Skip to content

Why do you need to reference?

There are many reasons why referencing is important, go to the Home page and check out the view points given in the short videos or check out the ideas listed below.

  • To distinguish your own ideas from those of someone else.
  • To cite different points of view.
  • To validate what you are writing, by referring to documented evidence. Published work for instance can be used to support your argument and add credibility to your writing.
  • To inform readers of the scope and depth of your reading.
  • To integrate information by assessing, comparing, contrasting or evaluating it, to show understanding.
  • To emphasise a position that you agree or disagree with.
  • To refer to other research that leads up to your study.
  • To highlight a pertinent point by quoting the original.
  • To enable readers to consult the original source independently. For instance the interpretation you give may be different from the one intended.
  • You must acknowledge the source of any information to avoid plagiarism.


Is the taking of another person's ideas, writings or inventions and using them as your own; put bluntly it is referred to as 'academic theft'. This is a serious offence and should not be taken lightly. The University of Auckland will penalise you and take disciplinary action. Re-wording / paraphrasing another person's work without citing the source is also considered plagiarism.

See The University of Auckland's guidelines on academic honesty and plagiarism.

Edit page