Understanding referencing

Why reference?

There are lots of reasons for referencing, but they include:

  • To ensure credit is given to the author/creator of a book/image/video etc
  • To show the person reading your work how much you have read
  • To link evidence to your arguments
  • To enable the reader to follow up on the texts you have used, if they are interested in the ideas
  • To show the reader the types of resource you have used

Referencing styles

There are many different referencing styles. At York St John University we use four; which one you use will depend upon your course.

APA (Psychology courses) 

MHRA (History, American Studies and War Studies) 

MLA 8th Edition (English Literature - 1st year only)

YSJ Harvard (all other courses)


RefWorks is a tool which collates your references and helps you put them into your assignments, and create a reference list or a bibliography from them: Access RefWorks and get more information

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Search Success is based on SMILE by Imperial College, Loughborough University and the University of Worcester, modified by Information Learning Services at York St John University. It is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.‌

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