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Everything you need to know about referencing, avoiding plagiarism, and writing a bibliography.


Bibliography: A list of sources at the end of an assignment that includes all resources used for information. A bibliography is different from reference list, which includes only resources quoted in the assignment. 

Citation: A reference to a source in the body of an essay. A citation may relate to a quote, paraphrase, summary or to a general reference to a source. 

Cite: To refer to a source in the body of a paper. See also Citation.

Copyright: The legal right of an author/owner of a work to control the reproduction of that work.

Paraphrase: To put a short piece of text into your own words. See also Summarising and quoting.

Plagiarism: The use of someone else's work (including words, graphs, tables, images, ideas) without proper acknowledgement. This is a serious academic offence that carries penalties.

Quote: To reproduce the exact words of a source. 

Reference list: A list of resources at the end of a paper that includes all of the works cited in that paper. A reference list differs from a bibliography, which includes not only those works cited in text but also works that have contributed to the preparation of a paper.

Summarise: To shorten a text by selecting the main points, and leaving out the detail and rephrasing it in one's own words. See also Paraphrasing and quoting.‚Äč

(Adapted from Deakin University)

Why reference?

Norwood expects staff and students to understand and demonstrate the values of Respect and Responsibility, which includes acting with academic integrity

Good referencing:

  • Shows what you have read  |  Your references demonstrate the depth and the breadth of your reading.  

  • Enables the reader to locate the sources referred to in your work  |  Researchers rely on referencing to locate sources.  

  • Supports and strengthens your argument  |  You must show that the evidence used to support your argument has come from reliable sources.

  • Demonstrates academic integrity  |  Proper referencing ensures that you have acknowledged your sources and that you have done your best to avoid plagiarism – the use of other people's words, ideas or materials without proper acknowledgement. Plagiarism can be intentional (deliberate cheating) or unintentional (happen accidentally).

(adapted from Deakin University)

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is when someone copies another person's work and takes credit for it themselves.
(From the State Library of Victoria)


Types of plagiarism: 

  • Directly quoting, paraphrasing or summarising other people's words without acknowledgement
  • Copying or buying an essay and handing it in as your own work
  • Presenting another students’ research as your own

 Plagiarism may be:

  • Deliberate (eg. buying an essay and submitting it as your own work)
  • Accidental (eg. incorrectly referencing the work of others because of carelessness or lack of academic skills)

 The consequences for plagiarism apply even for unintentional plagiarism.

(From Victoria University)

Common Knowledge

"Generally speaking, you can regard something as common knowledge if you find the same information undocumented in at least five credible sources. Additionally, it might be common knowledge if you think the information you're presenting is something your readers will already know, or something that a person could easily find in general reference sources. But when in doubt, cite; if the citation turns out to be unnecessary, your teacher or editor will tell you." 

(From Purdue OWL)