Referencing basics

Referencing the work of others in your academic writing is a powerful way to add weight to your argument. To attribute an idea to its author, or refer to someone else’s work, you insert a brief reference or citation into your writing.

Watch this short video on how to acknowledge the work of others in your writing.

Each source identified in your text also has a corresponding entry in the reference list, which you include at the end. This is a list of all sources cited in your writing. A reference list is also known as a ‘bibliography’ or ‘works cited‘ list, depending on what citation style you use. Both the in-text citation and the reference list entries follow a particular format.

Check your course description to confirm which citation style you are required to use, or ask your lecturer.

The five key citation styles used at Federation University are outlined below. You will also find downloadable helpsheets for each style.

APA Citation

APA (American Psychological Association) is an in-text citation style used often for assignments in psychology, information technology, nursing, education, the social sciences and many other disciplines.

APA style is presently in its 7th edition, so ensure you clarify with your lecturer whether you need to use the 6th or 7th edition.

Go to the FedCite referencing tool to find examples of how to format APA references in either APA 6 or APA 7.

Download our helpsheet Quick Guides:

APA 7 In-text Referencing 
APA 7 Reference List

Australian Harvard Citation

Australian Harvard is an in-text citation style used most often in business and some science fields.

Go to the FedCite referencing tool to find examples of how to format Australian Harvard references.

Download our helpsheet Quick Guides

Australian Harvard: In-text Referencing
Australian Harvard: Reference List

Chicago Citation

Chicago citation style is most often used for assignments in the creative arts: performing arts, visual arts, communication & design, and creative writing. It is also often used in history subjects.

This notes-bibliography system involves citing sources in footnotes (or endnotes) when you use a source.  For each source that you identify in a note, you need to create a corresponding entry in your bibliography.

Both the note and the bibliography entry follow a particular format. Go to the FedCite referencing tool to find examples of how to format Chicago Note references.

Download our helpsheet Quick Guides:

Chicago Note: In-text Referencing
Chicago Note: Bibliography

IEEE Citation

Developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the IEEE citation style is used in computer science electronics, information technology, engineering, and telecommunications fields.

In the text of the paper or report, each citation is referenced using sequenced numbers, encased in square brackets. Each number  corresponds to a source. The corresponding full reference appears at the end of the paper, next to the citation number. The reference list entries follow a particular format.

Both the in-text citation and the reference list in the IEEE style follows a particular format. Go to the FedCite referencing tool to find examples in the IEEE style.

Download our helpsheet Quick Guides:

IEEE In-text Citation
IEEE Reference List

MLA Citation

MLA (Modern Language Association) is an in-text citation style most often used in the field of Languages.

This citation style refers to the collection of sources identified in your text as a ‘Works Cited’ list, and it is included at the end.

Both the in-text citation and the list of works cited in MLA style follows a particular format. Go to the FedCite referencing tool to find examples in MLA style.

Download our helpsheet Quick Guides:

MLA In-text Referencing
MLA Works Cited 
 

For tips on how to correctly incorporate the work of others into your writing, read these topics: using quotationsparaphrasing and summarising.

The Federation University Library also has expert advice on using referencing tools such as Endnote.