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Referencing at UWA: Referencing

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.

What is referencing?

Referencing is showing where you have used ideas or information created by another person in your work.

In your assignments, every time you mention information you found, place an In-Text citation in that sentence. This is a very short form of the reference that lets a reader look it up in the Reference List.

APA Style (an "Author-Date" style) Vancouver Style (a "Numbered" style)
Self-testing while studying generally improves learning (Karpicke, 2009). Self-testing while studying generally improves learning.1


The Reference List goes at the end of the assignment. It contains the full details of the sources you got information from. Every in-text citation must have a matching entry in the reference list.

APA Style Vancouver Style

Karpicke, J.D. (2009). Metacognitive control and strategy selection: Deciding to practice retrieval during learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 138(4), 469-486.

1. Karpicke JD. Metacognitive control and strategy selection: Deciding to practice retrieval during learning. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2009;138(4):469-486.

Why reference?

  • Referencing gives readers enough information to find the sources you've referenced.
  • Referencing helps to avoid plagiarism - see the plagiarism section of this guide.
  • Good references show there is evidence for statements you make.
  • Referencing demonstrates that you have been reading about your subject, as students are expected to.


What are referencing styles?

Referencing styles are the rules you use to decide how you will write out the reference; what information to include and the order to write it in.

By writing your references according to a style, a reader knows what kind of source you are referencing (website, journal, book etc) and which part is the name of the article, the name of the journal, etc.

For more information, see the Referencing and citation styles page of this guide

How do you reference?

This referencing guide sets out the basic steps you need to follow to Reference Right. It also provides links to other helpful resources.

STUDYSmarter referencing video

Use STUDYSmarter's top tips to help you understand why, what and how to reference; know how to quote and paraphrase sources; and be able to summarise, synthesise and check you're on track.



You might also want to view some of the other helpful videos in StudySmarter's full playlist.