Referencing is an important feature of academic writing, and we know it’s one that can be confusing at times. That’s why the Library has put together a collection of resources to help you acknowledge your sources properly. See your Subject Portal to find the referencing style relevant to your subject, or check with your department.
Referencing is the process of citing or documenting the sources of quotes, theories, ideas, illustrations and diagrams that you have used in writing your university assignments. When we acknowledge sources in this way, we give credit to another person’s words, ideas or opinions in the form of a note and/or bibliographic reference or citation.
There are a number of reasons why you need to reference your work:
- To show that relevant sources have been investigated
- To enable the person reading our work to trace the original sources we have used
- To provide documentary support for an argument
- To give differing points of view of an argument
- To indicate that we have not used someone else's ideas and claimed them as our own
Referencing your work adequately will ensure that you are not accused of plagiarism. You must acknowledge (reference or cite) any work, or part of any work, that you quote, paraphrase, summarise or copy. You do not have to reference information that is considered general knowledge (e.g. that Wellington is the capital of New Zealand).
Referencing can be daunting at the best of times, but fortunately there are tools to make it easier. The Library has created two How To guides:
Check out the Referencing FAQ for the answer to all your referencing questions.
Here's a list of example sheets for some of our supported referencing styles.