Referencing made easy

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Referencing can seem like an enormous and complex task, especially when you have amassed a stack of resources for your essay.

But like anything, once you break it down into manageable chunks, it’s really not scary at all. Luckily, our Study Smart tutorial on referencing can help break referencing down into four easy steps.

1. Choose your referencing style

You can, in some instances, make this choice, but mostly your Course or School dictates which referencing style you are to follow. It’s your responsibility to find out what referencing style you are required to use, and to locate the correct style guide.

Common styles include APA 6, AGPS Harvard, MLA, and Vancouver. Check out our Referencing styles page to find out more information, or find comprehensive style guides.

2. Identify the resource type

Is it a book? Is it a print book or an eBook? Is it the whole book, or just a chapter? Is it a journal article, web document or conference proceeding?

The resource type will dictate what details you will need to record. Check the referencing style guide to see what information you need to record for that resource type.

3. Collect information

Accurately record all the information about the resource you are referencing. You will need to note who created it, when was it created, what is it called and where was it published.

Be sure to consult your referencing style guide during this step. It will specify exactly what information you need.

4. Write your reference list

At this point, you will have your referencing style guide in front of you, and all the pertinent information about the resource you are referencing.

Now, it’s just a matter of putting the information together in the right order, with the right punctuation and capitalisation. Use the examples from your referencing guide to create a reference and in-text citation for your resource.

And, check out the referencing tool

For a quick snapshot of how to structure your reference, check out Griffith’s Referencing Tool. It combines the above steps so you can select your reference style, media type, and format, to be shown an example of how to reference your resource both in-text, and in your reference list.