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Education Library Guide: Plagiarism and Referencing

A guide for Education students


Referencing (also known as citation)  is the method you use to acknowledge that you have used various books or journal articles in the researching and writing up your assignments or projects. It includes the bibliography that you compile at the end of your essay or assignment, and it enables you to refer to, or quote from, other people's work without being guilty of plagiarism.       It also enables you or the person reading your work, to go back and find the articles you consulted.

Referencing shows evidence of background reading and to support the content and conclusions in your writing.      All sources used should be acknowledged in the text of your document, called in-text citations. 

The Reference list is an alphabetically arranged list of the items you have cited in your essay.  A bibliography includes items used to prepare your assignment, but not necessarily cited.    All items should be listed alphabetically by author or authorship, regardless of format (print/electronic/audiovisual).

For more guidance, check out the Handbook on Citation and Related Matters.  



Organising your references & compiling a bibliography

Keep full bibliographic details of books, journal articles and websites you use for your assignments.  This will save you a lot of grief and anxiety later when you discover you can't remember what you were using and where you quoted from. 

UCT has a campus-wide license to Refworks.     This reference management tool allows you to save citations to your own web-based database whilst reading articles for your assignment.   UCT also has a campus-wide license to Endnote

When writing your articles, you can choose the referencing style required to create the bibliography and easily change the style later if necessary.     



Plagiarism is a dishonest act of attempting to take someone else's ideas, writing, design or research and presenting them as your own.

This is viewed very seriously by UCT and may lead to explusion.   To avoid plagiarism, it is important to cite and reference your sources.

UCT's plagiarism policy and declaration form is available at Avoiding Plagiarism: a guide for students.