Did you just shudder after reading the title of this post? Besides GPA, SWOTVAC and Friday classes, referencing is probably the scariest word uttered by students. Referencing is something that you won’t get right the first time, I guarantee it. It’s just like learning to ride a bike or parallel parking; they take practice. However, having training wheels and reverse parking sensors to help you learn isn’t cheating… its just being resourceful!
Here are a few helpful resources you’ll need to be aware of as a SHE student tackling referencing.
- KNOW YOUR STYLE
There are so many different styles of referencing, that it can become overwhelming. The College of SHE contains 3000 Science, Health and Engineering students. Obviously, these varied disciplines are going to have to use different referencing techniques, so make sure you are clear on which one to use. In your first year, most SHE students use the APA 6 referencing style… but engineering students tend to use the IEEE referencing style. As you progress through your degree, you may be expected to use different referencing techniques so check your subject outlines for clarification.
An example of APA 6 from the Academic Referencing Tool I discuss in the next point:
- ACADEMIC REFERENCING TOOL
The Academic Referencing tool developed by La Trobe was is an unbelievable help that saves me a lot of time and stress. It removes the fear associated with referencing by giving examples for every possible style of referencing, research type and format. What is useful is examples are given for both in-text referencing and the reference list/bibliography. Even my friends from other universities have commented on how great it is… maybe we should keep it a bit more of a secret! Please, please, please, please check this resource out and save it in your bookmarks/favourites lib.latrobe.edu.au/referencing-tool/
- WHEN IN DOUBT, REFERENCE IT
Everything from prac reports to images on PowerPoint presentations need to be referenced in one way or another. Tutors/facilitators don’t expect you in your early years to be coming up with the next big idea since the theory of evolution. Therefore, it is likely that you will be commenting, discussing and critiquing ideas created by others in your assignments. You have to reference these concepts and this may mean citing every second sentence you write. Don’t panic, this is OKAY because it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- LA TROBE LIBGUIDE TO REFERENCING
Check out the La Trobe library guide to referencing latrobe.libguides.com/referencing. It explains what, when how and why we reference as well as examples of referencing in specific styles. It’s things you’re familiar with if you paid attention in class and when completing the AIM module!
- GOOGLE SCHOLAR ‘CITE’ TOOL
Type the title of your reference into Google Scholar. Before you click to view the reference itself, you will see a ‘cite’ button in the bottom right hand corner. This effectively does all the hard work for you as it cites your reference in a number of styles… which you can then copy/paste into your reference list!
I would only recommend using this once you understand your referencing style and can successfully cite on your own. Some subjects you’ll do as a SHE student will be focused on research and referencing. So, if you go straight to this tool, you could get stuck on an exam question that asks you how to correctly reference something!
Stay calm and and remember that it’s okay to completely fail at referencing when you start off. However, if you’re a second or third year student who still hasn’t mastered it, you could visit the Peer Learning Advisors in the library in addition to looking at the resources I’ve mentioned latrobe.edu.au/students/learning/drop-in-learning-support