How do I reference correctly?

Referencing styles vary with discipline (and sometimes lecturer!) Ensure you use the correct style for each subject. That may mean having to adapt your usual approach as you undertake subjects in different disciplines.

Brief guide to referencing

Referencing styles vary but the information you need to provide for all styles includes:

  • title of author(s) or editor(s)
  • date of publication
  • title of chapter, journal article or web page if appropriate
  • title of publication (book, journal, website), including edition or volume if appropriate
  • translator of work, if appropriate
  • name of publisher
  • place of publication
  • page numbers for chapters and journal articles.

Remember that it is essential to provide page numbers when quoting another author's words. Some disciplines demand these for paraphrasing as well.

You will find information on which style to use in the Unit Guide or MUSO site for your subject or in your faculty's student resources.

Referencing styles

There are different referencing styles used in different faculties and disciplines. The Language and Learning Online QuickRef A guide to styles includes an overview of the different referencing styles used in different faculties.

The Library also provides a guide to the referencing styles Opens in a new window recommended by Monash university faculty, school or departments.

Notice how the same information appears differently in the following examples of referencing styles.

Can you see the differences between the formatting of each source, excerpt (quote) and paraphrase?

  • With some styles the citation is presented in the text (called author-date style) and in others as a note (footnote or endnote style).
  • You'll see that a page number is provided in all cases where the sentence is a word-for-word account of the author's text - a quotation.
  • Notice that for the paraphrases, only the APA example does not have a page number included.

Modified Harvard

Source

Marshall, L. and Rowland, F. (2006) A guide to learning independently. (Fourth Edition) Frenchs Forrest NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Word for word excerpt

"[T]here is no Right way to manage your time, it makes sense to look for a range of techniques" (Marshall & Rowland 2006:28).

Paraphrase

It therefore seems best if students develop a range of strategies and recognise there is more than one way to manage their time (Marshall & Rowland 2006:28).

APA

Source

Marshall, L. and Rowland, F. (2006). A guide to learning independently (4th ed.). Frenchs Forrest NSW: Pearson Education Australia.

Word for word excerpt

Marshall and Rowland (2006, p.28) argue that "there is no Right way to manage your time, it makes sense to look for a range of techniques".

Paraphrase

It therefore seems best if students develop a range of strategies and recognise there is more than one way to manage their time (Marshall & Rowland, 2006).

Oxford

Source

L. Marshall & F. Rowland A Guide to Learning Independently, 4th ed., Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forrest NSW, 2006, p.28.

Word for word excerpt

"[T]here is no Right way to manage your time, it makes sense to look for a range of techniques". [1]

Paraphrase

It therefore seems best if students develop a range of strategies and recognise there is more than one way to manage their time. [1]

–––––

1L. Marshall & F. Rowland, A Guide to Learning Independently, Fourth Edition, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forrest NSW, 2006, p.28.

The importance of self-sufficiency

As you may appreciate, your referencing allows your reader to assess your engagement with your field of study. It also helps establish and support your own ideas as you write.

In first-year subjects, your markers may place greater emphasis on this aspect of your work so that you develop this fundamental skill. This is not to say that getting the referencing right is going to be more important than your use of the sources, though! It is your argument that will gain the most acknowledgement (that is, marks!) from your reader.

In later years, it will be assumed that you know how to reference correctly and automatically, that you are self-sufficient in this area.

To improve your skills it would be useful to work through all the questions in the section on Referencing. You can also work through citing your sources in Language and Learning Online