Cardiff University Oscola Referencing

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Cardiff University Oscola Referencing

What is referencing?

Referencing (‘citing’) is indicating in assignments when you have used material that has not originated with you. This might include factual information, data, images, opinion, direct quotation, or when you summarise or paraphrase the work of other people.

Why reference?

The majority of academic assignments measure your ability to understand, analyse and evaluate the work of others. It is important to remember that as a matter of policy referencing in the School of Law, Accounting and Finance carries a percentage (currently 5%) of the overall marks for an assignment and if undertaken appropriately will contribute to your grade and therefore your academic success.

Consequently, referencing is crucial as it informs the reader of the texts you have consulted during your research; you will also be assessed on the quality and relevance of these sources. When writing assignments it is important to refer to every source cited in a clear and consistent way, this shows consideration for the reader as it enables them to easily check the legal authorities you have referred to and to follow the arguments or propositions you put forward.

Quality and relevance of sources

It is particularly important in law to refer to the primary sources of law (typically legislation and case law) as this allows your reader to understand which rule of law you are referring to when you state, ‘the law is x’. Citing primary sources provides proof of authority and allows your reader to make an assessment about the strength of that authority. Secondary sources (typically books and journal articles) provide explanations, comment upon and critique the primary sources of law and are persuasive but are not the law itself.