Why is referencing important?

Referencing is an important part of writing at university because it adds to the shared knowledge of all involved in an academic area. Using others' ideas in your academic writing without appropriate acknowledgement is regarded as a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Referencing also enhances your writing and assists your readers by:

  • Showing the breadth of your research
  • Strengthening your academic argument
  • Demonstrating your understanding of academic requirements
  • Acknowledging and rewarding others for their contribution
  • Showing the readers the sources of your information
  • Allowing your readers to consult your sources independently
  • Allowing readers to verify your information.

Important note: By using referencing appropriately you will avoid plagiarism, which is falsely claiming someone else's words or ideas as your own.