Understanding Referencing

This video will help you to understand

  • What referencing involves
  • The difference between referencing and citing
  • What you need to reference
  • And where you can look for information to include in your referencing

As you write your assignments you will find that you are including thoughts and ideas which you have come across in your reading.

This work is usually published in books, journal articles or on websites. When you use these ideas in your assignments, they become your sources of information. It is very important to acknowledge the sources you have used or mentioned in your work.

If you fail to do this, you could be penalised for plagiarism. Plagiarism is representing another person’s work or ideas as your own and includes using ideas without appropriate acknowledgement.

There are two ways to acknowledge your sources of information:

A Citation in the text of the document shows that the information comes from a published source.

A Reference list or Bibliography at the end of your assignment. This is where you provide full publication details of the sources of information you have used to write your assignment. This appears at the end of your assignment. A reference list only includes those authorities that have been cited in the document. A Bibliography is a complete list of all resources you have consulted about a topic and can also include sources that you have used to generate ideas or ‘read around’ a topic but may not have referenced in your assignment.

You need to reference every time you use another person’s work or ideas.

Quotations – When you use a phrase or sentence exactly as it appears in the published work you need to enclose the words in quotation marks and cite the original source.

Paraphrases –When you use the ideas from a source but express them in different words you must cite the original source.

Summaries – When the idea you are using in your argument is a summary of the main points you have read you must cite the original source.

So where do you find the information you need to create your citations and complete your reference list?

When you are preparing ideas for your assignment, it is essential to keep an accurate record of the sources you have used. This is especially so when you make a photocopy. Even if you are in a hurry to get back to class or to catch the bus, be sure to note the details of the book or journal on the photocopy. It’s not always possible to work out where you have found the information at a later stage. And if you don’t have this information, you won’t be able to use this material in your assignment.

A reference or citation consists of elements that allow the reader to trace the original book, book chapter or journal article.

A reference to a book generally requires the following information

  • The author’s name
  • The title of the book
  • The place of publication
  • The publisher name
  • And the year the book was published

You can find this information from the title page and the page following the title page in the book.

The record in Revelation can also provide this information.


A reference to chapter from a book or an article from an encyclopedia requires additional information to that of a book

  • The author of the article or chapter
  • The title of the article or chapter
  • The title of the book
  • The editor of the book
  • The place of publication
  • The publisher name
  • The year the book was published
  • And the page numbers of the article or chapter


A reference to a journal article requires

  • The name of the article’s author
  • The title of the article
  • The title of the journal
  • The volume and issue number of the journal
  • The year the issue was published
  • And the page numbers of the article

This information can be found in Revelation for online journal articles or in the journal issue for physical copies of journals.


If you’re looking for more information about referencing in Chicago style which is the preferred style for UTC, you can look online at the Chicago Manual of Style in the Library or the online version.

PDF iconUnderstanding Referencing

Referencing: Handy Tips

Here are some helpful tips about referencing.

Remember that the bibliography is the list of sources you have read for the purposes of your essay (whether or not you have included any quotes from them in your writing). They are listed at the very end of your essay.

The footnotes are located at the bottom of the page that your source is quoted on. Footnotes include page numbers, and the same information as their entries in the bibliography BUT the layout is different.

Know the difference between the layout of bibliography entry and a footnote. Here is a helpful link to the Chicago Manuals Of Style’s Citation Guide. On this webpage, under the different source types (i.e. book, website, eBook, article, etc), you will find the different layouts. This is a very valuable resource to have on hand and you may even want to print it out and tuck it into your laptop case for future reference.

Whether you choose to footnote with short or full notes is up to you, just be consistent. It is also possible to write the first reference to a particular source in full, then refer to that book in short notes for the rest of your paper. Just make sure you are consistent with each source.

Don't save writing your bibliography until you finish your essay. It is a boring and menial task, and one that easily drops off at the end of an assignment to-do list. It is much easier to start a Word document at the beginning of your research and add a reference every time you read a new source.

Also remember to insert footnotes as you write. It is almost impossible to do this well after writing an essay. It’s much easier to create footnotes as you write.

Insert a footnote in Word by clicking your cursor at the end of the quote you are including. Then click on the ‘reference’ tab at the top of your screen. Click the button below it that says ‘insert footnote’.

You will see that there is now a number by your quote and a number at the bottom of your page. Now you can type your footnote information beside the number at the bottom.

If the book you are writing about has been referenced in the assessment outline, you can copy and paste the text from the outline and then paste it into your Word document.

Alternatively, you can locate your book in the library catalogue “Revelation”, and then use the cite button at the right of the screen.

Revelation will bring up a list of the reference in various citation formats. Scroll down the list until you find Chicago, and copy and paste the text into your document. Make sure you double check all of the information to be sure it is correct.

Remember including citations and bibliography in your assignment will, in most cases, automatically gain you a few marks. Once you know the rules referencing is simple. Also, like anything else, practice makes perfect. It really will get easier.

If you need help with referencing, please make an appointment with the Study Skills Tutor.

Chicago Manual of Style - Citation Guide


Ethical Use of Information

Why is there all this fuss about plagiarism and referencing?

