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Referencing: Referencing & Referencing Styles

Guidance on referencing styles and software

Always reference your research resources

When submitting academic work for assessment, it is important to provide full details of all of the sources you consulted during its preparation. The use of proper citation and referencing within your work will:

  • help you to avoid plagiarism
  • enable your readers to follow your line of research and locate the sources that you've used
  • distinguish your ideas from those of others
  • acknowledge the work of others
  • demonstrate the scope of your reading

Always check your module handbook for specific departmental guidance on the style required for your assessed works and dissertations.  Check with your personal tutor or dissertation supervisor if you need clarification.

My Learning Essentials Resources - University of Manchester Library

My Learning Essentials resources are developed by The University of Manchester Library, and are licensed under CC BY-NC 3.0. My Learning Essentials © The University of Manchester.

Cite them right

Referencing Styles

A range of referencing styles are used within the University, so ensure you check your subject handbook for the preferred style for your College/subject.Once you have established which style you should be using, it is important to be consistent in its application.

The major styles are highlighted here, with links to online support, plus specific guidance on audiovisual citations, compiled by BUFVC for referencing moving image and sound.

Top Tip

The Academic Skills support materials within ELE provide great support on the learning skills that are required for success as a student at the University. Most useful in this context are:

  Understanding Academic Honesty & Plagiarism

  Skills for Referencing


APA citation style refers to the rules and conventions usedby the American Psychological Association for documenting sources used in a research paper. APA style requires both in-text citations and a reference list. 

APA Style Examples from Monash University.

BSI is the UK National Standards body. A range of BSI standards and supporting material relating to referencing are available including:

BS 5605:1990 Recommendations for citing and referencing published material

BS ISO 690:2010 Information and documentation. Guidelines for bibliographic references and citations to information resources.

BS ISO 690-2:1997 Information and documentation. Bibliographic references. Electronic documents or parts thereof 

BS 6371: 1983 Recommendations for citation of unpublished documents. 

All are available online via British Standards Online 

Cambridge University Press style manual is preferred by the Department of History.

The Chicago Manual of Style Online : quick guide to the Chicago style with worked examples

Chicago - Guide to Referencing: a comprehensive guide from UWE, Bristol on the application of the Chicago style to a range of sources.

Guide to Citation in the Harvard Style: a guide from Bournemouth University.

Harvard - Guide to Referencing: a comprehensive guide from UWE, Bristol on how to create citations and bibliographic references using the Harvard referencing system. It also provides examples of paraphrasing and using quotations.

Harvard System of Referencing Guide: a detailed guide written by library staff at Anglia Ruskin University.

References: Harvard Style: a comprehensive guide from Leeds University on how to set out references within your work using the Harvard refencing system.

MHRA Style Guide: available as a download, this standard textbook outlines everything to do with the MHRA referencing style.

MLA - Guide to Referencing: a comprehensive guide from UWE, Bristol on the application of the MLA style to a range of sources.

Vancouver style examples from Monash University.

Vancouver referencing guide from Imperial College London

New media like YouTube, podcasts and vidcasts have led to the development of separate rules for citing moving image and sound sources. See the British Universities Film & Video Council’s guidelines for examples.