An important part of academic writing within Australian and other academic contexts is acknowledgement of the work of other people. The ideas and concepts that you use in your academic assignments while at university need to be acknowledged. In other words, you need to indicate to your readers which ideas belong to other authors by indicating the 'sources' of these ideas.
The term 'sources', as used here, refers to where these ideas and information come from. They are often readings from textbooks and journals, particularly ones that are part of your weekly readings. They may also be readings from other materials that you find. This could include materials from hard-copy books, or, very frequently, materials you have found in digital format online from a range of websites, both academic and less-academic ones.
Wherever your ideas come from and whatever the sources, it is important that you acknowledge these clearly and accurately each time. If you do not do this adequately, your writing may be considered to be a form of plagiarism and in some cases this could lead to your failing the assignment or even the unit. To avoid this, you must use referencing.