Even if you don't plan on going to University or TAFE, understanding what referencing is and why it is done, is important. At the very least, it will help you determine whether a source is worth looking at, or even whether a claim is worth believing.
So... it is definitely not a waste of time!
What is referencing?
Referencing is a written method of telling people which sources and authors you used in your work.
Generally, it includes the following details:
Who? ...author/creator (e.g editors, individuals and organisations).
When? ...date of publication or, for websites, the date you viewed it.
What? ...type of resource (format, title).
Where? ...publisher, place of publication, web address.
Do I have to reference everything?
No, you don't have to reference 'common knowledge', such as So your reader/teacher can find or check the sources you used.
To give due credit to authors/creators.
To avoid plagiarism and breach of copyright.
What should I reference?
Any idea, opinion, fact or visual or audio representation created by somebody else, and used by you in your assignment.
This could be:
A direct quote: a sentence copied from a book/article, or the exact words someone said.
A summary/mention of someone's argument or idea.
These could come from any number of source types, such as articles, websites, books, audio recordings...
Reference list generators
There is no longer a need to write reference lists entirely by hand.
Several websites, apps and even entire software applications are available to help you quickly generate a flawless reference list. We recommend Scribbr's APA citation generator, which is free and easy to use.