Hello and welcome to a short introductory video on referencing for academic writing.
So what exactly is referencing?
Referencing is a method used to acknowledge when ideas, information, data, examples, images or words from the work of others are included in your academic writing.
Referencing is one of the most important ways that students practise academic integrity when writing assignments at university. Academic integrity is about applying the belief that honesty is at the core of exemplary scholarship.
So why is it so important to reference?
- Firstly, practising academic integrity is all about acknowledging when we use the work of others, and only taking credit for work we create ourselves
- This is important to allow others to find your sources of evidence and build on the academic knowledge you have produced
- Thirdly, it’s about acknowledging and showing respect
- It’s also about validity and credibility, so good referencing strengthens your writing significantly
- And finally, often at university we are expected to use certain sources for particular pieces of assessment. By referencing correctly, you prove that you have used these sources & also show your marker the scope of your research.
What is involved? Well, whenever you synthesise or pull together information from a number of sources and incorporate it with your own ideas, you must acknowledge where all of these other ideas came from. The most common writing types that require referencing are:
- Paraphrasing or stating an idea in your words
- And direct quotations - Using the exact words of another person.
Secondly, it’s very important that you use the appropriate style and format to acknowledge the work of others. This is achieved in 2 different ways within academic writing:
- In in-text citations which are found within the paragraphs
- And in your reference list
- So what does referencing look like?
Here’s a couple of examples of in-text referencing, where the author of the original ideas is acknowledged within the paragraphs. It’s optional whether you use this information prominent style, where the author’s name is included in the citation brackets, or this author-prominent style where the author’s name is incorporated into the sentence in a grammatically correct manner. It’s best to use a combination of both of these styles in your in-text citations.
Here we can see the reference list entries for a typical journal article. I’ve only included Harvard and APA entries here because they are the 2 most commonly used referencing styles at SCU. Note the differences between the 2 styles here, such as the use of brackets around the year of publication for APA but not for Harvard.
So when is it necessary to use citations in your academic writing?
You must reference every time you use evidence to support your arguments and claims that have come from the literature you have sourced.
- tables, statistics, and images
- definitions of terms or concepts
- quoting, summarising, and paraphrasing
So what’s involved in the process? There are roughly 5 steps in producing accurate referencing:
- First you need to identify the style required for your school or unit
- Identify the type of source you’re using
- Identify and record the required elements from the source, and you will find these required elements in your guides for each style
- And then it’s about entering the required referencing into your assignment, both in-text and in the reference list
- And finishing with some editing and double checking. This means doing a cross check to ensure that all of your sources cited in your writing are in your reference list, and vice versa - all of the sources included in your reference list have been cited in-text.
I’ll just show you quickly where to find the SCU referencing guides now. If you click on Library, and from there go to Referencing Guides under Top Links, you will find all of the referencing guides listed. So just scroll through until you find your school and the particular guide that you should be using.
Please watch the videos that you can find in the SCU Library YouTube collection on APA referencing and Harvard referencing, depending on the style you need to do.
There’s also a couple of other places where you can find good information on referencing:
- In the Academic Skills Quick Guides
- In the Academic Integrity resources
All the best with your studies. Please contact Academic Skills or the library if you require any further information on referencing.