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Referencing at UWA: Referencing

A beginners guide to why we reference, managing references, choosing the right style and getting help.

What is referencing?

Referencing is the way in which you acknowledge the ideas of others in your writing.  

Any information or ideas discovered and used in your assessments must be acknowledged using a specific referencing style.

Why reference?

Referencing allows your readers to verify the sources within your work, and helps to avoid plagiarism.

Referencing also demonstrates that you have read relevant background literature and you are able to provide authority for statements you make in your assignments or written work.


Referencing and Citing Sources: a two part process

1. In-text citation - appears within the body of your work, it is an abbreviated way of acknowledging the source at the point at which you use it in your writing.

For example (APA style): Brown (1982) discusses three main points...‚Äč

2. Reference list - provides full publication details at the end of your assignment and will help your readers to locate the original source of information. It can be in alphabetical or numerical order depending on the rules of the citation style you are using.

For example: (Harvard) Holt, DH 1997, Management principles and practices, Prentice-Hall, Sydney.


Choosing the right style:

All referencing styles contain different rules so it is important to refer to your unit outline or ask your unit coordinator to confirm what referencing style you should be using.

There are two main types of referencing styles:

  • Author/date: These types of styles use the authors surname and the year of publication to identify the source of your ideas within your writing.
  • Numbered: These style types use a numbering system within your writing that refers the reader back to the source in a footnote. 

All reference styles generally require a complete reference list and full publication details at the end of your work. 


Referencing Right

This referencing guide sets out the basic steps you need to follow to Reference Right. It also provides links to other helpful resources.