Many students I speak to find it challenging and frustrating to reference their assignments and articles. Wondering if they are formatting the reference list and citing sources correctly. They feel frustrated that so much importance is placed on referencing data in the correct manner, because it’s the content that will make us more informed, increase our knowledge and allow us to use this new data to improve what we do. So if this resonates with you, you’re not alone.

A Fresh Approach to Referencing

  1. Respect

Be respectful of the writers/authors whose work you are quoting. Whether it be to inform yourself, to build your discussion, form your argument, or complete an assessment, remember that the writers behind the articles, journals or books you’ve read have done the hard yards to put together their piece of work.

They have spent time researching, collecting information, evaluating, analysing, hypothesising, and reporting on their topics.  These people deserve the credit of having their work acknowledged, having their name attached to someone else’s work.

When you think of referencing from this point of view, it will help you to deal with the frustration it can sometimes cause you when you are trying to put together a perfectly formatted reference list with every dot, comer, bracket, name, initial and year in the place it should be placed. I know this helped when I’ve referenced work.

Acknowledging and rewarding other writers for their contribution is very important.

  1. Credibility

Referencing demonstrates that you have engaged in research yourself to help you form the conclusion you have in an assignment you’ve been writing. Acknowledging someone else’s study or results of their research strengthens the words and statements you use in your assignment/article.

Recognising another authors work shows that there is further evidence confirming what you have outlined in your discussion. Using multiple authors shows the breadth of your research and helps to demonstrate the argument or topic of discussion is not just your own thoughts or personal opinion but rather that it is backed by experts in the field.

  1. Different Styles of Referencing

There are many referencing styles, all of which have their own special, unique requirements.  The one’s I personally use the APA abridged guide and Harvard referencing quick guide, when I need to cite references and include in a list.

Like the hills I ride on my bike …… referencing, it is my friend! J

Mercia Gorza

Assessor Functional Nutrition Academy

Teacher Education Queensland