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Researching and Referencing: Referencing Skills

This guide provides support to staff and students on research skills, referencing, study and writing skills and digital literacy

Bibliographies and Referencing

Several referencing styles have been developed over the years to record details of the sources you have used for your work. Examples include Harvard and American Psychology Association (APA) which are known as author date systems. Other styles include Chicago, MLA, Oxford and Vancover.

Different subject areas tend to use different styles. For instance, sociology subjects tend to use APA, business based courses tend to use Harvard, and some arts courses use Chicago.

Even within these styles you will find different versions. APA follows an official manual and will be fairly consistent around the world. Harvard, however has no such rule book and you will find different versions at every university.

TAFE NSW has made the decision we will only use Harvard or APA 7 and we have provided a consistent version of the styles to use across TAFE NSW. An exception is AGLC for Legal Studies courses.

Check with your teacher which style is the correct one for your course.

It's important that you check any citations that you might find via a citation generator or from a database against the TAFE NSW guidelines versions.

If you go on to study at other educational institutions or universities, you will need to make sure you follow the exact referencing style for your teaching department (again, check with your teacher when you start your course). The principles will be the same, but the format will probably be different from what you are used to in TAFE NSW!

For help with using the Harvard and APA 7 referencing guides, please contact your local library.

Information or ideas from other people's work used in the writing of your essays or reports must be acknowledged.

Why should I reference my work?

  • It demonstrates that you have researched and considered the ideas of others in developing your argument.
  • It provides the person marking the work with the specific names, dates and location of the information sources that you have used.
  • It ensures that you are not guilty of plagiarising.

bibliography or reference list is a complete list of all the books, articles, and other information sources you have read or used to help you write your essay or assignment. It should be arranged alphabetically by the author's surname.

What's the difference between a bibliography and a reference list?
A bibliography is a list of all the resources that have been read in the research of your assignment, but not necessarily used.  A reference list includes only the resources that have been used and cited in your assignment.

Note that APA does not use bibliographies, only reference lists

  • Record details as you take notes (e.g. author, title, year)
  • Record the URL or web address for websites.
  • Use the library catalogue to get details of books and DVDs. 
  • Write down the page number where you found useful information.
  • When quoting - use " " to show exact wording for in-text citations.

Learn more about referencing in the following tutorials.

Referencing Resources

There are many citation generators available for APA 7 and Harvard, but caution should be taken as they will not exactly match the TAFE NSW referencing guidelines.

Oxford referencing system
Also known as the documentary-note method.

The Vancouver system was first published by the Vancouver Group and was named after it. This style of referencing is mainly used in medicine and was further developed by the National Library of Medicine (US).





Annotated Bibliographies

How to do Bibliographies and Referencing in TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW citation generator

Fill in the details of the sources you use in your work and the citation generator will give you a citation that matches the TAFE NSW guidelines.
Start by clicking a link below to enter your own item and make a citation.


TAFE NSW print guides

Use the links below for a full text printable guide to the referencing standards of TAFE NSW.

Other Relevant LibGuides