All academic writing builds on the ideas of other writers. As you write your assignments you will find yourself including thoughts and ideas which you have come across in your reading. It is important to use this knowledge ethically. This means knowing how and when to give credit for ideas you have taken from others. The way to do this is to appropriately cite, or reference, these sources in order to avoid plagiarism.

Plagiarism comes from the Latin word ‘plagarius’, which means ‘to kidnap’. It is defined as paraphrasing another person’s work and presenting it as one’s own, either accidentally or intentionally. Universities and lecturers take such activities very seriously. Lecturers at CSU are able to use software called “turnitin” if they suspect you of plagiarising the ideas of others. Turnitin is a text matching service that checks for potential referencing errors by comparing assignments to billions of pages of content on the internet, in books, newspapers, scholarly journals, magazines, and student papers.

If you are found guilty of plagiarism there are academic penalties involved.

How do you stop yourself from being guilty of ‘kidnapping’ the ideas of others?

  • Have you directly copied sentences, paragraphs, or other excerpts from someone else’s published work, including from an internet website, without acknowledging the source?
  • Have you paraphrased someone else’s words without acknowledging the source?
  • Have you used facts and information derived from a source without acknowledging the source?

More information for students about turnitin can be found here.


Referencing Chicago Style: Quick Tips

General information

Common elements: All entries in the bibliography will include the author (or editor, compiler, translator), title and details of publication.

Author’s names: The author’s name is reversed in the bibliography, placing the last name first and separating the last name and first name with comma; for instance, Ali Maamiry becomes Maamiry, Ali.

Titles: Titles of books, journals are italicized. Titles of articles, chapters, poems, etc. are placed in quotation marks (“).

Publication information: The year of publication is listed after the publisher or journal name.

Punctuation: In a bibliography, all major elements are separated by periods.


Book Citation

Work of individual author or editor

Elements: Author Surname, Given name(s). Book Title: Subtitle (in italics). Place: Publisher, Year.

Example: Muir, Elizabeth Gillian. A woman's history of the Christian church: two thousand years of female leadership. Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2019.

Work of multiple authors or editors

Elements: Author Surname, Given name(s), Author(s) Given name(s) and Surname(s). Book title: Subtitle(in italic). Place: Publisher, Year.

Two Authors or more

Examples: Long, Thomas G, and Leonora Tubbs Tisdale. Teaching preaching as a Christian practice; a new approach to homiletical pedagogy. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.

More than four authors

List all the authors in the bibliography and only the first author in notes.

Editor, compiler or translator instead of author

Lattimore, Richmond, trans. The Iliad of Homer. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951.

Editor, compiler or translator in addition to author

Long, Thomas G. The witness of preaching. Translated by Lee Woo Je and Whang Eui Mu. Sŏul-si: Kidokkyo Munsŏ Sŏn'gyohoe, 2006.

Citing chapters in a book

Elements: Author Surname, Given name(s) (chapter author). ” Title: Subtitle (of chapter).” In Book title: Subtitle editor (s) name (s).” (page number(s)). Place: Publisher, Year.

Lienhard, Marc. “Luther, Martin”. In Encyclopedia of Christian Theology volume 2, edited by Jean-Yves Lacoste, 958-964. New York: Routledge, 2005.

Electronic books

If the book is available in more than one format, cite the consulted format. For the book consulted online cite the URL.

Elements: Surname, Given name(s). Title: Subtitle. Place: Publisher, Year.

Example: González, Justo L. Church history: an essential guide. Nashville: Abingdon Press. 1996. Accessed 20 October 2020. http://eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=3&sid=4ddc02b9-2e71-435....


Journal Article Citation

Journal article (Printed)

Elements: Author Surname, Given name(s). “Title: Subtitle.” Journal title (in italic), volume number, Issue number (Year): page range.

Example: Stirling, Ian. “Deep silences: reclaiming silence as a locus of the sacred.” Practical Theology 13, 3 (2020): 259-276.

Journal article (Electronic)

Elements: Author Surname, Given name(s). “Title: Subtitle.” Journal title (in italic), Volume number, Issue number (Year): page number(s). DOI or URL (Accessed date)

Example: Ma, Wonsuk. “The Holy Spirit in Pentecostal Mission: The Shaping of Mission Awareness and Practice.” International Bulletin of Mission Research, 41, 3 (2017): 227-238. Accessed February 28, 2020. doi:10.1177/2396939317704757.


Thesis Or Dissertation Citation

Elements: Surname, Given name(s). “Thesis title: subtitle.” Award. Institution issuing degree, Year.

Example: Evans, Donald C. “"Unity in Faith and Mission": a creative response to tension and diversity within the Uniting Church in Australia (U.C.A.) in New South Wales.” PhD diss. San Francisco Theological Seminary, 1993.


Conference Paper

Elements: Surname, Given name(s) “title: subtitle.” meeting/conference name, Place, date (m/d/y).

Example: Adelman, Rachel. “Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made On: God’s Footstool in the Aramaic Targumim and Midrashic Tradition.” Paper presented at the annual meeting for the Society of Biblical literature, New Orleans, Louisiana, November 21-24, 2009.



A citation to website content can often be limited to a mention in the text or note, but if more information desired can be cited as follows:

Example: Google. “Google Privacy Policy.” Last modified March 11, 2009. http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacypolicy.html.