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.

This module introduces you to reading techniques, evaluating the sources you have found, reading critically, and note taking.

This module introduces you to the different styles of writing, the structure and mechanics of sentences, how to use punctuation effectively, the elements involved in essay writing, and how to edit and proofread your assignment.

This module guides you through the basics of paraphrasing, summarising and quoting in your academic work.


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 sources. Direct quotations, facts and figures, as well as ideas and theories, from both published and unpublished works, must be referenced.

Why reference?

  • Acknowledges the works of other researchers and helps avoid plagiarism
  • Gives sources for ideas for a paper i.e. you can build on the works of others
  • Provides evidence to support the arguments that you are making in your assignment
  • Shows the credibility of your sources and strengthens your arguments
  • Allows other readers to be able to look at the exact copy you have used

APA 7th referencing guide

For this unit you will need to reference your sources using the Library’s APA 7th referencing guide. The guide contains examples of in-text citations and reference list entries.

Learn how to reference tables and figures (any type of illustration or image e.g. graphs, charts, maps, drawings or photographs) in the APA 7th style.

See our handy checklist which highlights some points to pay attention to when editing your in-text citations and reference list.

See an example of a reference list produced in the APA 7th style.

Provides style and grammar guidelines for APA 7th. Includes a blog with tips for using the style.

Authors citing other authors (secondary citation)

It can be confusing to know who to give credit to when you are referring to a scholarly source in your assignment. Scholarly sources often include many in-text citations to provide supporting evidence for their research. In most cases, you only need to provide an in-text citation and reference list entry for the source you are using. However, there are some instances where you need to provide credit to the supporting source.

Watch this video for more information: Citing secondary sources

APA referencing quiz

This short interactive tutorial and quiz should take 10-15 minutes to complete.