study pic 1


As you progress through your senior studies, you will be expected to grow your knowledge of the academic writing process. To assist you with this, we have included a number of resources on how to research and reference in an effective manner.


USC Library Guides: How to Research

Research Tips shows you how to access and use the USC Library Guides, which offer an amazing wealth of How-To options for all things assignments and research. Anyone can log into this site, free of charge. It is a resource that you should add to your Favourites straight away!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: how to find credible research resources

Check out this information put together by Danny Meloncelli, Analytical Chemist and Academic Skills Adviser at USC. You will never see research the same again!

What is referencing?

Referencing is a way to acknowledge where you have sourced the information that you use in your writing. A reference is also known as a citation.

Why is referencing important?

Referencing is a way to give credit to the writers from whom you have borrowed information and ideas. It is important to reference where you have found information, to add credibility to your work and to ensure you have not stolen ideas from other writers i.e. plagiarism.

Paraphrasing and plagiarism

When you are borrowing other ideas you must express those ideas in your own words; this is called paraphrasing. To avoid plagiarising another person’s work you must paraphrase their ideas into an original piece of writing.

Different styles of referencing

There are many different ways of citing resources from your research. The citation style sometimes depends on the academic discipline involved. For example:

  • APA (American Psychological Association) is used by Education, Psychology, and Sciences
  • Harvard is used primarily by university students

Using Harvard referencing

With Harvard referencing you must cite in text and in a reference list. The reference list will be at the very end of your work, much like a bibliography. In your reference list, you will include a full citation for every piece of work you have referenced (in text) throughout your written piece.

Harvard quick guides

The USC Harvard Quick Guide offers a wide variety of examples for referencing using the Harvard style.

And, for those of you who are keen to get your teeth into something a lot more meatier, the Harvard Referencing Handbook will give you a head start on your peers when it comes to getting ready for Tertiary-level academic writing.