When you reference your research correctly, you acknowledge the ideas of others and ensure the academic integrity of your own work. Most importantly, correct referencing helps you avoid plagiarism.


When writing assignments, it is also important to understand academic integrity and plagiarism by completing the compulsory Murdoch Academic Passport (MAP100).

How to reference

  1. Choose a referencing style
    Check with your tutor or unit guide to find out which referencing style you should use for your assignment. Once you know which style to use, follow the referencing guides provided by the Library. Occasionally a tutor will provide guidance that is different from the Library reference guides and you should follow that advice.
  2. Identify the resource type
    You need to know what it is you are referencing as this will determine what you need to record. For example, is it a book, a chapter of a book, a journal article, a video or a website? The referencing guide will tell you what information you need to collect for each resource type.  
  3. Collect information 
    When you are taking notes and writing your assignment, record all of the information about sources you have used so that you can reference them correctly. Your referencing guide will specify exactly what information you need, but in broad terms, you need to record who created each source, when was it created, what is it called and where was it published:

    WhoThe creator of a resource is typically an author, but could also be an editor, organisation, director, or artist.
    WhenThis is usually a year of publication, but could also be a specific date for a resource such as a newspaper article. 
    WhatThis will be the title of your resource. If it is a journal article, you will need the article title, and the title of the journal it is published in. If it is a book chapter, you will need the chapter title, and the book title.
    WhereThe details you need on where your source was published depend on the type of resource you are referencing. If it is a print book you will need the name of the publisher and the place of publication. If you are referencing an ebook you may also need a web address or a Digital Object Identifier (DOI). A journal article will need the volume, issue and page numbers of the journal it appeared in, as well as a DOI or web address (depending on your reference style).
  4. Compiling your reference list
    Once you have collected all the information, you can start creating your reference list. Use the examples from your referencing guide to create a reference and in-text citation for each of your resources. Make sure you put everything in the correct order, and follow the guide on using punctuation and capitalisation. You should only include references to resources you have used in your assignment.

Need help?

For help understanding referencing, Ask our Librarians.

Also, you can also chat online or drop in to see the Peer Academic Coaches located at the Geoffrey Bolton Library.