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What is referencing?

Referencing acknowledges the sources of information you've used in your work. There are two parts to referencing:

  • A full reference list at the end of your paper detailing the publications you've used. This acknowledges the source of your ideas.
  • An in-text citation which is a brief reference in the body of your assessment.

Why do I have to reference?

In short, referencing shows that you are neither making up facts nor presenting other people's ideas as your own. Good referencing will:

  • Show you've done your research. Listing all your sources demonstrates the depth and breadth of your research.
  • Support and strengthen your argument. Directing readers to the source of the evidence you've found to back up your case.
  • Demonstrate academic integrity. Acknowledging your sources avoids plagiarism.

Read More.

How do I reference?

The main style of referencing you'll use is American Psychological Association (APA) 6th Edition.

How you write and format your references varies depending on:

  • The type of information source
  • How many authors or creators there are
  • Whether the source is printed, audiovisual or online

By presenting your references in a predictable and consistent style you make it easier for your reader (ie. the marker) to follow your work. You risk losing marks on your assessment if your referencing is not up to standard.

We've prepared an Academic Writing Guide to using APA Referencing, based on the APA Manual (6th ed.).

Reference Management 

We recommend Mendeley as one option for free citation software that can assist you to easily manage references and insert citations into your assignment.

Referencing software

You can save time by using software to manage your references, such as:

Help Guides


To learn more about using these tools complete the online tutorial, or attend a workshop at your campus library or online. Remember! these tools are not foolproof – you should do a final check on formatting against the Academic Writing Guide.