6. Using the information

On this page you will learn why, when and how you should correctly refer to the information sources you have used, and the tools that are helpful in that process.

Referencing is the act of writing down the origin of information, texts, pictures, videos, that have been used in creating your publication. There are different citation styles to reference in, for instance APA, Vancouver, MLA, AMA, Chicago, etc. 

It depends a bit per program, but APA style is by far the most used citation style at the Hanze UAS. 

Please check with your supervisor in what citation style you should write down the references!

6.1 Why do I have to refer to the used information sources?

References allow the audience to check the reliability of information. It makes it possible for others to read more information in those sources, and form their own interpretation. References also give credit to the authors, which they are entitled to.

Using texts or ideas from others is not allowed without referencing to them, because the works are protected by copyright. Using them without reference would be plagiarism. Plagiarism by students often happens unconsciously, so read more about plagiarism here to prevent it from happening to you.


Definition of plagiarism:

Plagiarism is any copying of a work of oneself or of others, in an identical manner or in slightly modified form and without adequate acknowledgment of the source.

In more details:

"... takeover of a work ..."

Work = (fragment of) text, images, figures, graphics, sounds or screenrecordings, tables, videos, etc.
Work can be in printed form (book/magazine etc), or in digital form (ebook, encyclopedia etc)


"... in an identical manner or in slightly modified form ..."

Quoting = literal transfer of a fragment enclosed in "double quotation marks".
Paraphrasing = copying someone's ideas or statements in a slightly modified form, i.e. reformulated in your own words.
Summarize = summarize the main points of larger pieces of text (eg a page, a chapter or an article) in your own words.
Translate = copying texts in another language, for example from English to Dutch.

"... without adequate acknowledgment of the source."

Quoting, paraphrasing, summarizing or translating without citing the source = plagiarism!


Plagiarism can be recognized by:

  • the occurrence of a difference in writing style in the text (fluent vs. rough, scientific vs. popular language)
  • unexpected language use (too scientific);
  • differences in formatting in a text;
  • different reference styles;
  • errors in, or lack of references;
  • deviation from the actual subject;
  • lack of recent references.

Plagiarism can also be detected digitally by typing part of a suspicious sentence or several sentences into a search engine or by using software specifically designed to detect text matches (plagiarism detection software).


6.2 Am I ever allowed to not refer to other sources?

There are situations in which you don't have to refer to other sources:

  • When you are mentioning a generally known fact. This is not a very objective criterium, but a good check is to see if your parents/siblings know the fact too without having to google more information.

Example of a generally known fact: The beginning and end of the First World War (1914-1918) or the name of the current president of the USA.

Example of not generally known fact: The beginning and end of the Third Punic War (149-146 v Chr.), or the name of the senate president of Madagascar.

  • If the information originates completely from you. It's possible that after reading other sources, you create a unique train of thought. These ideas, statements and interpretations are yours and therefore don't need a reference.

Tip! When in doubt: use a reference.

6.3 APA Guidelines

Different citation styles have been developed. On the Hanze UAS, the most popular citation style follows the guidelines of the American Psychological Association (APA). Please check with your supervisor what citation style you are meant to use.

Referencing in APA style means that you refer to sources in the text by citing the author(s) and the year of publication. At the end of the document/ work, a full reference list is presented with the more detailed references. There are quite specific rules (with every citation style) about how to present your references, read on to learn more. 

NB! A referencelist is always alphabetically ordered, regardless of the information source type of the references, and the document type you are working on.


6.3.1: APA guidelines

How to handle a reference in the text?

A quote is always between double quotation marks ("..."), and after the last " you put in round brackets who the author(s) is, the publication year and if applicable the page number of the quote. For instance: "The topic is as important as it is complex, investigating the learning skills in children" (Seidel, 2018). 

A paraphrase is not in between quotation marks, but is followed up with the round brackets with the author(s), and year of publication. This is called a Parenthetical citation. For instance: This is an accurate situation model of the information presented (Mayer, 2002)

If preferred, you can also mentioned the authors in the text, and just put the publication year in brackets. This is called an narrative citation. For instance: Following the results of Thiede (2003), it is also expected to see improved reading comprehension performance.


How do you manage the reference list?

