Why do I Need to Reference?
Referencing can be a confusing task, especially if you are new to the concept, but it’s absolutely essential. Simply put - referencing is the citing of sources you have utilised to support your essay, research, conference, article etc. Even if you are using our Harvard referencing tool, understanding why you need to reference will go a long way in helping you to naturally integrate the process into your research and writing routine.
Firstly, whenever another source contributes to your work you must give the original author the appropriate credit in order to avoid plagiarism, even when you have completely reworded the information. The only exception to this rule is common knowledge - e.g. London is the capital city of England. Whilst plagiarism is not always intentional, it is easy to accidentally plagiarise your work when you are under pressure from imminent deadlines, you have managed your time ineffectively, or if you lack confidence when putting ideas into your own words. The consequences can be severe; deduction of marks at best, expulsion from university or legal action from the original author at worst. Find out more here.
This may sound overwhelming, but plagiarism can be easily avoided by using our Harvard referencing generator and carrying out your research and written work thoughtfully and responsibly. We have compiled a handy checklist to follow whilst you are working on an assignment.
How to avoid plagiarism:
- Formulate a detailed plan - carefully outline both the relevant content you need to include, as well as how you plan on structuring your work
- Manage your time effectively - make use of time plans and targets, and give yourself enough time to read, write and proofread
- Keep track of your sources - record all of the relevant publication information as you go (e.g. If you are referencing a book you should note the author or editor’s name(s), year of publication, title, edition number, city of publication, name of publisher). Carefully save each quote, word-for-word, and place it in inverted commas to differentiate it from your own words
- When you are paraphrasing information, make sure that you use only your own words and a sentence structure that differs from the original text
- Save all of your research and references in a safe place - organise and manage your references using Cite This For Me’s Harvard referencing generator.
Secondly, proving that your writing is informed by appropriate academic reading will enhance your work’s authenticity. Academic writing values original thought that analyses and builds upon the ideas of other scholars. It is therefore important to use a Harvard referencing generator to accurately signpost where you have used someone else’s ideas. This will show your reader that you have delved deeply into your chosen topic and supported your thesis with expert opinions.
Here at Cite This For Me we understand how precious your time is, which is why we created Cite This For Me’s referencing tool and Harvard referencing guide to help relieve the unnecessary stress of referencing.
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