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Referencing: Print, Online & Media Resources: Introduction

What is referencing?

During your course at IADT, you will be asked to produce written assignments, and within those assignments, you will need to refer back to the work of others. Doing this is called citing and referencing.

This work can be articles, websites, books, films, art, and any other material produced by someone else that you have used in your assignment. It is important to be consistent and accurate in your references to enable readers to identify and locate the material to which you have referred to. To do this, the same set of rules should be followed throughout your written work every time you cite a reference.

Referencing styles provide a system for in-text citations and for the creation of a bibliography or references list to be appended to the end of your written work. Currently, there are four key referencing styles used at IADT – APA, MLA, Harvard, and MHRA. to know which style to use, please ask your lecturer or tutor. 

Some of the work you cite will be licensed under a Creative Commons license as well as under copyright. When citing and referencing, make sure to not breach the licensing rules of the content you are using. More information on this can be found in the tab above. 

Source: National College of Ireland

Guide to different styles of referencing

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the practice of being honest and forthright in your academic writing. Essentially this means always giving credit to your sources and not claiming work as your own when it has been taken from someone else. This applies to individual assignments, as well as in group tasks. It applies to not only written material but to multimedia sources also.

You can attain academic integrity by citing fully and correctly, by providing reference lists, and avoiding plagiarism as a whole. 


The majority of referencing and citation examples in this guide are sourced from UCD Library. UCD Library's full referencing guides can be found here. 

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How to reference?

When researching and writing your essay, there are some steps you can follow. 

  1. Find references and sources that help you make your case.
  2. Save all your references in one place or folder.
  3. Know what referencing style you have to use and format your references in that style.
  4. Check all your references against examples in your course handbook before you submit your essay.

There are two main ways to use references within your writing.

  1. You can make an argument and bring in references to support that argument. 
  2. Bring references into your essay and then offer an analysis of them.


References should not be passed off as your own work. That is considered plagiarism. Here is some information on plagiarism and how to avoid it.


Source: Maynooth University Library

Difference between referencing and citations

Citing: referring to sources you quote or paraphrase within your document. You should always cite the sources you use in your work. This brief citation refers the reader to the exact place in your reference list or bibliography where you will provide the extended details of the source. 

Reference list: usually placed at the end of your assignment. It is the detailed list of sources that have been cited within the text. Every reference must have enough information for the reader to find the source again. This is only sourced that have actually been cited. 

Bibliography: a list of all references consulted in preparing the document, whether you cited them in your assignment or not.  It can also include titles useful as background reading.

 Source NUI Galway & University of Limerick


Helpful books on writing and referencing from the library catalogue

Why is referencing important?

There are several reasons why referencing is important in academic writing. Referencing properly: 

  • Helps you avoid plagiarism by making clear which ideas are yours and which belong to someone else. 
  • Shows you understand the topic or research area.
  • Gives evidence of what you are saying in your writing, and can support the argument yu are making. .
  • Gives evidence that you have researched your topic properly. 
  • Allows others to see what sources you used and to check them firsthand. 


Source: Maynooth University Library

Past Theses Collection

Our past theses collection is available online HERE with your IADT login. 

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