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Philosophy: Referencing Guide

Revision cards with writing on and a penAcknowledging, or referencing, the sources of the quotes, theories, ideas, etc. you've used in your work will help you to avoid accusations of plagiarism.

The Faculty of Philosophy does not impose any particular referencing style. Many different ways of giving references are used in academic publications. All systems are acceptable, provided they are applied consistently. Suitable common referencing styles include the Harvard system (author-date), or MHRA.

  1. References may be given either in the main text of your essay, or in a footnote or endnote. References are in brackets and take the form of the author's surname, followed by date of publication, followed (if appropriate) by page number(s), e.g. (Wiggins 1997, 251). Note that all quotations must be supplied with page references, but if you are referring to an author's text in general terms, then page numbers aren't required. 
  2. Full details of all the works to which you refer must be supplied in a list of references or bibliography at the end of your essay.

For further information see the Faculty's presentation guidelines (PDF)

We have access to Cite Them Right which is very useful for answering all your referencing questions!

Guides to referencing and style guides can be found in the Study skills section of the Philosophy Faculty Library.

Contact library staff for any specific referencing queries or to find out more about referencing management software such as Zotero.

Training & Guides

Training in using reference management tools is provided by Cambridge University Library.  The Introduction to Reference Manager Programs provides information about reference management tools supported by University Information Services including links to their training courses and workbooks for Endnote, Zotero and Mendeley .

LibGuides for Zotero and Mendeley also offer general information and advice.

Some useful video tutorials are also available as follows:


Zotero Quick Start Guide

Video tutorial. See also this great guide also available as a PDF.

Guides and tutorials


Managing your references

A citation manager helps you keep track of articles and books as you find them, and to easily create (and share) citations and bibliographies in whatever style you choose.

Two popular free reference management tools are:

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