Skip to Main Content


Need help with referencing styles? Start with this helpful guide.

Getting started

This guide shows you how to reference at ACU.

It contains lots of examples of references and how to use them in your assignments.

You can further develop your understanding of referencing, academic integrity and academic writing by:

Referencing styles

Contact the Library to report any problems with this referencing guide.

What, why and when of referencing

What is referencing?

Every source of information or idea that is not your own must be acknowledged in your writing. Referencing or citing the information is a way to acknowledge the original authors of the sources you have used.

Why reference?

  • To provide evidence to support your argument
  • To allow the reader to locate and verify the sources you have referred to
  • To protect you from accusations of plagiarism
  • To demonstrate your wide reading and research

When to reference: four questions to ask yourself

Question Answer Action
Are you using someone else's ideas, theories, or images? Yes Cite it
Are you quoting an author's words directly? Yes Place double quotation marks (") around the text and cite it
Are you paraphrasing or putting an idea into your own words? Yes Cite it
Are you using information that is considered common knowledge? (e.g. Canberra is the capital of Australia or the sun sets in the west) Yes No need to cite it

For more information on referencing at ACU, consult the Referencing Styles module in LEO prepared by Academics Skills Unit.

For commonly asked questions about Academic Referencing, go to the Academic Skills Unit page: Referencing FAQ.