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Pacific Islands Studies: Referencing

On this page

Citation Styles

Why we reference

Managing references

Help with writing


Citation Styles

You must acknowledge the sources of information you use in your assignments.

If you are unsure which style to use to cite your sources:

  • read your course outline
  • check if your paper has an assignment writing guide
  • ask your lecturer or tutor

One common style used in Te Tumu papers is Harvard. Harvard is an author-date style, with in-text citations and a reference list in alphabetical order. Find out more about how Harvard and other citation styles work on the Referencing / Citation Styles guide.

Why we reference

Referencing acknowledges the sources you use in your work. You must reference all sources including

  • words and ideas
  • websites and images
  • videos and audio
  • statistics, facts and figures

Good referencing gives credibility to your writing and enables the reader to locate the sources you refer to. If you do not cite the source of your information then you can be accused of plagiarism. Examples of plagiarism include: 

  • Paraphrasing or rewording someone else's work and presenting it as your own
  • Using someone else's original ideas or data without citation
  • Re-using your old essays and representing them as new

Follow the links below for more information about plagiarism or see the University of Otago Academic Integrity website.

Managing references

The easiest way to manage references is to use reference management software.

These types of software can:

  • store, organise, and format references
  • insert citations into Word documents
  • automatically generate a reference list or bibliography

Commonly used reference managers include:

Help with writing

The Pacific Islands Centre run extra tutorials, supervised study nights and an academic mentoring programme for Pacific students. 

Register via the Pacific Islands Centre Website.


Student Learning Development also runs study sessions and programmes to help with writing, and their website is loaded with study skills and tip sheets including:

Visit the Student Learning Development website for more.