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The A to Z of Referencing

Referencing is the practice of acknowledging the sources that you have used in your writing in a formal manner. Sources mean anything from where you get information such as books, journals, magazines, websites, lectures newspapers and legislations. Referencing demonstrates how much area you have covered in the field of research and aids your readers to trace and verify the existence of your sources. But there is a proper way to cite your references. Are you aware of the referencing style? If not, then read further.

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Various style of referencing

Every college and university tutor wants their students to follow the referencing style set by them. Following is the list of some referencing style explained in brief.

1.  Harvard referencing style:

The Harvard system is another name given to the Author-Date style of referencing and citation. The order of writing Harvard style referencing is Surname, Initial(s). Date. Title. Edition. Place of Publication: Publisher. (Series.)

2.  APA referencing style:

APA benchmark is mainly used in standardized scientific writing, especially in psychology, in many formats such as term papers, research papers and literature reviews. The order of APA referencing style is Surname, Initial(s). Date. Place of publication: publisher

3.  MLA referencing style:

This style is the most popular form of referencing among students of liberal arts and humanities. The order is Last name, First name. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication

4.  Chicago referencing style:

This format is preferred by humanities students in literature, history and other arts subjects. Here the order is: Author’s Last name, First name. Title: Subtitle. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication

Where to reference?

References should be mentioned at two places: in-text (that is, in your assignment itself using an author date system) and end-text (that is, in a ‘reference list or bibliography’ on a separate page at the end of the assignment)

1. In-text referencing:

Here are the examples of in-text referencing in various referencing styles —

  • Harvard referencing style –

A recent study (Seeley et al. 2011, p. 143) concluded that…
  • APA referencing style  –

(Gore, 2006)
  • MLA referencing style  –

Dover has expressed this concern (118 – 21)
  • Chicago referencing style  –

(Ogilvie 1998, 26-28)

2. End-text referencing:

Here are the examples of end-text referencing in various referencing formats —

  • Harvard referencing style –

Comfort, A. 1997. A good age. 2nd Edition. London: Mitchell Beazley
  • APA referencing style –

Gore, A. (2006). An inconvenient truth: The planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it. Emmaus, PA: Rodale
  • MLA referencing style –

Nabokov, Vladimir. Lolita. New York: Putnam, 1955. Print.
  • Chicago referencing style –

Thelen, Kathleen. How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

Essential tips on referencing to avoid plagiarism

  • Maintain a routine of recording bibliographic information and pages numbers at the time of usage.
  • Make sure you follow the same format of referencing throughout your writing.
  • To avoid the chances of plagiarism, try to separate your work that you have originally created from the notes made from other sources.
  • Cross-check your in-text references and end-text references whether they have corresponding entries.
  • Take plenty of time to make and proofread your references before the submission of your assignment.

Now, that you know the proper way to cite your sources and the various style of referencing, you can avoid plagiarism and present an authentic copy to your professor.

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