Citing and referencing

Find advice on citing and referencing at LSE and discover some tools to help you.

Working on assignments due this term? Revising for upcoming exams?  

1Don’t leave the citing and referencing for your essay to the last minute. It always takes longer than you think! Try and capture all the information you need when reading for your assignment so you don’t need to go back to check the year or the publisher just before deadline. 

2Preparing for exams? Check what referencing may be required for these and make sure you have all the relevant details for any sources to hand.

3Check any feedback relating to referencing from formative assessments. If you have any queries contact your department librarian.

Why citing and referencing are important

Correct citing and referencing is an important academic skill. It demonstrates that you have read widely and have gathered evidence to support your arguments.

What is citing and referencing?

Citing means noting in the text where you quote, paraphrase or use an idea from someone else. Referencing means creating a list of the sources you have cited. 

Listen to our screencast - Referencing: why, what, when and how of citing

Citing and referencing at LSE

  • LSE does not have a single standard method for citing and referencing. 
  • Departments have different requirements so it is very important to check your student handbook or ask your academic supervisor to be clear on what is expected for your assignments and dissertations.
  • Check which method you are required to use, footnotes or the in-text author-date (Harvard) method.  
  • Then you will need to use a single citation style to format your citation in your footnote or reference list. 
  • If your department has not specified the method and style then it is your choice. The emphasis is on consistency and not mixing methods and styles. Choosing a specific style will make it easier to find and follow rules for each reference. 
  • Looking at sample dissertations from your departments is useful. See LSE Theses Online.

Tools to help you cite and reference

  • Cite them right is a website which contains advice on how to reference different resources, in a range of styles and provides a tutorial on citing and referencing practice.
  • Reference management software can help you cite and reference consistently. Use software to collect, store and organise your references as you research. Then you can insert your citations using the software and build your reference list as you write your assignment.  
  • The most commonly used software at LSE are: EndNoteMendeley and Zotero.  
  • Your department librarian can assist you in using the software.
  • Have a look at the slides and handouts from the Library’s Improving your referencing workshops to get you started.

Listen to our screencasts

Getting further help

LSE LIFE on Moodle provide additional materials and guidance on writing including quoting, paraphrasing and summarising in your own words.

If you have any referencing questions get in touch with your department librarian to discuss.