills Guides', the online tutorial available on our library website, which aims to help you learn good practice and has a useful section on plagiarism;
  • make sure that you are familiar with how to reference (acknowledge other people's work);
  • correctly reference all the sources for the information you have included in your work;
  • identify information you have downloaded from the internet;
  • never use someone else's ideas for a performance, film or TV programme, their artwork, graphics (including graphs, spreadsheets and so on and information from the internet) as if they are yours;
  • only hand in your own original work;
  • never use another person's work as if it were your own; and
  • never let other students use or copy your work.

What Referencing System Should You Use?

There are many systems for the citation of references, but Anglia Ruskin University expects students in most subjects to use the HARVARD system. The two exceptions are: for Law use OSCOLA and for Psychology use APA. The guides and tutorials available will help you use these systems and you can also Ask Us if you have any queries.

Try our Referencing Quiz!

Managing your references

RefWorks is a bibliography and database manager that will store your references and convert them into the correct referencing system. You can then import the references in the right format into your work.