Keep calm and reference on
Now, University is an exciting time for everybody! Of course you will feel happy, worried, sad and excited all at the same time. For me, it was a very similar feeling. A bit like eating a hot skittle, now initially you’ll be thinking huh?! But let’s face it although slightly unusual and never tried before – a skittle’s a skittle. Who’d refuse it? Similarly, university is the place you’ve never been, none the less you’re ready to take on the challenge. So, no matter if it’s your first, second, third, fourth or five year at university – well done for completing the previous stage successfully.
Starting university was great! I felt like I had proved myself by reaching a stage in my life that seemed very far away at times.
So imagine my first day. New clothes, new make up, new books and pens and up well before 10am! Now that’s serious business. Reaching university is a blur thinking back but I remember being super nervous. I was in a new place, commuting to another city and knew nobody on my course. Settling in took a while, however ice breakers (although dreaded) helped slowly get my confidence back. I was me in no time. A few weeks passed in a haze and soon enough it was time the first assignment was explained. It was in that week which I was introduced to something that would change my life forever…
It would make me look at copying and pasting in a whole, new and different perspective. That’s right. HARVARD REFERENCING.
This is a system in which you use for every assignment and every piece of work to prove that you have not copied another’s work nor have you plagiarized. Not that we would but makes sense right? Sounds simple. Seems like a sensible thing. But when I said it changed my life forever… I truly meant it. Never did I think I would need to open a book and find when it’s published or who published it, who the author or if it’s published within recent years. A book is a book right? Wrong. In university books, referencing and journals will become your best friends for the next dedicated years of your life. Our best friend drives us crazy, makes us happy and makes us pull through the impossible. If you have never experienced this then say hello to referencing, Harvard referencing.
All jokes aside, Harvard referencing will be a big part of your university course and can make the difference from a low grade to a higher grade and vice versa. I feel the need to blog about it to help you as I wish I had read this before starting my course and understood it completely. Whatever you do fully research how to reference. this will help you so much and you will be one step ahead. Being a final year student I can honestly say that that I still have to refer to the hand books given at the start, to help me. You have many websites to help you cite / reference – as my own preference I choose to type it manually as I find it easier. My best advice would be to try both ways for some time and see what you are most comfortable with.
To reference a book you will need to type:
The author’s name, year of publication, title, edition (if not first), city in which it was published and name of publisher.
Rainbow,T.(2014). The hot skittle challenge. Fourth edition. London, Red ones are the best Publications.
So it’s probably not going to look EXACTLY like that but I hope you get the main point of it.
There are MANY different types of referencing which I have not mentioned. Please research further or ask your tutors for help if you’re confused (no skittle flavored pun intended). This blog is merely a heads up for first year students and light humour for the students who have had many sleepless nights finding a publisher to find that it is in fact “sage publications” which they had a gut feeling about but maybe, just maybe thought it’d be another publisher.
Back to a more serious note; A useful website to help you understand Harvard referencing is http://education.exeter.ac.uk/dll/studyskills/harvard_referencing.htm
I hope this has been somewhat useful for all the readers. I am not in anyway stating that you should take drastic measures and avoid referencing. In fact it is fairly simple and straight forward once you’re used to it. Everything takes time. Remember to ask if you need help! That’s what your tutors are there for. Use peer feedback and make a little room for Harvard referencing in your life.
Happy referencing to you all.