So you’ve finished the essay. You’ve found all the sources you need, you’ve read them, and you’ve produced an essay that’s practically perfect in every way. And then your tutor says you need to work on your referencing.
Your heart sinks.
Referencing. Why? Why does it matter whether your reference list is in alphabetical order? Why does the title have to be in italics? Why do you have to give all those pesky numbers for journal articles – what *is* a part number anyway?
We know it can sometimes seem like a cumbersome obstacle designed to take marks away from your otherwise sparkling example of an essay, but there are good reasons why referencing is important, and why it carries weight when your tutors are doing their marking.
The most important thing you need to remember is that referencing is basically signposting. You’re telling your marker where you found a particular piece of evidence. The components of a reference are all there for a reason, and that reason is to make it clear to the marker (or reader) where they need to go to read it too.
It’s also about giving due credit to the authors of your sources, and ensuring you don’t fall foul of accusations of plagiarism.
So you know you need to do it. You’ve looked at the Referencing@Portsmouth site. You’ve gone round in circles trying to decide whether what you *think* is the right format for a reference or citation is correct. Now what?
Ordinarily, you could come to the support services desk, email us, or use online chat to ask us for help.
For one week though, one very special week, we’re going to be offering a special Pop-Up Referencing Clinic here in the Library. Between 21st and 25th November, a dedicated desk in the Atrium will be staffed 11-12, 2-3 and 4-5pm, specifically to discuss your referencing questions.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first year embarking on your first referencing tasks, or a researcher gathering sources for your thesis. Any question, however big or small, is welcome. Please bring us your referencing worries, and see if we can help you leave them behind!