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Activity 10 - Guide To Referencing

Activity 10 - Guide To Referencing 


Welcome to activity 10! In this activity we will be considering referencing in our essays and why it is important to reference the articles, books and websites we find when researching, if we use their ideas in our own essay. Referencing is challenging! Even for University students, it can be something very tricky that requires a lot of practice. However, the earlier we start thinking about referencing and giving it a go, the better understanding we will have in the future. 


What I want you to remember is that the tasks below are challenging - they have a guided age range of 13-16. However, I think there is nothing wrong with having a go at the tasks below to see if you can wrap your head around them! I have put some detailed instructions below to use alongside the video which might help you. Please remember, if you are struggling with some of the material below, make some quick notes and move on to another activity which will be easier to complete. 

Study Skills - Guide To Referencing

Watch the video clip below. Remember, this activity is aimed at students aged between 13 - 16 years old. The material is going to be challenging. Try your best. If you are struggling, just make brief notes and move on.

Task 1: What is a reference?


A reference is a description of a source - you have used the ideas from this source to create your own work. 


A source could be - a newspaper article, a book, a poster, an image etc. 


Referencing is used when writing an essay. This usually takes part in three key stages:


1. Do research by reading books and looking for information online.


2. Write your essay using the sources you researched.


3. Write down the articles/books that you used when writing your essay. 


* PAUSE the video at 3:42 - 


Can you explain in your own words, what a reference is? Take a minute to write down your own understanding of what a reference is.

Try your best ... this is challenging work. 



Task 2: Why are references important?


When you carrying out research to write an essay, you will come across a lot of information online. This could be in the form of:


  • Online books
  • Online articles
  • News
  • Videos 
  • Posters


However, just because something is written down or typed online, does not mean it is reliable information. We must check the reliability. 


We can do this by checking where the author has found the source of their own information. So - we need to check the author's reference list (at the end of their essay) to see where they have found the information they used to create their essay. 


The references are very important. They help us to decide if the information is reliable. If the references are from sources we trust - they are probably reliable and safe for us to use in our own essay. 


*PAUSE the video at 5:28 


Why are references important? Take a couple of minutes to write down, in your own words, why you think references are important when writing an essay? Why should we always look at the reference list when reading an article online? Try to include the words:


  • Source
  • Reliable 



Task 3: How do we decode a reference?


For this task, all I want you to do is make brief notes on referencing a journal article and referencing a website/blog. I want you to take into account how these two differ from each other. I have done a quick summary below if you need a little bit of guidance ... 


Here is a quick guide to help you decode a reference written in a journal:


* What is a journal? 

A lot of academics will write articles to be published in a journal. A journal is a collection of essays. This could be compared to a large book filled with short stories.


1. Name of the author/authors - This will usually be written with the author's surname, followed by the letter of their first initial. For example:


L. Smith and A. Brown 


2. Date the article was published - Next you will see the date (in brackets) when the article being referenced was written. For example:




3. The name of the article - You will be able to spot this easily, because it will be put in speech marks, usually. For example:


"The beginner's guide to Rock Climbing." 


4. The name of the journal - This will be the title of the journal that the article is published in. For example:


The Rock Climbing Journal


5. The volume number and issue number - The volume number tells us which series of the journal the article is from. The journal will be published every year. So, volume 1 was the 1st edition of the journal to be published - the first year it was published. Volume 2 was the 2nd edition of the journal to be published - the second year the journal was published. The volume number tells us how many years running the journal has been published. 


14 (5) 


So, this journal would have been published for 14 years!


The issue number tells us how many times in one year that the journal has been published. Each month, the journal might publish another edition of the volume with new articles. 


14 (5)


So, this journal has been published for 14 years. The number 5 shows us the journal has been published 5 times in that year. This would mean the journal would have been published in May - May is the 5th month of the year. 


6. The link to the source - A link so you can find the article online. For example: 


Altogether this will look like - L. Smith, A Brown (2019) "The Beginner's Guide To Rock Climbing" , The Rock Climbing Journal. 14 (5)  



This is a guide to decode references written on a blog/website source:


This is how you will reference a source from a website, such as the BBC or a blog. This is a much simpler method to writing references. 


1. The name of the article 


2. The link to where you can find it 


Task 4: Extension activity


*PAUSE the video at 13:14 


Spend a few minutes writing down what each section of the references in the video clip mean. Refer back to the notes you have made during task three for guidance. REMEMBER this material is very challenging. Try your best and move on if you are struggling. 


You should be looking for:


  • The name of the author
  • The date the article was published
  • The name of the article
  • The name of the journal
  • The volume number
  • The issue number
  • The link to the website 


Want to be challenged further? 


Complete the quiz below all about referencing! Click on the link to go to the quiz. 

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