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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 short 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.
Confused? You are not alone.
Photo credit: taliesin from morguefile.com
There are a number of ways for you to get help:
- At the LIbrary Service Desk during library opening hours
- By phoning the Library on 1800 246 446 (select option 3)
- Brief help using our Chat Service when available
We're here for you!
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).
- Check the rules for what to do with the number or type of authors you have (e.g. three authors, a corporation instead of an author)
3. Fill in the sections exactly as in the example
- Copy the example style exactly substituting the information in the example with the details from your resource.
- Pay close attention to things like spaces, full stops, commas, italics, brackets, hanging indent etc
Referencing and academic integrity
The InfoSkills Toolkit has a useful module you can work through. It explains referencing, academic integrity and avoiding plagiarism.
What is referencing? YouTube movie
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