Referencing Information

2. How do I correctly reference my work?

In this section, we will cover how to reference correctly, using some of the most commonly-used referencing styles. We have also included a section on constructing bibliographies, and there is a fun quiz at the end to test your knowledge.

Referencing styles

Before starting to reference, you should check your course handbook to see which referencing style is required by your school/department/supervisor or tutor. 

But whatever style you decide to use, it's useful to remember that all formats of referencing are made up of two parts:

1. The in-text citation

2. The reference list

The in-text citation is a 'marker' placed in the text at an appropriate point to indicate a reference. The marker can be a number - for example, 1 or [1] - when using a numerically based referencing system, or the author's surname and the year of publication when using an author-date system - (Lewis, 2018).

The reference list is the section of your essay where you list all of your sources in full, either in number order where the number matches the order in which the source appears in the text, or in alphabetical order using the author's surname.

When you’ve decided on your referencing style, make sure you stick to it throughout your essay. Consistency is an important part of referencing. Don't combine different styles as this will confuse your reader.

The following are the main referencing styles in use at Queen Mary. Read a little more, and then try some of the activities on these pages so that you know you are getting it right.


Start using Cite Them Right Online (CTRO) to learn more about this important subject. CTRO is an excellent interactive guide to referencing. You can search for sources, view correct examples and construct references which can be exported to your essays and assignments. Access Cite Them Right Online (CTRO)


an image of the book version of Cite Them Right by Richard Pears

The physical book version of Cite Them Right can also be found in the Library's Study Skills Collection under the classmark PN171.F56 PEA. You can find more books on referencing via Library Search


Need help or advice with anything on this page?  Contact the T&LS Team