Referencing is an essential aspect of academic work. Understanding the reason why we reference is equally important as the practical side of the process itself. However don’t underestimate the importance of referencing correctly, students in the past have lost crucial marks in their final assessment or dissertation and this can make a huge difference between getting the particular grade or achievement you require.
Look at the various information and guidance below to help you through this process.

For a full in-depth listing and guidance support please check out our Library for information about all aspects of referencing: (click on the link below)

Introduction to Referencing - London Metropolitan University Library


We also recommend that you look at our new 'Heroes & Villains' website –
This site gives in depth information and focuses on Academic Honesty and Integrity to explore academic good practice, which is essential to mastering our studies at University.

The site address many aspects of effective study, illustrating the importance of understanding concepts such as: the contested nature of knowledge, making meaning, critical thinking, building argument and the signposting of authorship and ideas in our writing.





We also have helpful information on our Clued Up! Website.
A dedicated section on Make Referencing Easy that explains key tools that can help...
Check out the Ref Me App that does the referencing for you!!!! (See the video on the left)
But be cautious, always double check with your tutor that you are using the correct type of referencing for your course as different courses require different styles –

Always double check before you submit any final work…



Referencing and note-making

Check out the 'Referencing and Notemaking templates' pdf on the left.

Use the templates to record all the important reference details for books, journal articles and internet sources that you use for your studies.

Also have a look below at the free software that is available for you to use:


Help with referencing and saving your sources?

The need to write everything in word documents or save reference sources on a memory stick is a thing of the past. There are many FREE resources online to help students and professionals collect all the research information they need and to enable them to easily retrieve it anywhere, anytime.
Check out these common Reference support online resources.





Zotero and Mendeley now the most popular for students, it collects all your research in a single, searchable interface. You can add PDFs, images, audio and video files, snapshots of web pages, and really anything else. Zotero automatically indexes the full-text content of your library, enabling you to find exactly what you're looking for with just a few keystrokes.

Remember these packages can be extremely helpful and time saving BUT you need to work in the way that's best for you. These packages may not be for everyone.


Work through this activity (course):

  Welcome to this Preventing Plagiarism course. By working through this website you will find out how to avoid unintentional plagiarism in future. Begin by watching our introduction video (below), and then work your way through the resources using the links below. Resources include student views on plagiarism, interactive demonstrations on how to reference and quote from sources, a tutorial on plagiarism titled 'Don't Cheat Yourself' and quizzes where you can test your knowledge.


View these 4 Student views on Plagiarism

Foundation degree student  
Second year Leisure and Tourism student

First year student
Final year student


Interactive Learning Resources

Work through each resource to gain a better understanding of the process:







Don't Cheat Yourself Tutorial

This interactive plagiarism tutorial developed by Leicester University identifies different types of plagiarism and how to avoid it. It is also subject specific, but these subjects are specific for the University of Leicester, so feel free to choose a course that best matches your own. You may find that there is information regarding plagiarism in your own course handbook, which may not be outlined in this tutorial.

To complete this course, you must:

1. Click on the LINK below

2. Select your course, or the course that is most relevant to you from the list provided as indicated in the red box

3. Work through the different stages of the tutorial, the tutorial should take 20-30 minutes to complete

Once you have finished these activities please look at and complete the exit tests below:

Exit Test 1: When to Reference (There are 10 questions)

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Exit Test 2: Referencing Scenarios (There are 10 questions)

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This is the end of this activity (course)


Avoiding plagarism Plagiarism is a term given to a particular type of lack of academic integrity and this one issue has inevitably grabbed the interest of the British media. It casts a slur on the quality of British degrees and impacts on all students.

Universities in Britain are concerned about plagiarism as this practice is seen as devaluing the degrees awarded and tarnishes the hard work of the majority of students who do not plagiarise. If the reputation of British higher education falls as a result of plagiarism then all suffer.

So what is plagiarism? Although there is no one universally agreed definition, it is about taking and using another person's work and claiming it, directly or indirectly, as your own. 'Work' means anything that has been written by another, including published work or work that has been presented publicly in some way, including on the Internet. It also includes work written by another student, so would include buying a ready-written assignment from an Internet source, or elsewhere, and presenting it as your own work.

Most institutions would agree that plagiarism includes:
1. Copying or buying another person's work, including the work of another student (with or without their consent), and claiming or pretending it to be your own;
2. Presenting arguments that use a blend of your own and the copied words of the original author without acknowledging the source. This has become a particular problem because of the ease of copy and paste from the Internet. However, plagiarism detection software can now highlight which parts of an assignment have been directly copied.
3. Paraphrasing another person's work, but not giving due acknowledgement to the original writer or organisation publishing the writing, including Internet sites.
4. It also includes collusion with other students, for example, when one student writes an assignment that others copy (or buy) and then present individually as their own work. It is a mistaken assumption that you can copy great chunks of information from a source and simply add a citation to make it acceptable. It is not. Your assignment needs to be your work and simply copying in slabs of other people's work, even if you cite the source, is not acceptable and is regarded as a form of plagiarism by most universities.
Shades of Grey There are undoubtedly grey areas in this issue, with gradations between down-right cheating to poor academic practice or simple ignorance. Howard (1995), for example, has tried to unpick the forms of plagiarism that can occur, and has identified three main forms: (1) cheating (2) non-attribution of sources and (3) 'patch-writing' (patching together copied work with the student's own words).
The first is done deliberately, whilst the second often results from the inexperience of the student with referencing or misunderstanding about academic conventions. The third results from when too many of the original words are retained by the student and when it moves, therefore, from the grey area of paraphrasing to become plagiarism. All three, however, can incur penalties for the students involved.
The growth of the Internet has undoubtedly increased the temptation and opportunity for students to simply copy and paste the work of others into their own assignments. However, universities are using technology to combat cheating by technology and most universities are routinely using software, such as the USA product, Turnitin, to detect copying. This software highlights copying, as it scans an assignment against billions of websites and millions of printed texts, and identifies what has been copied and the source. This has had a dramatic impact on reducing the incidences of plagiarism in the USA and is now used within higher education institutions in fifty countries across the world, including Britain.
Universities in Britain are also paying more attention to the assignments they ask students to complete and trying to make these more individual or less vulnerable to plagiarism.

How to avoid plagiarism Applying, analysing, criticising or quoting other people's work is perfectly reasonable and acceptable providing you always: attempt to summarize or restate in your own words as far as possible another person's work, theories or ideas and give acknowledgement to that person. This is usually done by citing your sources and presenting a list of references. A certain amount of overlap between the words of an original author and a student's own words is inevitable, particularly in descriptive areas, e.g. describing and naming organisations, institutions or other factual things. However, analytical features of a work should always be attempted by the student in his or her own words. or by always using quotation marks (or indenting lengthy quotations in your text) to distinguish between the actual words of the writer and your own words. You would cite all sources and present full details of these in your list of references.

For more information on plagiarism, you can visit a UK Internet service to advise students on how to avoid plagiarism:


Information, further research and reflection

London Metropolitan University's 'Heroes & Villains'

University of Kent's guide to students

Sussex University

The University of Leeds