Referencing skills and getting help


To reference your work, you will need to follow guidelines which can change depending on which subject or qualification you are working towards. The most common methods are called APA, Chicago, Harvard, and IEEE. These styles can be quite different to do, but the main thing is that they all show the reader/viewer of your work where you got ideas from, and when you are directly quoting or taking from the work of others. How to reference is shown and explained on our library pages, and is a topic included in our MOOC Academic integrity and Beyond.


Unless you are directly quoting someone else, you will most likely be paraphrasing their work or adapting it for your design, model, code or practical work. When it comes to non-text based work, this may be harder to do as you will need to show people where you got the inspiration from or the start of your practical work. You could do this through referring to the other person in/on or next to your submission or informing people when you present to them. If you are directly paraphrasing from another person’s ideas or written work, you need to make sure that you don’t directly repeat what you read. Paraphrasing means to put what you have read into your own words. You can do this by taking the meaning of what you have read and saying it in a different way or just summarising it to get to the main point using your words.

Getting help: students

Even if you have been to all your lectures and read your materials in your subject, sometimes you might be confused by what is required of you for your assignment or you just cannot work out how to start it. This happens to everyone sometimes. Please go to ask for help. Your teachers and instructors are there to support you. They can explain one-on-one with you, how to think about the assignment and how you can approach it or get the resources you need to complete it.
Don’t struggle on your own in silence, as this may lead you to take ‘short-cuts’ which is where you will get in trouble for not completing the work to the guidelines expected of the subject and with the academic integrity expected here at Polimi. We also understand that students have a busy life outside of your studies, and sometimes life can get in the way of you focussing your time on your assessment. If this happens to you and you need some support, please go to speak to your teacher and/ or contact the appropriate service.

Staff information

As teachers and instructors it is important that you also know the places, people and websites which provide support for students in their studies. You need to be aware of the support services and know how and when to refer students to them.



Assessment expectations

Assessments come in many different styles. Teachers and instructors are expected to explain in detail all requirements of the assignment, and when the deadline is due as well as any useful preparation work. There should be no assumption made by teachers and instructors that students know how to write an essay or produce a table or diagram. Basic information should be given and made accessible on this for each assessment to guide students on expected styles etc.

As students you are expected to read through all the learning materials and assignment guidelines and familiarise yourself with Polimi expectations on academic integrity (as represented here and in the MOOC). If something is not clear, it is your responsibility as a student to seek help and clarification from your teachers. Taking responsibility for your own learning is a key skill involved in completing your qualification.