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About referencing

Writing at tertiary level involves researching the ideas of other people, which you can combine with your own ideas and conclusions. Learning to acknowledge other people’s work through in-text citing and referencing will help differentiate between their ideas and your own.

This is central to the idea of academic honesty in academic institutions.

So why reference?

  • To show respect for the original source. Using someone else’s work as your own without properly acknowledging it is considered intellectual theft.
  • To demonstrate that you have done the research. Your teachers want to see that you have considered the experts when forming the basis of your arguments.
  • To show what research you've done. Your teacher must assess the quality of your research. Accurate referencing following a specific style will enable the reader to easily locate and verify your research.
  • To avoid plagiarism. Failure to properly acknowledge when you have used the work of others means you are implying that the idea or words are yours. Plagiarising has consequences is likely to affect your academic progress.
  • A note on self-plagiarism. The APA manual (6th ed.) states “Self plagiarism refers to the practice of presenting one’s own previously published work as though it were new” (American Psychological Association, 2010 p.170).  Work previously submitted for another purpose (e.g. an assessment) should not be repurposed and used again either in sections or in its entirety without appropriate acknowledgement (referencing). To use previously submitted work may jeopardise student marks and progress within the programme of study.

About this guide

This Referencing guide provides assistance with using the APA style of referencing used by WITT and is based on the following publication: 

American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 

Use the tabs above to see examples of APA references for different sources. 




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Why should I acknowledge my sources?

When should I acknowledge my sources?

Referencing in the body of your text

Reference lists or Bibliographies at the end of your text

Preparing to reference



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Getting Started in APA Referencing

There are two components to referencing: in-text references that accompany other peoples quotes or ideas that you use in your work and the reference list at the end of your paper.

The in-text reference:

APA is an 'author/date' system, so your in-text reference for all formats (book, journal article, web document) consists of the author(s) surname and year of publication.

The basics of an in-text reference in APA:



If you quote directly from an author you need to include the page or paragraph number of the quote in your in-text reference. See the 'Quotes' section on the More Information page for further help.


The reference list:

All in-text references should be listed in the reference list at the end of your document. The purpose of the reference list entry is to contain all the information that a reader of your work needs to follow-up on your sources. An important principle in referencing is to be consistent.

When compiling your APA reference list, you should:

  • list references on a new page with a centred heading titled: References
  • include all your references, regardless of format, e.g. books, journal articles, online sources, in one alphabetical listing from A - Z
  • order entries alphabetically by surname of author(s)
  • list works with no author under the first significant word of the title
  • indent second and subsequent lines of each entry (5-7 spaces)
  • use double spacing.


The basics of a reference list entry for a journal (print version) in APA:


The basics of a reference list entry for a book (print version) in APA:

Help with APA @ WITT Learning Resource Centre

Barbara Morris
Email Barbara
Ph 06 7573100 ext 8838

Bridget Knuckey
Email Bridget
Ph 06 7573100 ext 3241

Library staff (Cathy, Kathy and Min) can also provide help with APA. Ask at the Library Lending and Information Desk

Zotero Help @ WITT Learning Centre