We’ve all been there. You’ve written a great assignment and kept a rough record of your references – which means you have to spend a good hour or two tidying them up. All while you’re desperate for that end-of-assignment coffee and the deadline is approaching! Here, CDU’s team of expert librarians, share their top tips on how to speed up the referencing process.
Don't take shortcuts
It can be tempting, but displaying academic integrity is an important (and required) part of being a uni student. This means being honest about where you’ve sourced your ideas. You are expected to write to an academic level and acknowledge the work of others using correct referencing.
It’s not just marks you’ll lose if you don’t reference the right way. You may also be accused of plagiarism – which is intellectual theft – and this can have serious consequences. Remember, most assignments these days are run through computer systems that automatically detect plagiarism.
Figure it out early
Don’t wait until your whole assignment is written to figure out what the referencing requirements are, #getorganised early. There are several referencing styles and each will have different ways of acknowledging direct quotes, facts and figures, ideas and theories, and published papers or websites.
Ask your lecturer what their expectations are, so you can add your references the right way the first time and save having to go back and update them.
Build the list as you go
Equally, don’t wait until your assignment is done to start building the list. Those little notes you made for yourself with author or journal names are going to be super confusing when you’re 3,000 words in with a tired brain. Before you start researching or writing, set up a blank page for your reference list at the end of the document. As you write, you can copy and paste the details for each book, article or webpage into your reference list and add author names and dates into the text of your research notes and assignment.
Use the tools. All the tools
Most databases, including Library Search, have a citation tool that will give you all the basic details you need for a reference. Look for the quotation mark “ icon. Just copy and paste then check it’s correct according to the style guide.
When you’re really getting serious about research and have tons of references to manage, a software program like EndNote can help you keep track of all your resources, so you spend less time formatting and more time writing. EndNote works by letting you collect your references in a searchable library, from which you can add each reference directly to your assignment – with all the right formatting.
If you have questions, email the Library on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Drop-In Room at the Casuarina campus between 10am-1pm.