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Referencing

Advice on referencing and the APA style used in most courses here at Lincoln University.

This page covers both the why, when and how of referencing in your academic work based on the APA style used in most courses here at Lincoln University. You may also want to review our advice on Copyright and our page on using Paraphrases, summaries and quotes. You may also want to use a tool such as EndNote.

The APA 7th style guide is a 'how to' guide on referencing common material including journal articles, websites, lectures and lecture slides, and social media.

Why do I reference?

Referencing is very important to your success at university. It is a vital academic skill and you have to get your head around it. Referencing well will improve the quality of your work and get you higher marks.

Reference to:

Show your argument is supported by evidence Acknowledge you have used the words or ideas of another person Allow readers to find the original source of your information

Shows you have read widely to develop your ideas

Gives credit where it is due Allows the readers to assess the validity and reliability of the evidence
Shows your ideas are supported by the work of others Avoids plagiarism (claiming someone else's work as yours) Allows the reader to find more detail for themselves

When do I reference?

All academic writing draws on the ideas and findings of other researchers and writers. Whenever you use an idea, image or section of text that you found somewhere else, you need to make it clear where that information came from. Check out our information on Using Sources, and if in doubt reference!                               

You must reference when you:   You usually don't reference when you:
Quote exact words   Use your own knowledge (eg personal experience, your own experimental data)
Paraphrase or summarise (refer to or use someone else's ideas in your words)   Refer to common knowledge (eg the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840)
Use factual data from other sources (eg statistics)   Use general subject knowledge in your own words
Reproduce a chart, image or diagram    
Want to show you have evidence for a statement or argument you are making    

How do I reference?

Referencing always has two parts: an in-text citation and a reference:

Get Individual Advice

Talk to a learning advisor or attend one of our workshops for help with your study.

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