Referencing and Citing

Referencing and citing Guides

Referencing guides

Citation guides


Staff and students are responsible for acknowledging the sources used when writing research articles, books, assignments and projects. You must acknowledge what you have read in order to avoid plagiarism, and so that:

  • readers of your work can find the original sources you used
  • the authors of the original sources you used are given credit for their work
  • your own research and ideas are clearly evident and you are given credit for your work
  • your work has credibility in the larger realm of scholarly knowledge

There are two parts to acknowledging another's work within your own:

  1. You use an in text citation in the main body of your work that has some brief information about the source.
  2. You provide the complete information about the source at the end of your work in the form of a list of references or bibliography.

The way in which these two parts are laid out is determined by a bibliographic referencing style. Each department at Unitec requires you to use a particular style for citations and references. Your department may have their own handbook that you can use as a guide. Guides to the most common citation styles used at Unitec are listed above.  The Library also has a number of style guides available on the shelves.

Referencing - what style should you use?

There are many styles of referencing - preference varies between academic disciplines. Use the style that your lecturer recommends.

APA, Chicago and MLA are the most commonly used styles at Unitec - we have guides for all of these (see the tabs at left).

Some other referencing styles are Harvard and Vancouver.

Once you begin using a referencing style in a paper, you must use it consistently throughout.

reference management software

If you need to keep track of a large number of citations, you may find citations management software such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero useful. Within this software you can maintain your own personal library of references and insert correctly formatted references into your documents. See our Guide to Endnote, Guide to Mendeley and Guide to Zotero.