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Referencing and Plagiarism: Referencing Basics

Referencing in the APA style.

Tell me about referencing

Referencing is a system of rules and principles that is used to acknowledge the contributions of other authors that have directly influenced your work.  At South Metropolitan TAFE, the referencing system we use is called the APA Style.

Clip Art sourced from Microsoft.

Referencing is important, because it allows us to use the work of others to add weight and significance to our arguments, proposals and conclusions without "stealing" their words and ideas.

Referencing offers many benefits, including:  

  • enabling the reader to validate the sources or material that you have used.
  • allowing you to demonstrate wider reading and research.
  • illustrating your points and giving strength to your arguments.
  • illustrating the points of others.
  • helping you to avoid inadvertently plagiarising the work of others. 

    Clip Art sourced from Microsoft.

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How do I do it?

To create references in your written work, there are 3 main steps to follow:

Step 1:

When taking notes and gathering information, write down all the relevant bibliographic details of your information sources, such as author, date of publication, title, and publisher. A quote will need a page number too.

Step 2:

Insert a brief in-text citation (also known as an in-text reference) at the place within the text of your assignment where this information is used. Here is an example of an in-text citation/reference in the APA style:

(Langford, 2002, p. 22)




Step 3:

At the end of your assignment, add a reference list containing all your end-text references. Here is an example of an end-text reference in the APA style:

Langford. M. (2002). Basic photography. Focal Press.