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The University of Bolton Library

Research support

Why reference?

Referencing is a very important part of your assignment. Not only it is crucial that you accurately reference all sources of information consulted during the course of your research (for example, journal articles and textbooks), you will be awarded marks for your referencing (usually 5 to 10 per cent of the total marks). Referencing is important for the following reasons:

  • Referencing acknowledges the copyrighted work of others
  • Including references demonstrates to your tutor the depth and breadth of your research
  • If necessary, accurate references will enable your sources to traced and verified
  • You will avoid failing your assignment due to plagiarism


Turnitin is the plagiarism detection software you will most likely use to submit your assignments. 

Turnitin is accessed via Moodle, and the following help guides may be of use:

Which referencing system?

A number of referencing systems are in use at the University of Bolton; your tutor will direct you to the preferred system for your work. The main systems in use here are as follows:

  • Harvard: mainly used by Art and Design, Engineering, Science and Social Science
  • Numeric: mainly used by Humanities
  • APA: used by Psychology
  • OSCOLA: used by Law

Follow the links for further help. We also have a printable guide to Harvard referencing which you may also find useful:


ProQuest RefWorks logo

RefWorks enables you to organise, store and share your references, as well as format them in a range of styles and export them as reference lists and bibliographies.

Visit our RefWorks guide to find out how to get started.

Other referencing tools

Other types of referencing software besides RefWorks are available; this list represents a very small sample:

In addition, it is possible to create a bibliography from your reference list in MS Word. Guidance on how to do this is available here: