It’s time to write an essay – don’t forget your references!

Thank you to Lynsey Blandford for this great post!

We’ve all been there, an essay is due within a week or even days and so we start to quickly read around our subject.  It’s really easy to forget to make a note of where we’ve found interesting ideas or even a page number for a quotation.  Why is that important?  Firstly, it’s only fair to acknowledge others’ work, but secondly, forgetting to reference will look like plagiarism!  If this scenario is familiar, follow these tips and it’ll make your life much easier come deadline day.

  1. You’ll need a list of references and also a bibliography at the end of your essay. If you refer to a writer or source, this will need to be included in your references list as well as your bibliography.
  2. Throughout your essay there should also be references either alongside a quotation or even just a mention of another person’s idea or work.
  3. There are different ways to reference different types of sources, here are some examples:


In-text citation

There is evidence of a rise in cybercrime (Davies, 2016), which suggests …

Reference list

Davies, R. (2016) UK businesses battling huge rise in cybercrime, report says. Available at: (Accessed: 17 March 2016).


In-text citation

According to Newcombe (2012, p. 23), the most important …

Reference list

Newcombe, L. (2012) Securing cloud services: a pragmatic approach to security architecture in the cloud. Ely, Cambridgeshire: IT Governance Publishing.

Journal Papers

In-text citation

In a study of TomTom devices Elstner and Roeloffs (2016, p. 30) comment: ‘…

Reference list

Elstner, J. and Roeloffs, M. (2016) ‘Forensic analysis of newer TomTom devices’, Digital Investigation 16, pp. 29-37. doi:10.1016/j.diin.2016.01.016.

  1. Cite them Right has lots of other examples. It can be borrowed from the library or accessed online – just sign in and search on LibrarySearch:



  1. There are tools that can help manage your references for you!
  • You can create an account on RefWorks and start collecting your references as you work. Here’s a link to our guide:
  • There are also free tools such as RefMe (ideal for undergraduates) and Mendeley (great for researchers). Make sure you find the Cite them Right Harvard style within Mendeley or RefME:

6. If you need help, get in touch:


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