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Business: Support Materials: Citing & Referencing

What is referencing?

When you use an idea or information from another source, e.g.. from a book, journal, film, image or sound recording, etc. you must acknowledge where you got this information.

Acknowledging the work of other people in your own work is citing and referencing.

When used correctly, citing and referencing...

  • Adds credibility to your arguments and demonstrates that you understand key issues in your subject,
  • Shows your ability to evaluate and critically apply this understanding to your work,
  • Enables others to find your references easily.

If you need any help with your citing and referencing, click on the Where To Get Help tab in this guide.

There are two parts to citing and referencing...

1. Citations are used in your assignments when you have used someone else's work.

For example, "Apple recently anounced its new venture, Apple Music (Apple, 2020)."

Note: You do not need to cite common knowledge. For example, "Apple is a prominent company in the technology sector."

Examples of a citation in written work

Examples: short, direct quotations  'If you need to illustrate the idea of nineteenth-century America as a land of opportunity, you could hardly improve on the life of Albert Michelson' (Bryson, 2004, p. 156).  Lomotey (2018, para. 4) said ‘the children remained calm like professionals’.

Example  Harrison (2007, p. 48) clearly distinguishes between the historical growth of the larger European nation states and the roots of their languages and linguistic development, particularly during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. At this time, imperial goals and outward expansion were paramount for many of the countries, and the effects of spending on these activities often led to internal conflict.

2. The reference list goes at the end of your written work and contains all of the resources that you have cited.

The reference list goes in alphabetical order by author surname or organisation name.

Each resource in the list will have a set format (e.g. book, website, journal article) so someone can look at your reference list and tell what type of resources you have used.

An example of a reference list

Example reference list	 BBC (2017) Energy use and the environment. Available at (Accessed: 18 August 2018). Bowman, R. and Jenkins, S. (2011) 'Financial and environmental issues and comparisons in new and old build properties', in Harris, P. (ed.) Studies on property improvements and environmental concerns in modern Britain. London: Pinbury, pp. 124–145. British Gas (2012) A green light to save you more. Eastbourne: British Gas. Department of the Environment (2018) Energy and the environment in Britain today. Available at: (Accessed: 18 August 2018). Hallwood, L. (2016) 'The good work of sustainable energy organisations continues', The Times, 20 June, pp. 20–21. Hampson, P. and Carr, L. (2017) 'The impact of rising energy use on the environment: a five-year study', Journal of Energy and Environmental Issues, 53(5), pp. 214–231. Kirkwood, L., Harper, S. and Jones, T. (2011) The DIY culture in Britain: costs for homes and the nation. Available at: (Accessed: 18 August 2018).

Examples taken from Cite Them Right Online.

Referencing Resources

If you need help, check out these guides: