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Welcome to the referencing guide

This guide provides access to advice and examples on how to write in-text citations, footnotes, and end of work references using the five referencing styles approved by Macquarie university. Use these guides to learn how to reference your assignments correctly. 

You should check your iLearn unit or consult with your unit convenor/lecturer for the style required for your assessments. You may be penalised for not conforming to your unit requirements.


Navigate to your required style using the tabs of the left or the links below:

Academic Integrity @ MQ

Using the works or ideas of another person, whether intentionally or not, and presenting them as your own without clear acknowledgement of the source is called Plagiarism. The University tackles the issue of Academic honesty through use of an online Anti-plagiarism Software (Turnitin). 

To enable a consistent, equitable and transparent approach to Academic Integrity amongst staff and students, MQ has compiled the Academic Integrity Policy.

Introduction to referencing

When preparing your assignment you need to acknowledge all the materials you draw upon, quote, paraphrase or mention. Referencing is a standardised way to acknowledge all the ideas and concepts you have used and allow readers to trace and verify your sources.

The reasons for having a complete and accurate reference list are as follows:

Avoid Plagiarism. Referencing all cited sources protects you from problems related to plagiarised content. If you provide a thorough list of references, you are stating that the ideas and concepts discussed in your work, be it directly quoted or paraphrased, are derived from another source such as a book, an article, a journal, or any other publication.

Show you have reviewed the research that exists on your topic. Researchers give credit to scholars that have done work in their area before them. This allows the progression of research to be tracked and acknowledged. This is how research works!

Show an understanding of the research you have reviewed. You gather knowledge from the work of researchers. You form new knowledge by examining and drawing on the research that has already been produced. You are now a part of the scholarly research process!

Contribute to the field that you are studying in. As a student, you contribute to interpreting research. Your interpretation of words, thoughts and the ideas of key researchers give weight to your own conclusions.

Create a bibliography/reference list. This allows other readers to see the sources that you have read, and perform their own research using these sources. A full, accurate list of references allows the readers to follow up or refer to the sources of the information included in the essay.

References to books, book chapters, journal articles and other sources are called citations. These include information needed to find the full text of a publication.

Citation Style:
The citation style determines how the citation information is ordered, what punctuation is needed, and any other formatting that is required. Examples of citation styles include APA, Harvard and MLA etc.

A bibliography is a complete list of all the sources (books, journal articles, websites etc) you used to produce your assignment, including those you did not quote or paraphrase.

Reference List: 
A reference list is a complete list of all the sources (books, journal articles, websites etc) you have quoted or paraphrased in your assignment.

Annotated Bibliography: 
An annotated bibliography is also a list of citations but each citation is followed by an annotation (a brief [usually about 150 words] descriptive and evaluative paragraph to inform the reader of the relevance, accuracy, and quality of the sources cited). Check out the Annotated bibliography page by the University of New South Wales for further details.

Literature review: 
A literature review is an evaluative report of information found within the body of an essay, paper, article, book or book chapter related to your selected area of study. Check out Getting Started on your Literature Review by University of New South Wales for further details.

Citation of an article implies that you have personally read the cited work.  

If you quote from a work that has been mentioned in something else you have read, but you have not read the original source, then you must make it a secondary reference.

It is important to make it clear that you have not read the original work.

You should not include the original work in your bibliography. You should only include the work that you have read.

Find out more about citing secondary sources in APA:

Using generative artificial intelligence tools (eg. Chat GPT)

Build your referencing skills

- Learn the why, what and how of referencing in StudyWISE.

- The Writing Centre and Library also offer Referencing workshops for all students to enhance their academic skills and performance. 

- Bibliographic referencing software can be a useful tool to help organise your citations and add references to your assignmentsVisit our guide: