My Information Skills

Self-paced tutorials on research and study skills for TAFE SA students

Personal knowledge and common knowledge

The only sources that you do not need to reference are your own personal knowledge, and common knowledge.
You do not need to cite your own personal knowledge or discoveries you have made yourself. For example:
  • the number of people in your family
  • the things you did on your last holiday
  • the jobs that you have had
  • the results of an experiment you have done
  • an original thought you have had
  • a survey that you created and carried out

Any information which is common knowledge does not need to be cited. Common knowledge includes:

  • Facts that are generally well known. For example:
    • Canberra is the capital of Australia
    • The earth is round​
  • Common sense facts. For example:
    • Students who do not study are likely to fail
    • Public transport generally runs to a timetable​
  • ​​Proverbs, axioms, sayings and well-known quotations. For example:
    • The early bird catches the worm
    • I am the greatest