Harvard Referencing and Bibliography

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References and Bibliographies

Effective Learning Service
References and Bibliographies

A

M E M B E R

O F

University of Bradford, School of Management

References and Bibliographies

PREFACE
Academic writing is special in an age of rapid communication. Most assignments in higher education require you to slow the tempo and carefully explore and test out ideas, either for their own sake or in relation to real or hypothetical situations. This requires you to, not just present and describe ideas, but to be aware of where they came from, who developed them - and why. Ideas, theories, models, practices are often shaped by the social norms, values and practices prevailing at the time and place of their origin and the student in higher education needs to be aware of these influences. Referencing plays a role, therefore, in helping to locate and place ideas and arguments in their historical, social, cultural and geographical contexts. Referencing can also help you to find your own voice in assignments, by helping you construct essays and reports that project the way you see or perceive things, but supported by a body of evidence that strengthens your opinions - and converts them into arguments. Education needs ideas, arguments and perspectives to thrive, but these have to be tested rigorously and subjected to the critical scrutiny of others. This is done by researching, preparing and presenting work into the public domain; a formidable task for any writer or commentator, and one that can take years sometimes to achieve. Referencing is then, also about respecting and honouring the hard work of writers and commentators – by acknowledging them in your assignments. Colin Neville Effective Learning Service

The Effective Learning Service at the School of Management is part of a UK government funded LearnHigher project, which involves collaboration between 16 UK institutions of higher education. The aim is to develop a resources network to enable students to gain access to high quality learning support material produced by UK universities. The Effective Learning Service at the School of Management has been selected to develop resources on referencing to share with students. A website on referencing is currently being developed, and a book on this topic: The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism’, by Colin Neville, is due to be launched by The Open University Press in August 2007. More information can be found on the LearnHigher project at: www.learnhigher.ac.uk

Effective Learning Service

1

University of Bradford, School of Management

References and Bibliographies

REFERENCES and BIBLIOGRAPHIES
It is an expected academic practice that students will refer to (or cite) the sources of ideas, data and other evidence in written assignments. This is not just practice for tradition’s sake; it is done for valid academic reasons. There are four main reasons related to your academic studies why referencing is important: 1. to support your arguments and give credibility to the information you present in assignments; 2. to enable your tutors to check the accuracy and validity of the evidence presented; 3. to enable your tutors and other interested readers to trace the sources you cite and to use the same evidence for their own purposes; 4. to avoid the accusation of plagiarism. As mentioned in the preface, referencing is also a way of acknowledging the hard work that goes into the research, preparation, writing and revision of academic texts. Accurate referencing is also one way of giving indirect thanks to this invisible and invaluable effort and achievement. More pragmatically, it also shows a tutor you have, at least, read some of the sources listed on a reading list! And last, but probably not least from a student perspective, accurate and intelligent referencing will enhance a good essay and contribute to the marks you gain. Selection of relevant evidence and accurate referencing is an...
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