What is referencing?

There are two parts to referencing correctly:

  1. acknowledging the source of an idea as an in-text citation in the body of your assignment
  2. listing the full reference in a reference list (or bibliography) at the end of the assignment.

This is also sometimes referred to as citing a publication or including a citation.

Why reference?

  • It is a courtesy to the original author to give them credit for their work.
  • Opinions of experts can be used to validate a statement or argument. By referencing, you are showing that you can make connections and build a solid frame for your own arguments and conclusions.
  • To help readers find the original facts and ideas or works that you have used.
  • At university you are expected to correctly reference all information you use in your assignments and to not do so is considered plagiarism, a form of academic misconduct.

What needs to be referenced?

All information and ideas created or published by someone else that you use in your assessment need to be cited and referenced.

What does NOT need to be referenced?

Facts and ideas that are considered common knowledge within a discipline do NOT need to be cited. General examples include:

  • facts: e.g. Canberra is the capital of Australia
  • widely known ideas: e.g. Adam Smith is regarded as the father of economics
  • chemical symbols: e.g. O2 = Oxygen
  • scientific names: e.g. Homo sapiens = Humans.