Skip to Main Content


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

1. Record your sources

Make sure as you research you keep track of where your information has come from.  Take notes which include:

  • Book titles, authors, publishing dates and places
  • Website links, company names, dates if possible
  • Article titles, Publication title, authors, date written, link if online

WARNING!  If you don't record your sources immediately, it's easy to keep researching and then lose your original source.

2. Know the requirements

If your assignment doesn't include instructions on how to reference appropriately, ask your teacher for details of what is expected in your referencing and bibliography.

  • How much detail is needed?
  • What style should you use?
  • Do you need to reference in the body of the assignment, or is a Bibliography at the end appropriate?

3. Follow the rules

Create your Bibliography using the appropriate method (see below), making sure you are consistent with each source.  See 'Write a Bibliography'

Don't forget to reference your image sources.  See 'Copyright & Images'

Make sure you include ALL of your sources and avoid the serious consequences of Plagiarism (using someone else's work as if it's your own).

If you must reference in the body of your essay, see 'Referencing in an Essay' below.

Referencing in an essay

Referencing is acknowledging where you have quoted someone else or used their ideas in your essay. You need to reference within the body of your essay, as well as in your bibliography. There are a couple of different ways to do this:

In-text referencing

This is the most common way to reference, and it involves placing some basic details about the source in brackets next to the quote. An in-text reference should include:

  • author's surname
  • year of publication
  • page number where the quote appears.

For example:

‘Research is only useful if you can see where you found it.' (Grenville, 2001, p. 30)


You would then include the following reference in your bibliography at the end of your essay:

Grenville, K 2001, Writing from Start to Finish, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, N.S.W.


Footnotes and endnotes

Another way to reference a quote or idea is by using footnotes and endnotes.

Both footnotes and endnotes usually involve a small in-text number that appears next to the quote. This number points the reader to an area in the text where they can find the quote's bibliographical details.

These details can be found either at the end of a chapter or essay – endnotes – or at the bottom of each page – footnotes.

You probably won't need to use footnotes and endnotes until upper secondary school or university, but it's worth knowing how they work so you can recognise them when you're reading.

Different Referencing Methods

There are lots of different methods used for writing references and Bibliographies, depending on your school or university's preference.

Click on the links to find out more about each method:

(sourced from Deakin University)