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Academic and Professional Communications: Writing and referencing

Academic & Professional Communications

Academic writing skills



The UniSkills platform is designed to help improve your academic assignment, study, numeracy and digital skills. Each module has a sequence of interactive lessons and exercises that can be done in any order that suits you.

What is referencing?

Referencing is a standardised method of acknowledging sources of information and ideas that you have used in your assignments, in a way that uniquely identifies their source.


Referencing is an important part of your academic work. Good referencing:

  • Demonstrates the depth and quality of your research
  • Provides evidence to support the arguments that you are making in your assignment
  • Assists the reader to locate the sources that you have referred to
  • Acknowledges the work of other researchers and helps to avoid plagiarism.

Referencing style guides

There are a number of referencing styles available. For this unit you will need to use either the APA 7th or Chicago 17th B (Author-Date) style. Please check with your tutor to see which one you are required to use.


To format your references refer to the appropriate Curtin Library referencing guide, which provide guidance and examples for in-text citations and reference list entries:


A note about EndNote

There are tools such as EndNote which can help you develop a research library and reference the sources you cite more easily. However, to use Endnote effectively you need to become familiar with your required referencing style. While EndNote will display references in your selected style, it is not able to recognise incorrect or missing data, so you need to be able to correct any mistakes or inconsistencies in your references. 

For this reason you are asked not to use EndNote for your research assignment or essay. Later in your studies, when you know your referencing style, you can explore the use of Endnote.