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Your guide to referencing

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Let’s face it, referencing is tough! Thankfully, there are ways to make it work for you – here are some strategies to help you reference your assignments:

1.       Start by identifying the referencing style you need to use. 

Often this will be written in your unit outline or the assessment rubric, but it is important to identify which style of referencing the assessment is calling for (such as APA, Chicago, etc.).

Make sure that any referencing guides you use are referring to the latest edition of that style (e.g., APA 7th or Chicago 17th B). The Library offers some referencing guides that take you through how to reference for each style.

2.       Keep notes on the references you use when writing an assignment. 

It can be handy to jot down the in-text citation or reference of the source that you use when writing a section in your assignment. This will help when you go back and reference properly, because you know which sources you have used throughout your assessment and need to have written in your reference list. Another tip is to highlight the in-text citation in your assignment as you’re writing. After you’ve written the source into my reference list, you can remove the highlight. This tip can save you from accidentally quoting a source and then forgetting to reference it.

3.       Write your reference list as you go. 

Putting together your reference list as you write means that you don’t have that last minute panic of trying to track down citation details with a deadline looming. You can instead spend that valuable time checking your formatting and punctuation is consistent with what is required.  

4.       Learn how to use a reference organiser such as EndNote. 

If you’re working with lots of references you may want to try using EndNote. EndNote is a reference manager that formats citations for you, so you can focus on your assignment. This can save you time in the long run, and allow you to organise all your sources in one location.

Learn how to download EndNote and get help through the EndNote essentials guide.

Lastly, don’t forget about Curtin’s Peer Academic Mentors. They are here to help and can point you in the direction of some more helpful resources!

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