Referencing & citing

Referencing and citing links your reading to your writing and allows you to strengthen your arguments, add credibility by referring to the ideas and work of others and, importantly, minimise the chance of plagiarism by acknowledging the sources used.

Referencing and citing is an important aspect of academic writing and there are many questions you may have about it, including why we do this and how to go about it.

Different referencing styles are used across UOW depending on the field of study. It is essential to check in each Subject Outline and/or check with your subject coordinator or tutor about which is the correct style to use.

Referencing guides for some common styles used at UOW

More referencing styles hosted by other universities

In academic writing you need to use evidence to support your argument and the information you present, and there are various ways to integrate evidence into your writing.

Key points

  • Paraphrasing: A critical academic practice of using your own words to talk about the work and ideas of others without changing the meaning. Learn more about paraphrasing
  • Quoting: Using the exact words from another work and presenting them in an appropriate format in your text.
  • Summarising: A great habit to get into where you extract from a text the most relevant information for your needs. You probably already do this in your daily life. Learn more about summarising

When undertaking research for assessments you must decide whether a source is reliable or not, particularly if you have found it online. For instance, a peer-reviewed journal article is likely more trustworthy than a blog.

There are several tools that can assist you with referencing:

  • Endnote: This tool is supported by UOW and can be used by postgraduate students to help manage information sources when writing. Learn more about EndNote
  • Other referencing tools: Tools recommended for undergraduate students include Zotero and Mendeley. Find out more