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The Geography Sited
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How to Cite And Reference Work You Found On The Internet

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CITING means formally acknowledging the resources from which you have obtained information.You do this within your piece of writing. It allows readers to immediately know where you found a piece of information. It's like quoting somebody, then putting their name in brackets after the quote so everyone can tell who you were talking about.
BIBLIOGRAPHY is the list of sources you've used, and it is usually placed at the end of your essay, book or paper. Traditionally it was a list of books you'd used, but now it can include books, Internet sites, e-mails, video tapes and other sources. If you are writing a school or college essay, it is important to show that you have read the right books and used them in your research. A bibliography is just what you need.
Even Hippy Bookworms know how to show where they've been!
REFERENCE is a detailed description of the item from which you have obtained your information. It should include enough information for a reader to be able to find and read your original reference material. Typically this would include the author's name, book title, publisher and ISBN number.


Why do I need to do it?

You do it to show when you have used other people's work; to show that you have looked at other people's work as research for your own work, and so that other people reading your work (teachers marking it/other people wanting to learn more) can go to the original source and read more about it. It's very important that you cite material correctly.

Using a standard system ensures that everyone cites and references material in the same way. That makes it easier for you to understand, and for your readers to understand you. There are several ways to do this, but we recommend the Harvard System, named after Harvard University.

All information obtained from the Internet is covered by copyright law, although some authors may have given up their rights and made the information freely available.

It is important to cite Internet references in your bibliography just as you would cite references from text books or newspapers.


How do I do it?

Website entry

Robinson,D. 1996-2003 [updated 10 December, 2003] The Geography Site [online], [Accessed 20 December 2003]


Robinson, David 2003[updated 4 December, 2003] Physical Geography, Niche and Corrie Glaciers,[online] [Accessed 20 December, 2003]


Electronic Journal

Smith, Bob1996, 'Fish Face Disaster', Fishing- ejournal, [online], 11 (September ) [Accessed 16 April 2001]



e.g. Robinson,D. ( 8 November 2003, Replying to question about water pollution. Email to Camilla Robinson (

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