As anyone who has ever written an essay will attest – referencing is the worst! But as many say, it’s a necessary evil. Let’s face it, nobody really wants to take credit for other people’s ideas, we all just wish there were simpler, less time consuming ways to credit them. But once you get the hang of it, a well referenced assignment can really set you apart. Here are our tips to help your assignments shine and making the referencing process that little bit more bearable.
Don’t leave it until the last minute
Leaving referencing until the last minute is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when doing an assignment. Picture this, you have finished writing your essay, it’s the night before it’s due and yet you can’t find any of your sources. One of the best ways to avoid this and the inevitable stress that comes with this last minute scramble is to make notes as you go. Every time you find a new resource take down all the key details for your reference list, this way you can begin creating your reference list and in-text citations as you write instead of going through them at the end. Now all you need to do it copy and paste that whenever you quote or reference this work.
Find credible sources
Ensuring that you have perfect (or close to perfect) referencing in an assignment can really help the marks add up. But you would be surprised to see how hard it is to find and reference websites that actually count as credible, scholarly sources.
The Library is a great place to start your search for legitimate, peer-reviewed academic sources and Google Scholar is also a good place to look. But if you want to hit the motherlode of sources to enhance your essay writing, head straight to the University’s online resources. This database houses thousands of academic journals, all at your disposal.
REMINDER: Wikipedia isn’t your friend (at least not this time).
Know your referencing systems
The preferred referencing system to use for an assignment can change from course-to-course.. Make sure you check your unit outline, or ask your lecturer which reference system to use before you start your assignment. This is incredibly important as different referencing systems require different actions.
Ask for help
If you are struggling with your referencing or are unsure if you are doing it right, it’s ok to ask for help – in fact, we encourage it! There are resources on the Academic Skills LEO page which will help ensure you are across the rules for referencing. There are also free workshops run throughout the semester and the option for one-on-on consultations with your campus academic skills advisor. What are you waiting for?