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UC Referencing Guide

How Do I Evaluate My Sources?

It is very important to evaluate the information you intend to use to ensure that it is from an authoritative source and is appropriate for your research.  For more information use these guides for evaluating sources:

When Should I Acknowledge My Sources?

You should acknowledge your sources whenever you use a source of information:

  • as your inspiration
  • as the source of a theory, argument or point of view
  • for specific information such as statistics, examples or case studies
  • for images, graphics or tables
  • for direct quotation (using the author's exact words)
  • to paraphrase or summarise an author's work

How Do I Integrate My Sources Into My Writing?

When you are taking something from another source, you are taking it out its original context and putting it into a new context - your own assignment.  You must make sure it fits properly into this new context. This means:

  • it must be relevant to your argument
  • it must join neatly with what comes before and after
  • it must make logical and grammatical sense.

The most effective way to integrate information from another source into your writing is to paraphrase or summarise the information using your own voice.  See below for information on quoting, summarising and paraphrasing.

Direct Quotes, Summaries and Paraphrases

Direct Quotes

Direct quotes are useful when the point is particularly well expressed, to emphasise a major points, when the information is surprising, or when citing statistics or specific facts.


In 1965, Martin Luther King Jr. declared that "the time is always right to do what is right."


A summary provides a broad overview of a text or group of texts.  It includes the key ideas of the text/s but not the details or examples.


Despite being the least favoured option for waste disposal, landfilling is still widely prevalent globally (Ministry of Environment, New Zealand, 2001; Productivity Commission, 2006; Lang et al., 2007; EC, 2008; USEPA, 2012; Department of the Environment and Energy, Australia, 2013; Weng et al., 2015; Basheri et al., 2017; Geoscience Australia, 2017; Lee et al., 2017; Behrooznia et al., 2018; DEE, 2018).


A paraphrase is a restatement of text in your own words.  Paraphrases allow you to use supporting ideas while still writing in your own voice.


Original: "Colleagues, whose access to computer at work is hampered by poor language and literacy, need to be assisted and coached so that they too can feel empowered and valued." (McDonald & Russell, 2012)

Paraphrase: Workers, whose less developed language and literacy skills interfere with their access to computers in the workplace, can feel appreciated and empowered when given extra assistance. (McDonald & Russell, 2012)