The ability to relate one's own work to existing knowledge is a skill that needs to be mastered by every student. This is done by acknowledging all the sources of information in the text of your assignment or research paper and providing a list of these sources at the end in the form of a bibliography or reference list in a specific prescribed style.
If this is not done correctly, it may give the impression that you are trying to pass off the work of another as your own and you may be accused of committing plagiarism which is a serious offence.
Different styles of referencing with different rules exist worldwide. Most departments at the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Pretoria prefer to use the Harvard style. It is however your responsibility to make sure which style is expected from your department.
Most academic journals insist that papers submitted to them conform to a specific referencing style. It is your responsibility to carefully read the instructions to authors and ensure that you conform to these requirements.