The reference list is placed at the end of the document as its own chapter. If there are appendices, the references are shown beforehand. THe list is alphabetical, regardless of the information source type. (So you don't have separate reference lists for books, then journals, then websites, etc.). The aim of this list is that the audience can find the used information sources themselves. 


How to handle a reference in the reference list?

  • Book
    • Author, A., & Author, B. (Publication year). Title of the book. Location: Publisher
    • Sapolsky, R. M. (2017). Behave: The biology of humans at our best and worst. Penguin Books.
  • Chapter from a book (only if author hasn't written the entire book)
    • Author, A., & Author, B. (Publication year). Title of the Chapter. In A. Editorial (Red.), Title of the book. Location: Publisher
    • Dillard, J. P. (2020). Currents in the study of persuasion. In M. B. Oliver, A. A. Raney, & J. Bryant (Eds.), Media effects: Advances in theory and research (4th ed., pp. 115–129). Routledge.
  • Journal article
    • Author, A., & Author, B. (Publication year). Title of the article. Name Journal, Volume (Issue), pages. (if available DOI number)
    • Grady, J. S., Her, M., Moreno, G., Perez, C., & Yelinek, J. (2019). Emotions in storybooks: A comparison of storybooks that represent ethnic and racial groups in the United States. Psychology of Popular Media Culture8(3), 207–217. https://doi.org/10.1037/ppm0000185

  • News article
    • Author, A., & Author, B. (Publication date). Title of the article. Name Newspaper, pages.
    • Stobbe, M. (2020, January 8). Cancer death rate in U.S. sees largest one-year drop ever. Chicago Tribune.

  • Internet sources
    • Author, A., & Author, B. (Publication year). Title of the document. Retrieved on date-date-date  from url.com
    • U.S. Census Bureau. (n.d.). U.S. and world population clock. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved January 9, 2020, from https://www.census.gov/popclock/

  • Images

What is not included in a reference list?
A reference list only contains references that can be consulted by the reader, therefore interviews, emails, face-to-face conversations, classes, workshops, etc. are not mentioned. You can still refer to them n the text. ISBNs or ISSNs are never mentioned with APA.

6.3.2 : APAstyle.org and APA in de praktijk

Do you want to see more examples? Read up on the latest developments in the APA style? Go to their website: apastyle.org

The University of Tilburg also made this English resource: Citing Sources According to APA Guidlines 
(This work is licensed by Tilburg Uiversity under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.)

For students who understand Dutch, we also have the following tool available:

De van oorsprong Amerikaanse APA-richtlijnen zijn vertaald en aangepast aan de Nederlandse situatie, dit heeft geresulteerd in een Nederlandstalige handleiding De APA-richtlijnen uitgelegd: Een praktische handleiding voor bronvermelding in het hoger onderwijs, gratis te downloaden via www.auteursrechten.nl/apa en in handige ringband voor € 3,95 te koop via www.studystore.nl.

6.4 Tools for referencing

Referencing following APA or any citation style can be a challenge when you're not experienced yet. Word can help you with their build-in referencing tool, but there is also designated referencing software available (we recommend RefWorks). These tools help with correctly using referencing in your work, and can save you a lot of time and effort.

6.4.1 : Referencing in Word

Microsoft Word 2013 and 2016 offer the option to easily insert an APA reference, just by entering the information of the source in the menu. Here is a brief instruction on how to use it.

Inserting a quote or paraphrase

  • Open Word, click the tab Referencing
  • Next to Style, choose APA
  • Click on Insert Citation, then on Add new source...
  • Fill in all the information that you have available (keep an eye on the preview in the bottom of this menu), then click OK.
  • Now the text will have a reference to the new source!

Reference in a reference list

  • Open Word, choose the tab Referencing
  • Click on Bibliography, then Insert Bibliography 
  • All the sources you've entered through the Add new source... button will now be cited in the Reference list!

For more information: check the help function of Word, and search for APA, or check the Word Manual.

NB: Always check the references in your work, Word does not recognize if there is information missing, or wrong. 

6.4.2 : Bibliographic software

To make it easier to correctly use references in your work, specialized bibliographic software can also help you out. Some examples are EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero and RefWorks. We recommend using RefWorks (free with your Hanze email address).

To learn more about RefWorks, check out the Library Guide RefWorks.