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An Introduction to Referencing at UWA: Referencing 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 about which style you are required to use.

Footnotes in Word

If you are using a referencing style with Footnotes - such as Chicago - 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 '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

This page explains what a referencing style is and provides a list and links to information about the six main styles used here at UWA. 

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 matter.

We use referencing styles to help readers. Because referencing styles request that you enter the information for books, journal articles or websites slightly differently, a reader can identify which type of source each reference represents. 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.


Styles used at UWA

Here are brief descriptions and links to the six main referencing 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.
  • Chicago: This referencing style requires footnotes in text when citing and a bibliography at the end of your document.
  • 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 are listed alphabetically by author's surname.
  • Vancouver (based on Citing Medicine): A numbered style generally used in medical papers.  Abbreviated journal titles are used.



notepad, laptop and coffee on desk

While Writing, did you...

✔ Write your assignment by yourself, NOT using another student's assignment or getting someone else to do a lot of editing? (Help from StudySmarter at WriteSmart is allowed!)

✔ Use your own voice and include your own ideas?

✔ Insert a correctly formatted reference every time you have supported your statements with other people's ideas?

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

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.


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