A step-by-step guide to use and acknowledge the work of others to argue and/or support your ideas.

This section will cover the following:

  1. To correctly cite sources in your work
  2. To correctly construct full citation of sources
  3. To format full citations
  4. To format a full citation list.

What is referencing?

Referencing is the standardised practice of acknowledging the sources and information that you have used in your assignments. As you complete assignments you will be required to support your ideas and interpretations with the work of other researchers, and attribute the ideas that you have used to their original sources.

Watch a video on referencing:

Referencing explained: Animated videos

FedUni has created some animated videos using 'Lego' to explain how referencing works, view these videos by clicking one of the following links:

What is the purpose of referencing?

  • To correctly acknowledge the source of the information that you have used.
  • To enable an assessor to trace the sources you have provided in your work.
  • To avoid plagiarism.
  • To give your work credibility and demonstrate that you have conducted research on the topic.
  • Demonstrates that you adhere to academic conventions.

Styles of referencing

There are three main styles of referencing that are used at the University which include:

  • APA (American Psychological Association).
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago

When should I reference?

As a general rule you should reference the ideas or evidence presented by a source. This includes:

  • When you quote directly from a source (word for word). Regardless of whether the quote is a sentence, phrase or paragraph it still needs to be referenced and attributed to its original source.
  • You will need to paraphrase the work and ideas presented from another source.
  • The use of statistics from another person's work or research.
  • The use of table, diagrams, concepts, and diagrams that have been created by someone else.
  • When you use facts, opinions or dates from another source.

How do I reference?

  • Initially you should be keeping track of all the sources that you use to write your assignment. This includes the title of the text, author, publisher, page numbers and the URL if you have accessed an online document. Web-based programs such as EndNote can help you keep track of the references you use during your assignment.
  • There are two main types of referencing which include in-text citations and full-text citations.
  1. In-text citations: Usually consist of the author's name and year e.g. Parker (2013) and page numbers when appropriate. In-text citations appear in the body of an essay or report.
  2. Full-text citations: Appear at the end of the document on a separate page. Example of a full citation, for a book using APA. Parker, J. (2013). Downfall. Penguin books: New York.

    The purpose of full-text citations is the reader can refer to the sources that have been cited in the assignment.

What is a full citation list?

A full citation list is the final page of the document that contains a list of the sources that you referenced in alphabetical order. The reference list is double spaced for each entry and a hanging indent is used for each full citation. At the top of the page the heading References is centred at the top of the page.


More information and assistance about referencing can be obtained from:

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