for the tech-savvy – how to make references and bibliographies easier!

When researching, we often use a variety of sources of information.  All of those sources need to be included in your reference list at the end of your submitted work.  At Middlesex we use the Harvard system of referencing (see your module handbook for a more detailed discussion of this).  One of the most annoying and fiddling tasks in writing is the putting together of your reference list and the citing of works inside your essay or assignment. 


This process can be made much easier by the use of citation software such as RefWorks or EndNote or the ‘references’ tab within Office 2007.  These packages work with your word processor to allow you to ‘cite while you write’ putting in the correct format of in-text reference and then building your reference list in the right format. 


Most of these programs also work with databases that contain articles, papers, references and the like.  Most of these databases will have an ‘export to citation manager’ button or option, and will fill in all the fields of the reference for you, without you typing a word.


One you get the hang of the way they work, you can keep your reference library and use is for all your scholarly work.  The effort comes in getting the data into the database each time you choose to cite a piece of work, but the pay off comes from a perfectly formatted reference list, accurate citations inside your work and the warm fuzzy glow that comes from knowing that you will never have to type the name and title of that book or article ever again, it will in your database until you choose to delete it!


Here is a link to a PowerPoint slide set on how to use a citation manager such as RefWorks.…/HSGSF%20October%20Academic%20-%20Refman%202006.ppt 

For more information and a free copy of refworks for your computer, go to this link

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