The wonderful world of referencing…

Seeing as I got my Social Psychology essay handed in a few days ago, I thought I’d write about what’s known as referencing. This is a key part of writing assignments and such at University and there are many different types of referencing style.

What is it?

Referencing is how you show your tutors where exactly you got your evidence from, that you use to back up your points in an assignment. Whether it be from a book, a journal article or a website.

Why is it important?

Referencing is important in order to avoid plagiarism. This is when you claim a piece of research evidence or an argument is your own, when in fact it isn’t. Plagiarism is a serious issue in academia and the consequences of practicing it are severe!

The different styles

There are number of different types of referencing. Examples of referencing style include

  • APA-American Psychological Association*
  • Harvard
  • Chicago manual of style
  • AMA-American medical association.

*This is the style used by all psychology students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and practicing psychologists/academics. It is used in journal articles, essays, lab reports, research posters and other forms of academic writing.

The difference between in text referencing and a reference list

In text referencing and a reference list aren’t the same thing. For instance a reference list is an alphabetically ordered list of the sources you’ve used to write a particular assignment. An in text reference is when you provide support for a point/argument you’ve made about something. It is important to mention the name(s) of the author(s) of the piece of evidence, as well as the year they argued that/found it via their own research. For example in a psychology essay about childhood attachments I would argue something along the lines off…

There are many different types of attachment style, such as secure, insecure avoidant and insecure resistant. This was found by Ainsworth (1970, 1978) who discovered this via the strange situation paradigm….

If you would like more information about referencing when you come to university, then feel free to visit learning services who are located in the library, or visit the link below 🙂

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