Referencing is an essential part of academic writing. Its purpose is to acknowledge the original source of ideas and work that is not the author's own, and to point the reader to the original documents so that they can determine independently whether the attributed sources support the author’s argument as written.
Referencing generally has two key elements;
The manner in which you are required to write the in-text citation and the reference list is determined by the Reference Style.
There are two common systems for referencing;
These involve the use of sequential numbers as in-text markers that refer to either footnotes or endnotes.
Common note systems include Chicago 17th A and Vancouver.
Also known as Author-date or Harvard referencing, parenthetical referencing involves the use of a partial reference contained within parenthesis as in-text markers (such as the author and date). The complete reference is then included in a list on the last page of the document.
Common parenthetical systems include APA, Harvard, and MLA.
Tip 1 - The best way to familiarise yourself with a referencing style is to study the published style manual. There are no shortcuts to referencing. Referencing software can be helpful, but only if you know the style in detail to be able to spot errors.
Tip 2 - You can access a range of different style formatted references for all items found in our Library Search. Simply look for the quotation marks in the tools to the right of an item in your search results and select your preferred style. This can save you time or help with application of a particular style, but remember that as these references are auto generated you should always check them for accuracy.