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Referencing at UWA: Referencing and citation styles

A beginners guide to why we reference, managing references, choosing the right style and getting help.

Banner image source: Pixabay 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 licensed under a CC0 Public Domain licence.

Which Reference style?

Check with your unit coordinator or supervisor which style you're required to use.


notepad, laptop and coffee on desk

While Writing did you...

✔ Write your assignment by yourself? (Help at WriteSmart is allowed!)

✔ Use your own voice and your own ideas?

✔ Insert an in-text reference every time you've supported your statements with other people's work?

✔ Use the referencing style required by your School/Discipline?

✔ Apply the style consistently to every citation and reference?

✔ Always put quotes in quotation marks and reference them correctly?

(If the style requires a reference list) Check every in-text citation is in the reference list?

Image from Pixabay.

Congratulations! If you've ticked these off, that means you're working on your assignment in the right way and preventing plagiarism

See StudySmarter's tips and Survival Guides on avoiding plagiarism for more info.

Footnotes in Word

If using a style with Footnotes you will need to use the "Insert Footnote" feature within the 'Reference' tab in MS Word.

If you are using Endnote referencing software you can work between the 'Reference' tab and the the 'Endnote' tab in MS word to automate the creation of your superscript numbering, footnotes and reference listing.

View this document for some quick help tips.

Understanding Referencing Styles

Referencing styles are rules for how to write out references; what information to include and the order to write it in.

Some important rules in styles are:

  • What to write for in-text citations (Author/date or a number).
  • How to reference sources with more than one author.
  • The order you list all the parts of your reference (author, title, year etc).
  • How to reference each different kind of source (book, journal article, webpage etc)

Referencing styles contain many more rules, about every detail of references. When using a style you must apply it correctly and consistently - every period, comma and space matters.

We use referencing styles to help readers. Because referencing styles tell you to write books/journal articles/websites slightly differently, a reader can see what kind of source each reference is. Because the parts of the reference (author, title, year etc) are written in a specific order, readers know, for example, which part is the article title, or the journal title.


The UWA Library has created guides for the most commonly used styles at UWA.

Styles used at UWA

Guides to the main styles used at UWA:

  • AGLC - Australian Guide to Legal Citation:  ​​In-text citations using a superscript (raised) number, and a list of footnotes at the bottom of each page. Sometimes a bibliography is required (depending on the unit coordinator), with references sorted by material type.
  • APA - American Psychological Association : An author, date style system.
  • British Journal of Pharmacology (BJP): An author date style system. Uses abbreviated journal titles in the end-text reference listing. 
  • Chicago: This referencing style requires footnotes in text when citing, and a bibliography at the end of your document.
  • Harvard: An author, date style system.  References listed alphabetically by author.
  • IEEE: A numbered style, managed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • MLA - Modern Language Association of America: This style uses author and page number only in-text. References listed alphabetically by author surname.
  • Musicology: A consecutive numbering and footnote style that give each in-text citation made a new number. Please note: Chicago referencing style is now used in most music units. See Music Referencing for more information.
  • Oxford: Another consecutive numbering and footnote style, a unique number is given to each in-text citation used.  The reference list is organised alphabetically by author. All online sources must include a retrieval date; the date you viewed the resource.
  • Vancouver: A numbered style generally used in medical papers.  Abbreviated journal titles are used.