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Referencing Toolkit

Referencing Styles

The content in the Referencing Toolkit is based on the Referencing Style Guides created by Victoria University, Melbourne. Used with Permission.

Academic writing involves researching the ideas of other people, which you can combine with your own ideas and conclusions. Learning to acknowledge other people’s work through in-text citing and referencing will help differentiate between their ideas and your own. This is central to the idea of academic honesty.

While there are many different styles of referencing, at Newington College the preferred referencing style for academic work is APA 7th edition.

Please use this toolkit for guidance on how to reference your work.

Please check your assessment information for the style of referencing required. It may differ between subjects.

Reasons for Referencing

  • To show respect for the original source. Using someone else's work as your own without properly acknowledging it is considered intellectual theft.
  • To demonstrate that you have done the research. Your lecturer want to see that you have considered the experts when forming the basis of your arguments.
  • To show what research you've done. Your teacher must assess the quality of your research. Accurate referencing following a specific style will enable the reader to easily locate and verify your research.
  • To avoid plagiarism. Failure to properly acknowledge the work of others means you are implying that the idea or words are yours. This is plagiarism and the consequences may affect your academic progress at university.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else's work or idea and passing it off as your own. The consequences for plagiarism apply even for unintentional plagiarism.

Types of plagiarism

  • Directly quoting other people's words from online or printed sources without acknowledgement (you also need to acknowledge using images, tables, graphs, statistics, videos, music, formulae, laboratory data).
  • Paraphrasing or summarising someone else's thoughts or ideas without crediting and citing your source (even using someone else's ideas and rewriting it in your own words needs to be referenced).
  • Careless or incomplete referencing of your source.
  • Copying or buying an essay and handing it in as your own work.
  • Falsely creating a reference that doesn't exist.
  • Presenting another student's research data as your own.
  • Collusion - presenting an assignment as your own independent work when it has been produced in whole or part with other people (for example another student or tutor).

Avoiding plagiarism

The best way to avoid plagiarism is to recognise when you need to provide a reference.

  • If you have quoted directly from someone else's work you must place double quotation marks around the text and provide a reference.
  • If you have paraphrased someone else's work or used another persons idea or theory you must provide a reference.
  • If what you are writing is common knowledge or your own thought you don't need to provide a reference.

Other strategies to avoid plagiarism include:

  • Start early. Mistakes often occur when you are rushed and there are no short cuts for referencing. Remember, you may be penalised for incorrect referencing.
  • Always note all the details you need for your reference list, particularly when printing from the Internet or electronic journal databases. Consult the referencing style guides for these details.
  • Remember to check with your lecturer which referencing style they would prefer you to use.
  • Your lecturer may ask you to use Turnitin, a plagiarism detection software you can use to check your assignments.

How Do I Quote?

direct quote is one that is copied exactly as presented by the original author.  This would include the same wording, punctuation etc.  

A direct quotation should be presented within quotation marks, followed by the author's surname, year of publication, and page number, inside curved brackets.


e.g. "as the drama draws to a close, its characters and events vanish into thin air, since, being fictions, there is nowhere for them to go" (Eagleton, 2013, p. 47).

e.g. Latimer (2016) states that "even if the contract is read, it may not be understood" (p. 400).

When should I quote?

  • to provide support from an expert
  • to present another's argument or perspective to analyse, critique or comment on
  • to include particularly interesting or historically important language

Direct quotes in APA 7th

For direct quotes of less than 40 words, incorporate them into the text and enclose the quote with double quotation marks, e.g.

Narrative quote (where the authors are named in your sentence):

Webber (2018) concludes that “addressing the issue of school dropout not only affects the education system, but may also serve as a prevention effort for the welfare, mental health, and corrections systems” (p. 82).

Parenthetical quote (where the citation details are presented in parentheses following the quote):

"Addressing the issue of school dropout not only affects the education system, but may also serve as a prevention effort for the welfare, mental health, and corrections systems" (Webber, 2018, p. 82).

For direct quotes of 40 or more words start on a new line and indent the whole block ~1cm from the left, do not add any additional space before or after the quote. The entire quote should be double-spaced. Quotation marks are not required e.g.:

     Others have contradicted this view, suggesting:

These overload issues can reach across the lifespan and affect individuals in many ways. As related issues continue to emerge, counselors will need to be aware of potential mental health problems stemming from technology overload and continue to research and develop the skills needed for effective interventions. In the digital age, these capabilities will be crucial in helping clients regain and maintain a healthy balance of life, work, and technology. (Scott et al., 2017, p. 605)

*NOTE: Use paragraph numbers if no page numbers are available. 

Ellipses '…' and Quotes

It is common when writing to use an ellipsis (3 fullstops in a row '…') to indicate where words have been omitted from a sentence. This is not permitted in quotes in APA:

'Regardless of quotation length, do not insert an ellipsis at the beginning and/or end of a quotation unless the original source includes an ellipsis" (APA, 2020, p. 271).

How Do I Paraphrase?

Paraphrasing refers to rewriting someone's ideas using your own words and is used frequently in academic writing. Paraphrasing is more than changing just one or two words and punctuation.  It is about using your own words to represent the original text. Even when using your own words to explain someone else's idea - you must reference the original author. To effectively paraphrase, read the paragraph several times to understand what it means, close the book or browser and then re-write it in your own words.


e.g. The second Vatican Council was a significant event in Australian and international Catholicism, which occurred over 45 years ago. (Black, 1991, p. 20).

e.g. Lichtheim (1970) argues that anarchism as a social movement is now only significant in historical context, as the social implications are no longer relevant in the current world (p. 228).

When paraphrasing there is more than one way to place the citation within your text.

Citation at the beginning

Leskowitz (2017) describes the transcendent states that athletes experience …

Citation in the middle

… sport viewed as a spiritual path (Leskowitz, 2017), and one that is frequently followed in the west.

Citation at the end

… athletes using techniques adapted from holistic and complementary medicine (Leskowitz, 2017).

Different referencing methods may highlight the importance of the author, or give more weighting to the information.

Author-prominent citations

In his research, Leskowitz (2017) explores mindfulness, biofeedback …

Information-prominent citations

… applying up-to-the-minute advances in holistic and complementary medicine (Leskowitz, 2017).

When should I paraphrase?

  • to provide support from an expert
  • to present another's argument or perspective to analyse, critique or comment on
  • what you want from the source is the idea, not the specific language used to communicate it
  • you can summarise the key point of the source

Paraphrasing in APA 7th

Including page numbers in a paraphrase citation

Although APA 7th does not require page numbers when paraphrasing another's work, you may choose to include page numbers particularly when dealing with a lengthy or complex document.

e.g. A number of holistic practices and dispositions can be applied when training or coaching athletes to increase the likelihood of athletes getting into 'the Zone' (Leskowitz, 2017, p. 324).