Five ways to reference like a pro

Five ways to reference like a pro


Don’t get to the stage where you want to pull your hair out the next time you need to reference an assignment. If you keep track of all your sources and get into a referencing flow, the whole process can be much easier.

We caught up with CSU’s Academic Learning, Literacy and Numeracy (ALLaN) team about their top referencing tips. Follow this guide and you’ll be more confident and start referencing like a pro in no time!

Tools down until you’ve learned the ropes

Bibliographic tools (such as EndNote) are great, but you need to learn the basics of the style of referencing you’re using first. This will help you use bibliographic tools and check their accuracy. Check out our Referencing at CSU tools, guides and resources to get on top of your referencing style. You can also book to attend an online referencing workshop with the ALLaN team to give you a rundown of everything you need to know to get started.

Remember the important things

You don’t need to be able to instantly recall a referencing style back-to-front. Learn the most basic formatting rules and print or bookmark a guide so you can quickly and easily look up everything else.

Don’t cross the line

There’s a fine line between paraphrasing and plagiarism, so be careful you don’t cross it. If in doubt, always cite your sources. If you are unsure about how to paraphrase and when to use references, you can request the ALLaN team review your draft assignments for feedback.

Follow a guide

The work of published authors is the best guide and model, so use your research as a guide to your own referencing. Check out the way authors of journal articles and other materials have referenced their sources.

Write as you go

Make sure that you’ve created a reference list entry for every source you’ve referred to in your in-text citations and vice versa. It’s easier and more time effective to write your reference list and in-text citations as you go.

Contact the ALLaN team if you want to improve your referencing skills. You can book an appointment, workshop or just have a quick chat. They’re available by phone, Skype and in person, in the evenings and on weekends.

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