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Library Guide

Well trained and dedicated library staff is always on hand to provide the users with tailor-made services including among others, orientation for new users, reference service, inter-library loan service, and training on information literacy skills. This ensures that the user’s BIUST library experience contributes to lifelong learning.


Why is citing important?

When referring to other people’s work in ones writing, correct citations should be included to:


  • Avoid committing plagiarism,
  • Avoid breaking copyright law, and
  • Allow readers to find and read one’s sources of information.

Choosing a Referencing Style

When selecting a referencing style it is prudent to use the referencing style recommended by lecturer for ones  assignment. If they have not specified style APA 6th is recommended,  widely used style.

How to use a Referencing Style

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The references should be numbered and appear in the order they appear in the text. When referring to a reference in the text of the document, put the number of the reference in square brackets. Eg: [1] 

The IEEE citation style has 3 main features:

  • The author name is first name (or initial) and last. This differs from MLA style where author’s last name is first. 
  • The title of an article (or chapter, conference paper, patent etc.) is in quotation marks. 
  • The title of the journal or book is in italics. 


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Is widely used in the social sciences and other fields, such as education, commerce and nursing. It is an author-date style with two key components: 

  • Citations in the text: name of author and year of publication
  • Reference List at end of paper:  alphabetical listing of all references used in the text
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Is an author-date system that originated at Harvard University. Although they no longer produce a guide, this system is still referred to as the Harvard Style.

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Uses parenthetical (in text) citations to identify an alphabetical list of references that appears at the end of the paper. 

MLA format follows the author-page method of in-text citation. This means that the author’s last name and the page number(s) from which the quotation or paraphrase is taken must appear in the text and a complete reference should appear on your Works Cited page.

The author’s name may appear either in the sentence itself or in parentheses following the quotation or paraphrase, but the page number(s) should always appear in the parentheses, Various formats should be used depending upon the type of source and the way that the source is used.

Reference Management Software


If you are writing a longer assignment or thesis, you should consider using reference management software applications which are available through the following links:

Please contact your Subject Librarian for further details

You can also search our knowledge base from the following points: