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Referencing: Home

This guide will help you identify and use the correct referencing style to ensure clear & consistent presentation of written material.

Referencing - what? why? how?

What is referencing?

Referencing is the way that you describe the sources of information and ideas that you use in your assignments.

Why do I need to reference?

  • To indicate where you get your information/ideas from.
  • So the reader can verify your sources.
  • To avoid plagiarism.   Plagiarism is when a person tries to present someone else's work as their own.  Penalties for plagiarism can include loss of marks, failing a subject or failing your course. You might like to watch this entertaining video on plagiarism.

What do I have to reference?

  • If you have used anything in your assignment that was originally written or created by someone else, you must reference it. 
  • This does not just mean direct quotes... it also includes any ideas you have paraphrased or summarized…
  • It applies to anything you use - graphs, statistics, images etc.

How do I write my references?

1.  Go to the style guide that you require

  • There are many different referencing styles even for the same discipline. 
  • You will need to check your subject outline or ask your lecturer which one you need to use.
  • The tabs above will take you to the main styles used at JCU : APA, Harvard, Vancouver, MLA and Chicago.

2.  Select the section that best describes the resource you want to reference

  • Use the left hand index to click on the relevant format (i.e. book, journal article, web page, map or whatever).

3.  Fill in the sections exactly as in the example

  • Copy the example style exactly substituting the information from your resource.
  • Pay close attention to things like spaces, full stops, commas, italics, brackets, hanging indent etc

Complete guide to referencing

Referencing help

Confused? You are not alone.


Photo credit: taliesin from morguefile.com

There are a number of ways for you to get help:

We're here for you!

Referencing and academic integrity

The InfoSkills Roadtrip has a useful module you can work through. It explains referencing, academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.

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