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UC Referencing Guide


This guide is designed to help you with referencing your sources for assignments. It replaces the book A guide to referencing with examples in the APA & Harvard styles.

This guide covers:

 Which style should I choose?

Consult your unit outline or ask your lecturer.

If you need guidance on referencing Indigenous Knowledges please refer to the following guidelines created by CAVAL.

Why Should I Acknowledge My Sources?

You need to acknowledge your sources:

  • to acknowledge the work and ideas of other authors
  • to allow the reader to check that what you are claiming is correct
  • to show that you have read and understood the research published in your area of study
  • to lend authority to what you are writing
  • to strengthen your argument
  • to support your own ideas
  • to provide details or background to what you are writing
  • to provide interest.


You must acknowledge and cite your sources. This is important to avoid plagiarism, whether or not you use the author’s own words.

Plagiarism occurs when you use other people’s ideas, words or data as if they were your own. Deliberate plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. The University of Canberra imposes strict penalties on students who are found to contravene the University’s Student Conduct Rules.

Reference List or Bibliography?

 What is the difference between a Reference List and a Bibliography?

Reference List - all the references that you have cited in your assignment, report, essay or article.

Bibliography - all of the references that you have read, whether or not they are cited in your assignment.