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UC Referencing Guide

About This Guide

This Guide has been created for the University of Canberra community using authoritative style manuals and associated web sites. These resources are listed on the Referencing Resources tab of this Guide.

Great care has been taken to ensure that the examples in this Guide conform to the guidelines set out in these style manuals, however the manuals are open to interpretation. For further guidance, please consult the original style manuals or web sites.

Please send any feedback or corrections to Ask a Librarian.


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 to use the IEEE Referencing Style you can download the IEEE Referencing Guide below.

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.