Navigation Menu

2.4 How should sources be referenced at the end of a work?

A reference list includes all the sources of information that have been cited in a piece of work. The reference list is located at the end of the piece of work and is usually listed in alphabetical order of the authors of the different sources used.

Each in-text citation must have a corresponding entry in the reference list which is submitted with the assignment.

A bibliography includes all the sources used in the preparation of a piece of work - not just those that have been cited in the text of the work and included in a reference list. The bibliography is located at the end of the piece of work and is usually listed in alphabetical order of the authors of the different sources used.

Different resources, print and electronic, have different characteristics related to their type, format and the content they contain.

Each type of resource is cited and referenced in a slightly different way.

As you have already learnt, there is no universal referencing style and you should ask your teachers which style you should follow.

The four most common referencing styles are:

  • Harvard (author-date)
  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Oxford (documentary-note or footnote referencing).

While you will need to look up the specific requirements of the style approved by your school, your focus should be on consistency in terms of:

  • punctuation
  • capitalisation
  • italicisation
  • abbreviation

Consider these situations

Q: You want to impress your teacher with the amount of research you have completed for your major assignment. You plan to list all the sources you can find that are related to your topic in your reference list, even though you haven't used them.

Is this a good strategy?

Q: You are trying to do the right thing by listing all the sources you have used in your reference list with the appropriate information and format but you are confused by all the different referencing styles.

Should you just pick a style that you can manage or use a combination of styles to show you know there are different styles?

Quiz

What next