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University of Newcastle Library Guides

Law: Legislation: Why reference?

A Library Guide to support students and staff of the University of Newcastle in finding Legislative resources

Why reference?

Properly referencing sources that you've used in your assignments, in the style required by your lecturer, is an essential part of university writing.

Every time you use something created by someone else, you must acknowledge (i.e. reference) the source. You could use ideas, theories, quotes, images, or other content, and these could come from any number of sources - books, journal articles, or the web. Referencing material created by others is necessary for academic integrity. Marks are also assigned to your referencing so it's important to learn why and how to reference.


Quick guide
Why reference?
  • To verify the information included in your assignments
  • To give credit where it is due (and avoid plagiarism)
  • To receive credit for research you’ve undertaken
When to reference?
  • Direct quoting (using the exact words from another source)
  • Paraphrasing or summarising
  • Any time you use someone else’s ideas or work
How to reference?

Elements of Referencing has more information

What style of referencing do I use?
  • Check your course outline
  • Check your assignments
  • Ask your lecturer

Referencing Styles has more information

For more topics on referencing, including paraphrasing and avoiding palgiarism, see the Library's Referencing guide.