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How to Reference - Key Stage 3 Student Guide: Referencing

A guide to basic referencing for Year 8 & 9 students, compiled by your librarians.

Introduction to referencing

Referencing is a way of showing how the work of other people has helped you to complete your schoolwork. Their work may be in a variety of formats such as books, websites, and videos. 

Why do I need to reference?

Teachers expect you to select relevant information from a range of reliable sources to complete your work.  

You will need to show your teacher that you have done this by referencing all the places you have found information.

The school expects you to be a principled learner which means you need to be academically honest by referencing all the information sources you use in a piece of work.

What am I expected to reference?

You will need to reference all of the following:

  • quotations (when you include the exact words in " ")

  • paraphrasing (when you put information in your own words)

  • summarising (when you shorten information to give just the main idea)

  • any tables, images, statistics, data or ideas which are not your own.

How do I reference?

When you reference you need to include two elements:

Citation; brief information within your work to show where the information came from.

References; a list at the end of your work giving more details about where you got the information from.

Find out more about both of these elements in the boxes below...



In-text citation; this is added within your work to show the origins of the information you have used.

In-text citations should include:

  • Who?  The last name of the author e.g. Moss
  • When?  The year of publication e.g. 2007

Here are two examples of ways to write a citation:

Moss (2007) explains that organising is a learned skill.


Organising is a learned skill (Moss, 2007)

Here is an example of a paragraph that includes citations:




References; a list at the end of your work giving further details about your information sources.

For Key Stage 3 students these details should include:

  • Who?  The last name(s) of the author and their initial e.g. Moss, S.,
  • When?  The year of publication e.g. 2007
  • What?  The title of the source e.g. Horse and pony.

E.g. Moss, S., 2007. Horse and pony.

The reference list should be in alphabetical order according to the author's name.

Here is an example of a Key Stage 3 reference list:

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