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What is Referencing?

When completing a report or an assignment, it is necessary to acknowledge the source of any information used. This is called referencing. Any time you quote, refer to, or use data (in any form including maps, tables, graphs, or on-line) from other people's work, the source must be clearly acknowledged. Failure to do so is called plagiarism, a dishonest practice, because you pretend that someone else's words or ideas are your own. Penalties for plagiarism are severe.

For further information on plagiarism and referencing, senior secondary students should refer to the TQA's Academic Integrity Guide. This guide tells you about what you must do to show which parts of the work you hand in for assessment are yours and which parts you have got from other people's work.

The system of referencing recommended by the SBSC library is the Harvard or 'Author-Date' system detailed in the Australian Government Publishing Service's Style Manual : for Authors, Editors and Printers.

However, requirements vary. The exact details of how you reference your sources of information will vary from subject to subject. When you leave school you will find requirements differ, depending on where you study and your subject area. However the instructions given in this document are widely used and provide a good starting point.

What is a Reference List?

This is an alphabetical list of all the sources of information which you have referred to, or cited in your assignment. It is placed at the end of your work. It is normally headed "Reference List" and should be arranged alphabetically by the author's surname.