Some books and a pen

Referencing your assessment

Referencing is one of the most common things students have trouble with.

In academic writing, you must reference all sources you utilise for your assessments, including: words and ideas, facts, images, videos, audio, websites, statistics, diagrams and data. Referencing is integral to writing at university.

Good referencing shows what you have read and researched broadly, enables the reader to locate the sources referred to in your assessment, supports and strengthens your argument and demonstrates academic integrity. It also ensures that you have acknowledged your sources and that you have done your best to avoid plagiarism.

If you’re feeling unsure about how to reference properly, we have a number of resources designed to show you how to do it.

  • The Deakin Guide to Referencing is a great place to start when you’re learning how to reference. It has information on how to reference, frequently asked questions (like ‘What is the difference between a bibliography and a reference list?’), instructions for referencing digital sources and dedicated sections on popular referencing styles such as Harvard, APA and Oxford.
  • You can use the Turnitin tool before you submit your assessment. The aim of the tool is to provide universities with a way of detecting plagiarism – but you can also use it to learn how to avoid plagiarism and check that you’ve referenced properly. Visit UniStart to learn how to use it, or Preparing to Succeed if you’re a postgraduate student.

Referencing is tricky and takes time to learn. If you need further help, or you want to talk about a different referencing style or an element of referencing that has you stuck, get in touch with Study Support.

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