OBU RAP Referencing Tips

If the Oxford Brookes University degree in Applied Accounting is your first degree, ensure you follow the OBU referencing guidelines. One of the main reasons students fail their RAP is because they didn’t reference their report effectively and appropriately. Why should you reference?

• To acknowledge other people’s ideas.
• To allow the reader of your work to locate the cited references easily, and so evaluate your interpretation of those ideas.
• To avoid plagiarism (i.e. taking other people’s thoughts, ideas or writings and using them as though they are your own).
• To show evidence of the breadth and depth of your reading.
OBU follows the Harvard Referencing System which you must use when referencing your sources. There are two parts to referencing:

a) an in-text citation
b) an entry in the reference list (in alphabetical order)

In-text citations

The in-text citation is placed at the exact point in your document where you refer to someone else’s work, whether it is a book, journal, online document, website or any other source.

List of References and Bibliography

You need to produce a List of References as part of your RAP. The list needs to include all the resources you have used for your research and have directly referenced throughout your RAP. The List of References will be submitted as a separate document.

Please note that Bibliography is not mandatory.

My tips

1. Ensure that you reference your sources not only in Part 3, but also in Part 1 and Part 2 of your RR. For example, you need to reference the accounting and business models that you have chosen for your RR and also their limitations (Part 2).

2. I recommend you reference your sources as you go along, as it will be much more difficult to do so later on.

3. Some students ask me how many references they should have. There isn’t a set number; the marker wants to see that you have undertaken wider reading and that you don’t just rely on the company’s website, Annual reports and the study texts.

4. It is important to gather your information from academic sources too, e.g. research papers, academic books, journals, websites. Make sure that you only use reputable sources.

5. Never reference Wikipedia directly. It can be helpful sometimes, but it isn’t reputable. If you find something interesting on Wikipedia, look for the original source and use that as a reference.

6. You need to reference the tables and graphs you show in your RR. The reference will either be to your Appendix (e.g. ratio analysis graphs) or to the original source (e.g. technical book, website). The graphs in your Appendix also need to be referenced (most likely to the annual reports of the company).

7. You will end up with lots of resources that you need to reference. There is a handy referencing tool within Microsoft Word that will make referencing easier and more manageable. If you are unsure about how to use it, watch this YouTube tutorial video.

More information on how to reference various sources of information, eg. books, websites, journals can be found in the Information Pack.