Showing what sources you have used and giving credit to the original authors in your assessment is called referencing or citing. Every source of information or idea that is not your own must be credited twice:
once in the body of your work
and in a reference list at the end of the document.
Why is referencing important?
All academic work is part of a greater body of knowledge. Showing where your work fits into this is an important part of academic practice at university. Referencing is important because it:
allows the reader to locate the books, chapters or articles you have referred to
provides evidence to support your argument
protects you against charges of plagiarism
shows that you have read widely
distinguishes your own ideas from others.
When to reference
You should reference:
direct quotes - the words of other people that you use in your writing
paraphrasing - the writing of other people that you change into your own words
other people's ideas
images that you didn't create yourself.
You don't need to reference:
your own thoughts or opinions.
How to reference
For most subjects you will be told which referencing style to use - check the subject guide or ask the teaching staff. Depending on the style you are using, there are two ways to acknowledge sources within your writing:
In-text citations - the author and the date are mentioned within the text
At La Trobe APA and Harvard referencing styles use in-text citations
Footnotes - small numbers in the text correspond to numbers at the bottom (or foot) of the page
At La Trobe AGLC and Oxford referencing styles use footnotes
If you are using in-text citations there are two ways you can include the author's surname and the year:
Put them in brackets at the end a sentence like this (Malik, 2020).
Or you can choose to mention Malik (2020) as the author within your text. In that case include the year directly after the author's name.
Whatever style you use you will have a reference list at the end of your document that includes detailed information for all the sources that you used in your writing.
Academic Referencing Tool
La Trobe Library's Academic Referencing Tool is your key to referencing success. Follow the links to see examples and explanations for referencing a wide variety of sources.
This video introduces you to the Academic Referencing Tool. (Duration: 2:03)