Understand referencing

Get started with our referencing guides. You will find examples of how to quote and paraphrase in the text of your assignment and format reference lists.

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Four steps of referencing

Referencing is how you acknowledge the information sources used in your work and demonstrates your understanding of the topic. Accurate and consistent referencing is an important part of academic culture and shows that you are acting with academic integrity.

Step 1.

Choose a style

In some instances you can choose your referencing style, but mostly your course or school will dictate which style you should follow. It’s your responsibility to find out what referencing style you are required to use and to locate the correct style guide.

Step 2.

Identify the resource

You need to figure out exactly what you are referencing. Look closely to find features to help you determine the resource type for example book, book chapter, journal article, newspaper article, website or other type. The resource type will dictate what details you will need to record.

Step 3.

Collect information

Accurately record all the information about the resource you are referencing. You will need to note who, when, what and where. Be sure to consult your referencing style guide during this step. It will specify exactly what information you need.

Step 4.

Write your reference list

Once you have all the resource information it is now time to put it together in the correct order and format as per the rules of the style you are using. Once you have finished writing your reference list, take the time to proofread it.

Ask who, when, what and where





View transcript

Introduction to Academic Integrity

This short 10 minute module aims to inform you of the basics of Academic Integrity. It is important that you are aware of the academic standards required of you while studying at Griffith University.


Referencing information is provided as a guide only and is based on the official manual or other authoritative sources where available. Users are directed to confirm specific referencing requirements with their course convenor and to consult the manual directly for more information.

Study help

Smarthinking is a free 24/7 online tutoring service available to all Griffith students seeking advice on improving their writing skills. Students can submit their assignment draft for review and receive a response in 24 hours. Smarthinking and Study Smart are your first step​s​ to improving your writing and study skills.


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Library specialists can assist you with improving your academic writing, study skills, referencing, and research needs.  This includes referrals with a learning adviser for an Academic Integrity breach. If needed, we can arrange a time to talk to you by phone or online.

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