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Activity 12 - Guide To Referencing Part 2

Activity 12 - Guide To Referencing Part 2 


Welcome to activity 12! This activity is a continuation of our previous session on referencing. Before moving on to this activity, you will need to make sure that activity 10 on referencing has been completed. See a link to this below, if you haven't already done so. This study skills session is going to be considering referencing in more detail, thinking about how references help us to assess the reliability of the sources. We will be considering:


  • How a reference list can help you to assess the reliability of a source
  • To recognise reliable references


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 Part 2

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: Assessing the reliability of a source


Make sure you have a pen and a piece of paper. Take a moment to write down the following definitions below. 


Source - Something that provides information.


Reliability - How able something is to be trusted/believed. 


Accuracy - How accurate is the information in the source 


Authority - Who has written the source. Where has it been published?


Continue to watch the video whilst making notes on the definitions above. 

Task 2: How do we analyse the reference list? 


A reliable source can be understood a lot easier by considering this analogy. 


A friend from your class has told you on the play ground that there will be a test on Friday.

Before you believe them, you need to find out where they heard that information.

They have told you they found out from another friend in your class. 


You might not trust that this is the correct information. This might not be reliable.


However, if your friend told you that they heard from the teacher there would be a test on Friday, you would be more likely to believe them. The teacher has the most authority


After watching the analogy on considering a reference list, try to answer the following question in your own words - "How can a reference list help you to assess the reliability of a source?"


* TIP - If you are struggling, use your definitions from task 1. 

Task 3: How do we decide that a source has authority? 


When thinking about the author of a source and where the source has been published, we need to consider the following things - 


* Make brief notes on the following. 


1. An author with authority - Someone who is an expert in their subject


E.g. A PhD Student writing an essay about bio-diversity will more than likely have more expertise in the subject than a Year 8 school student studying bio-diversity.


E.g. A historian talking about World War Two will probably have more expertise on the subject than a Year 6 student learning about World War Two in History lessons. 


Can you think of a similar example? 


2. An author with authority - Someone you might be able to look up online.


  • What is their job?
  • Have they written other books/articles on the subject?
  • What is their experience?


3. Where the article has been published - It will be reliable.


  • Journal article (volume and issue number)
  • Peer reviewed 
  • Newspapers - they can often be biased (not completely reliable). 
  • Magazines - have often been written by experts and are easier to understand
  • Wikipedia - sometimes not accurate, we do not know who the author is. 


Task 4: Recognising reliable references 


* PAUSE the video at 13:20. 


Consider - Which sources in the reference list are reliable? 


Create a table such as this. I have added two examples, to help.


Reliable Sources Unreliable Sources

Strachan, H. (1986) The First World War:

Causes and Course. The Historical Journal, 29 (1)

Causes Of World War One - Wikipedia 


* TIP - Check through your notes from this activity, as well as activity 10 for help. 


PRESS PLAY on the video at 14:10 for the answers. If you were unsure of some answers, make sure to write them down in your table, with the reasons why they would be reliable or unreliable. 

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