Once you have found all the information that you need and you are writing your assignment/project/dissertation you will need to quote from the sources you have read, and you will need to acknowledge those sources.
One of the definitions of a Reference in the Oxford English Dictionary is "a mention or citation of a source of information in a book or article". Citation is defined as "the action or an act of quoting or referring to a passage, text, author, legal precedent, etc., esp. as an authority or in support of an argument; quotation" (OED online).
It is very important to acknowledge the owners of the work that you may have used in your assignment, whether you have quoted them directly or referred to an idea or research concept. If fail to do this you do not protect yourself from plagiarism (taking other writer's ideas and presenting them as your own). The consequences of being accused of plagiarism are extremely serious. For more information please consult the information provided by your School, or see plagiarism.org for help.
* A Reference/Citation provides brief details of your source in the main body of your assignment e.g. the author, date of publication and page numbers.
* A Reference List is a list of the items you quote or refer to in the assignment. It can be located at the back of your work or at the end of a chapter. This list does not include items that you may have read during your research but not actually referred to specifically within the assignment.
* A Bibliography is a list of all sources used for your research, but not necessarily all cited in the body of your assignment.
There are different citation styles (ways of laying out your references and composing your bibliographies) depending on the discipline you are studying. Each School has guidelines on what particular citation style they want you to use and you should follow their guidelines. The preferred style for Art and Design is Chicago. The library has numerous books on citing and citation styles e.g. 'The Chicago Manual of Style' is available at the call no. 808.027. We also have some great books on 'writing assignments'/'writing at university' at the call no. 808.
There are many different resources available online to help you with gathering your references and producing bibliographies.
Mendeley - Reference Management Software is a free citation manager which provides users with a bibliographic research and formatting solution.