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Search Skills

Guides to search skills and using library research resources

Referencing and plagiarism

How do I reference?

Each department of the university uses a particular referencing style.

To find out which referencing style your department uses and to learn more about referencing, take a look at our Referencing General Guidance page

For an introduction to referencing, and to practice creating references, have a go at our online tutorial.

Link to referencing tutorial

What is Reference Management Software?

Reference management software

Reference management software allows you to collect, store and organise your references, and insert them into your documents quickly and easily. Once you have stored a reference, you can use it over and over again in your bibliographies. This can save you a lot of time, as you don't have to manually type a reference each time you cite a particular source.

There are many different reference management software packages available, and you should choose the one that works best for you. The library can provide support for the following software:

Choosing your Reference Management Software

You may find it helpful to test different reference management software packages to see which one you prefer working with. A few things you might want to consider when choosing your reference manager are:

  • Accessibility: Is the software desktop- or web-based?
  • Referencing Styles: Is the citation/referencing style you need to use available in the software?
  • Cost: Is the software free (like Mendeley and Zotero), or is there a one-off or annual subscription fee to pay? 
  • Compatibility: Is the software compatible with your operating system and/or the word processing software you use?
  • Collaboration: If you're planning to share your references with colleagues, which software do they use?

EndNote is installed on all computers in the IT labs on campus. However, if you are planning to use reference management software on your own computer or other device, you may wish to consider Zotero or Mendeley instead.

You can download introductory worksheets for Mendeley and Zotero below. These step-by-step guides take you through setting up a free account, adding references to your own personal library, and inserting references and a bibliography into your Microsoft Word documents. If you need any further help, please do get in touch. 

What is plagiarism?

One of the main reasons we reference sources in our academic work is to avoid plagiarism. But what is it? Put simply, plagiarism is: 

The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft.

'Plagiarism' (2019) Available at (Accessed: 24 January 2020)

 Academic integrity at Essex 

Find out more about academic integrity on the university's academic skills pages. You'll also find a link on this page to an Academic Integrity Moodle course, which will help you understand academic integrity, authorship and plagiarism. 

 Test your plagiarism knowledge 

There are a few online quizzes available that allow you to test your knowledge around this topic.

Turnitin have a quiz online. You may recognise this as the plagiarism detection software used by the University. 

When you finish this quiz, there are links to other resources and quizzes on the topic.