Introduction to referencing

What is referencing and why do I need to do it?

What is referencing?

  • Referencing is the acknowledgment of sources you use in your academic work.
  • Referencing is an essential academic skill and you can be marked on it.
  • Referencing is an important part of academic writing. It may seem tricky to start with, but it’s worthwhile taking the time to learn to reference correctly.

Referencing consists of:

  1. The citation
    A citation acknowledges your source in the text of a document.
  2. The reference list
    A list of the sources you have used at the end of your document (eg, a footnote, reference list, works cited, or a bibliography).

Sample reference list

Fortune, A. (2015). High speed compression for music downloads. Journal of Internet Engineering, 10(2), 154-165. http://doi:10.3.4567890123

Rimu Kura, A. R. (2006). Teaching and learning in higher education. University Books.

Smith, A. (2006b). Synthetic reactions and strategies. In B. A. Brown (Ed.), Principles of organic chemistry (pp. 123-147). Wilton.

Referencing styles

Referencing follows a set of rules and conventions known as a referencing style. There are many different referencing styles used at The University of Auckland. If you are not sure which style you should use, consult your course guide, or check with your lecturer or tutor.

To find out more about specific styles visit Referencite

Why should you reference?

  • Referencing demonstrates research.
  • Referencing gives credit to the original author or authors.
  • Referencing allows your lecturer to track down the original sources you have used.
  • Referencing shows that an idea or argument is backed up by evidence.
  • Not referencing correctly is considered plagiarism and may result in penalties.
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