Referencing: Styles and Tools

When writing an assignment or thesis, you will need to know the basics of referencing.

The purpose of proper referencing is to:

  • acknowledge your sources
  • show that you know your subject
  • help your reader verifying the information you provide
  • avoid plagiarism

There are a number of different referencing styles. Whichever you choose, use it consistently.


The referencing style of the American Psychological Association (APA) is commonly used. APA uses the author-date method.

APA 7th - Guide from The Citation Compass
APA 7th - Guide from Purdue University
APA 7th - Guide from APA Style

NB! If you already use APA 6th in your text, you can continue using it:

APA 6th - Guide from The Citation Compass
APA 6th - Guide from Purdue University


Harvard is an umbrella term for referencing styles using the author-date method.

Harvard - "Quote, unquote": Guide from Leeds Metropolitan University


IEEE (Institue of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is used in engineering and computer science.

IEEE - Guide from The Citation Compass


Vancouver is a numbered system, commonly used in medicine, health sciences and natural sciences.


Other reference styles?

More information on different referencing styles.

Reference management tools

Programs that help keeping record of your references and make citing and formatting easier: