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Law - LLB and other law degrees (1st Year Support): Referencing and Citation

Research assistance, subject guides and useful library resources for first year law students, compiled by the Faculty of Law librarians

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Find search guides, training videos and tutorials to assist you with Referencing and Citation on the Research Support tab.

Definition

Cartoon used under Creative Commons from  BLAUGH.com

Citation

Oxford English Dictionary gives the following definition:

noun

1A "quotation from or reference to a book, paper, or author, especially in a scholarly work: the majority of the citations are to work published during the past twenty years"
 
IN THIS CONTEXT THE FOLLOWING IS not meant:

1.1 "Law A reference to a previous case, used as guidance in the trying of comparable cases or in support of an argument: this journal contains citations from all jurisdictions"

 

Referencing:

Oxford English Dictionary gives the following definition:

[count noun] A mention or citation of a source of information in a book or article: each chapter should have references to books covering the subject in greater depth

[count noun] A source of information cited in a book or article.

Why?

To give recognition to the original author of the text, opinion, idea, fact, image, etc.;

To enable your reader to check your information;

Sources confirm the completeness of the research;

Quotations and references lend authority to the argument, view, etc;.

The source list can be consulted by the reader to verify information in the text;

The sources can be used by the reader as additional sources to a topic.       Source    

 

REFERENCING is a way to demonstrate that you have extended your reading, learning and comprehension by using relevant and up to date sources.

Primary sources refer to material the author has written, like all the works written by Shakespeare. In the legal context Primary Sources refer to original material and the body of the law itself.

Secondary sources are written as interpretations, criticism, research, etc. about a subject or an author. An interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragedies will be categorised as secondary material on his tragedies. The tragedies themselves will be the primary sources. In the legal context Secondary Sources derive from primary sources of law and offer commentary on those sources.      

Source