• Citation: a specific source used in your text; also called in-text citation, as it occurs in the main body of the text. It can be considered to be short-hand format, as it does not contain full text (or ‘biographical’) information. You will need to use other people’s ideas or words in your writing to make it stronger, and when you do this it is appropriate to acknowledge the fact that these are not your own ideas or words. It is also appropriate to allow the reader to locate the source and verify the information. Avoid plagiarism: using other people’s words or ideas without proper acknowledgement which is a serious form of academic misconduct . This text was written by Sheldon Smith, for instance. You will find the reference at the bottom of this page.
  • Reference: the full text (or ‘biographical’) details, such as publisher or URL, title, etc.; also calledend-text citation or work cited. It is contained in the Reference Section at the end of the work. The reference allows the reader to find the text easily, and is the long-hand format of the in-text citation.


I understand the difference between an in-text citation and a reference.

I understand why I need to cite my sources

I understand what plagiarism is and why it is a serious problem in academic writing.

I understand the main reasons why students commit plagiarismin their writing.

I know that to avoid plagiarism I need to use paraphrase, summary or quotation marks, in addition to in-text citations and a reference section.


Bailey, S. (2000). Academic Writing. Abingdon: RoutledgeFalmer

Cornell University (2005) What is the difference between documentation, citation, and reference? Available at: https://plagiarism.arts.cornell.edu/tutorial/logistics3.cfm (Access date: 10/11/15).

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2013). Cite them right: The essential guide to referencing. 9th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

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