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Assessment Support

Template for all student academic writing lib guides

What is referencing?

Referencing refers to acknowledgment of the resources that you have used in your assessments. This will usually take the form of a list at the end of your work and will include detailed information about any material that you have mentioned, including (but not limited to) books, articles, films, websites, papers, blogs and fact sheets. 

In-Text Referencing

In-Text Referencing will be the references that you include, in bracets, throughout your assessment to indicate to the reader that what they have just read is a reference to another author's work. The format is shorter that the full reference of the work that you will include at the end of your writing. It usually includes either author name or name of work if author unknown, date and, if applicable, page numbers. 

Reference List

The reference list is a thorough listing of all of the works that you have referred to within your assessment. The references will be an expansion of the in-text reference and include more specific details of the work, such as exact titles, publication details and where you retrieved the resource. 

For exact examples of both in-text references and reference list references see the AFTRS APA referencing Guide PDF below.

Why do we reference?

  1. To show the reader where you have found your information and why you have positioned your argument in the way that you have.
  2. To show that you have undertaken a review of the relevant literature and are working at an academic level appropriate to your award qualification. That is, you are using credible, reliable sources as the basis of your argument
  3. To demonstrate that you have the academic writing skills appropriate to your award qualification.
  4. To acknowledge those that have presented the idea. In a sense, this is showing respect for the work of others.


Knowing when to reference your work is just as important as knowing how to reference. On most occasions if you are unsure about referencing a work or an idea it is best to record where you found the information to cover yourself from plagiarism. However there are certain instances where you don't need to reference and doing will unnecessarily clutter your work, plus being able to correctly reference will earn you those valuable marks too!

When to reference

1) You have inserted a table, used statistics, a diagram, photos or other copied images within your work

2) If you discuss another person's theory, practice or idea

3) When you use someone else's work or theory as an example to support your argument

4) You have used a direct quote from another author

5) You paraphrase another authors words or idea

When not to reference

1) When mentioning an overview of a well known historical event

2) Talking about your own experiences

3) In your conclusion when you are reiterating ideas already mentioned 

4) When discussing what is considered common knowledge  

Source: (Neville, C. (2010). Complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Retrieved from 


Detailed referencing examples to follow

For specific APA referencing guides and examples of each resource please see the below PDF.
You can find the type of resource you wish to reference in the table and follow the format. 
You will find examples for both In-Text referencing and your Reference List included at the end of your assessment.

Pre-written Citations 

Pre-written citations that you can copy and paste from reference managers, library catalogues or online journals are great time savers and can make referencing a lot easier. However, please be mindful that these are sometimes recorded incorrectly so it is vital that you check each one for to make sure the information is correct and the format is definitely APA style.