Referencing Techniques

Why citing and referencing are important

Referencing is one of the requirements of Tshwane University of Technology for academic writing. It is one of the ways to ensure academic integrity when writing your manuscript. Academic integrity refers to the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles as a student of Tshwane University of Technology

Referencing Prevents Plagiarism

Tshwane University of Technology has a policy on plagiarism that applies to you. Be sure to read the policy. 

It enables the reader of your manuscript to:
  • distinguish between your own ideas and the ideas and research of others,
  • verify the validity of your use of the ideas and research of others and follow up on the ideas and research of others as a matter of interest.
  • It demonstrates that you are able to         use reliable sources and critically assess the sources in support of the ideas put forward in your manuscript and draw your own conclusions
  • It establishes creditability and authority of your own ideas and knowledge.

What to reference

It depends on whether you are expected to include a reference list or a bibliography at the end of your manuscript.
  • A reference list is a list of all the sources that you cite in your manuscript.
  • A bibliography is a list of all sources you use in writing your manuscript. It includes the sources you consult but not necessarily cite.
  • Your lecturer/supervisor will indicate whether you need to include a reference list and/or a bibliography.

Making citing and referencing easy

  • Citing and referencing can be challenging at times.
  • The use of commercially available reference management software saves you time and energy when writing your manuscript by importing, storing and organising your references.
  • Tshwane University of Technology has an institutional licence for EndNote that you can download and install on your computer free of charge.
  • Contact your library for training in the use of EndNote.

Where to find information about specific styles

Tshwane University of Technology uses the citation and referencing styles guide of Monash University.
  • You can also search the library’s catalogue for books and other resources on specific styles.

What to Cite

You must acknowledge all the ideas and research of others that you use in your manuscript. However, you do not need to acknowledge common knowledge. Common knowledge is information that the average person would accept as reliable without having to look it up. This includes:
  • information that everyone or nearly everyone knows,
  • information shared by a cultural or national group and;
  • knowledge shared by members of a certain field.
Common knowledge in one culture, nation, academic discipline or peer group may not be common knowledge in another. It is not always easy to decide whether information is indeed common knowledge or not. The general rule is: when in doubt, cite.

What style to use

There are many referencing styles that vary according to discipline.
  • Your lecturer/supervisor will indicate what style you must use.
  • Tshwane University of Technology uses the styles adopted by Monash University.
  • A list of the styles can be accessed by: clicking on the URL below or copying and pasting the URL in the address bar of your favourite browser.

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