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  • Micheal Daniel Micheal Daniel
  • 6 min read

The Dos and Don’ts of Referencing in CIPD Level 5 Assignments

cipd level 5

As a CIPD Level 5 student, referencing is an essential part of your assignment writing process. Referencing is a way of giving credit to the sources you have used in your work and demonstrating that you have conducted research from credible and reliable sources. It is important to reference correctly because failure to do so can lead to accusations of plagiarism, which is a serious academic offense that can result in a failing grade or even expulsion from your course.

Read more on CIPD assignment writing tips for success

The following are some dos and don’ts of referencing in CIPD Level 5 assignments that you should keep in mind:


  1. Use a recognized referencing style:

The CIPD recommends using the Harvard referencing style for your assignments. This style is commonly used in academic writing and is recognized by universities and educational institutions worldwide. The Harvard style uses in-text citations and a reference list at the end of your work. By using a recognized referencing style, you can ensure consistency in your citations and avoid losing marks for errors.

Example: (Smith, 2019) for in-text citation and Smith, J. (2019) for the reference list.

  1. Cite all sources of information:

You should reference all sources of information that you have used in your assignment, including books, journal articles, websites, and other sources of information. Make sure that you include all relevant information, such as the author’s name, publication date, title, and page number. You should also reference any data or statistics that you have used in your work.

Example: If you are citing a book, your reference would look like this:

  • In-text citation: (Johnson, 2015, p. 56)
  • Reference list: Johnson, T. (2015). Human Resource Management. London: Kogan Page.
  1. Use in-text citations:

In-text citations are used to acknowledge the source of a direct quote or paraphrase. They should include the author’s surname and the year of publication, for example (Smith, 2015). In-text citations are important because they show the reader where the information came from and allow them to find the source in the reference list.

Example: In-text citation for paraphrasing – According to Smith (2015), the use of technology in recruitment has become increasingly popular.

  1. Include a reference list:

A reference list should be included at the end of your assignment. This should include all the sources of information that you have used in your work. The reference list should be arranged in alphabetical order by the author’s surname. Make sure that you use the correct formatting and punctuation for your reference list.


  • Book: Smith, J. (2019). Human Resource Management. London: Routledge.
  • Journal article: Johnson, T. (2017). Recruitment and selection. Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(2), 56-65.
  • Website: CIPD. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.cipd.co.uk
  1. Check your referencing:

Before submitting your assignment, check your referencing to ensure that it is accurate and complete. You can use online referencing tools such as Cite This For Me or RefME to help you with this. These tools can help you to create a reference list quickly and accurately.

Example: Use an online tool like Cite This For Me to automatically generate your reference list.

Check on Mistakes Students Make in CIPD Assignments


  1. Copy and paste information:

Copying and pasting information from a source without acknowledging the source is a form of plagiarism. You should always paraphrase information in your own words and acknowledge the source. Make sure that you use quotation marks when you are

directly quoting a source and include an in-text citation.

Example: Original text – “Human resource management is the process of managing human resources to achieve organizational objectives.” (Smith, 2015, p. 12)

  • Incorrect: Human resource management is the process of managing human resources to achieve organizational objectives. (Smith, 2015, p. 12)
  • Correct: According to Smith (2015), “Human resource management is the process of managing human resources to achieve organizational objectives.” (p. 12)
  1. Use outdated sources:

It is important to use up-to-date sources when conducting research for your assignment. Outdated sources can contain inaccurate information or may not reflect the latest developments in a field. You should aim to use sources that have been published within the last five years, unless the information is considered to be a classic or seminal work in the field.

Example: If you are researching the latest trends in talent management, it would be best to use articles or books that have been published within the last five years to ensure that you are referencing current and relevant information.

  1. Use Wikipedia as a source:

Wikipedia is a crowdsourced encyclopedia that can be edited by anyone, making it an unreliable source of information for academic writing. You should avoid using Wikipedia as a source for your assignment and instead use credible sources such as academic journals, books, or reputable websites.

Example: Instead of referencing a Wikipedia article on performance management, you could use an academic journal article on the same topic.

  1. Reference incomplete information:

When referencing, make sure that you include all the necessary information such as the author’s name, publication date, title, and page number. Failure to include this information can make it difficult for the reader to locate the source.

Example: Incomplete reference – Smith. (2015). Human Resource Management. London.

  • Correct reference – Smith, J. (2015). Human Resource Management. London: Kogan Page.
  1. Use incorrect punctuation:

Incorrect punctuation can make referencing confusing and difficult to read. Make sure that you use correct punctuation when referencing, such as commas to separate multiple authors, italics or underlining for book titles, and quotation marks for article titles.

Example: Incorrect punctuation – Johnson T. 2017 Recruitment and selection Journal of Human Resource Management 20 2 56-65

  • Correct punctuation – Johnson, T. (2017). Recruitment and selection. Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(2), 56-65.

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The referencing is an essential aspect of academic writing that enables the reader to verify and validate the information presented in the assignment. In CIPD Level 5 assignments, accurate and consistent referencing is crucial to demonstrate your understanding of the subject matter and to support your arguments with credible evidence. By following the dos and don’ts of referencing, such as citing all sources of information, using up-to-date and credible sources, avoiding Wikipedia, referencing complete information, and using correct punctuation, you can ensure that your referencing is professional and enhances the credibility of your assignment. It is important to note that referencing is a skill that requires practice and attention to detail. Therefore, seeking guidance from your tutors or referring to the referencing guides provided by your institution can be beneficial in improving your referencing skills. By following these guidelines, you can demonstrate your academic integrity and contribute to the overall quality of your CIPD Level 5 assignments.

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