Stress less about referencing with these tips from the ALC

Are you dreading assessment submissions? Feeling anxious any time you think about Turnitin? You’re not alone! Referencing Related Stress (RRS) is a common condition among university students. It’s piling on unnecessary pressure and we need it to stop.

Lucky for all of us, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) has the perfect remedy – a concoction of tips to help you cure RRS and stress less about referencing.

Before we get started, take a a deep breath. You can do this. With a calm and systematic approach, and a little practice, you can master referencing.



#1. Learn how to use a referencing guide

Referencing guides are filled with information to help you get your referencing right. Take some time to read the referencing guide for the style your coordinator has chosen. Check your unit profile to confirm the style and then visit this webpage to find the right referencing guide.



#2. Always, always, always reference as you go

Leaving your references until the last minute will only cause stress and panic. Take down the details for each reference, including a link back to the article in case you’ve missed something, and write your reference list as you go.



#3. Read the feedback (and take it on-board)

Assignment markers give feedback to help you improve. If you receive feedback about your referencing, take note and avoid the same errors next time. Nobody wants to lose unnecessary marks. Successful students allow themselves to learn from their mistakes and are always building on their skills.



#4. Attend a workshop

The ALC runs a number of on-campus and ZOOM workshops on referencing. Why not join us, get direct feedback and practice your referencing skills with our help? To find out about workshops near you, click here.



#5. Consider the reasons why referencing is important

Plagiarism is using someone else’s work as your own without acknowledging the source. You will often be expected to draw on the ideas of others and sometimes even quote their exact words, but to do so without acknowledgment is academic dishonesty and cheating. Always reference correctly to avoid plagiarism. If you have any doubts, ask the ALC.



Don’t let Referencing Related Stress (RRS) get the better of you.  For more information about referencing and a wealth of other useful resources, visit the ALC Moodle site.

Mae Swarbrick (

Mae Swarbrick is a current student, studying part-time in the Bachelor of Business/Bachelor of Arts, and working full-time as Student Communications Officer. Mae's ongoing experience as a current student is invaluable in her role as leader of the Student Communications team. Combine this with practical experience in the call centre, Admissions and Student Communications teams, and she’s ready to share some first-rate uni hacks for new students. Follow Mae on #How2Uni.

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