References in your Rationale

In your rationale for a creative response, you are expected to cite reputable sources both in your text and also in your bibliography. If you have read the Writing a Rationale page on Opening Class and are still unsure as to how or why you might use in-text references in your Rationale, check out some of the examples below.


You might refer to other texts that have inspired your writing, perhaps, or that have inspired the use of certain language techniques.

Here are two examples:

After reading A Letter to My Son (2015), a letter wherein Ta-Nehisi Coates shares his experiences of racial prejudice and inequality with his son, I was inspired to write from the perspective of a character that has faced discrimination.

On a recent trip to the National Gallery, I discovered Anne Wallace’s She Is – a painting depicting a woman writing on a mirror, appearing to be trying to prove her existence to herself. The artwork comments on self-identity, and the reliance on mirrors to provide truth in a world of illusions (National Gallery of Australia, 2021). 


You might refer to credible sources that explain how a language technique that you have used is likely to be beneficial for your piece.

Here are three examples:

By creating a character that is relatable and providing hope in what seems like a hopeless situation, the audience is positioned to feel inspired and empathetic, instead of feeling sorry for him (The Writers Practice, 2016)

I chose to incorporate mirrors as an extended metaphor throughout the piece, highlighting the central themes (MasterClass, 2020a) of illusions and reality, others and ourselves, and identity and truth. Each mirror is a different interpretation of the role or effect of mirrors on the individual and encourages the narrator to consider different perspectives.

According to psychologist Jean Piaget, a 2 to 7-year-old’s thoughts are based on perception, not logic (Berk, 2001). This means that as my protagonist is 5 years old, I need to ensure that the senses – touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste – are at the centre of my narrator’s focus.


If you are focusing on a theme and need to show that you have a sound knowledge of the theme, you can refer to reputable sources to bring credibility to your response. This is especially important if you are exploring the experiences of minorities or those with mental illnesses.

Here are two examples:

This mentality of ‘either/or’ has seeped into the political spectrum of the Western World, positioning political ideologies as opposing dogmas. The stark dichotomy contrived between left and right have radicalised populations to detest those with opposing affiliations and overstate differences to justify ideological purity (Talisse, 2019).

A report published by the Australian Parliament asserted  that youth imprisonment can be the catalyst of “a life cycle of reoffending” (Parliament of Australia, 2013). This statement is supported by data from a 2018 study, which showed that approximately 64% of incarcerated juvenile offenders are reconvicted for a separate offence within a year after their initial release. To follow, approximately 42% of incarcerated adult offenders are reconvicted within that same time frame (NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, 2020).

See also:

Writing a Rationale for a Creative Response