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This guide will help you identify and use the correct referencing style to ensure clear & consistent presentation of written material.
Last Updated: Dec 15, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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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

Cover Art
The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism - Colin Neville
ISBN: 9780335241033
Publication Date: 2010
This excellent new edition continues to demystify the referencing process and provide essential guidance to make sure you are not committing plagiarism. It provides clear guidelines on why and when to reference as well as how to correctly cite from a huge range of sources.

Tackling all the main forms of referencing - Harvard, APA, MLA and Numerical referencing styles - in an accessible and comprehensive manner, you'll want to dip into this book time and again. A unique feature of the book is the comparisons it makes between different referencing styles, which are shown side-by-side.


Referencing help

Confused? You are not alone.

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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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