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Quality Assurance

Section 3

Citing and Referencing

Problems with plagiarism often arise because students do not know how to cite and reference their sources properly.


Citation is a basic and essential part of academic practice at university. By citing and referencing reliable sources of information in your work (e.g., written assignments, presentations, and projects), you:


  • avoid plagiarism;
  • add credibility to your own arguments and analyses;
  • provide context for your readers;
  • demonstrate your understanding of the topic by showing the depth and breadth of your research; and
  • maintain your integrity as an educated individual.

There are many citation or academic referencing styles, including common ones such as the American Psychological Association (APA) style, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, and the Chicago style.


Consult your teachers on the style which is appropriate for your coursework and research.


Whichever style you use, when citing a source:

  • indicate within your text the source of information that is being cited; and
  • provide full details of the source in a reference list or bibliography.

You are advised to:

  • consult your teachers on the academic conventions of your discipline;
  • check the University Library’s online guides for major citation styles (advice on citing Chinese-language sources is also available);
  • ask the librarians for advice on all aspects of citation and referencing, including:
          i)citing non-traditional sources (e.g., images, YouTube videos, social media posts);
          ii)citing a secondary source; and


using specialised software available from the Library to help manage your citations and references efficiently.


To submit a question online or make an appointment with a librarian, go to the Library website and look for the “Ask a Librarian” button.