Get Instant Help From 5000+ Experts For

Writing Get your essay and assignment written from scratch by PhD expert

Rewriting: Paraphrase or rewrite your friend's essay with similar meaning at reduced cost

Editing:Proofread your work by experts and improve grade at Lowest cost

And Improve Your Grades
Phone no. Missing!

Enter phone no. to receive critical updates and urgent messages !

Add File

Error goes here

Files Missing!

Please upload all relevant files for quick & complete assistance.

Guaranteed Higher Grade!
Plagiarism checker
Verify originality of an essay
Get ideas for your paper
Plagiarism checker
Cite sources with ease

The A to Z of Referencing

blog author name

Would people believe you if you simply say, “I know this road goes to that market”However, if you say, “My father told me” – you have added valuable credit which is convincing to your friends. That is what referencing is about! Adding the right referencing format ensures you are adding credit to all the people from whom you have taken inspiration and information to build your work; thus, making it more genuine and trustworthy.

The Importance & Purpose of Referencing

Referencing is the technique to acknowledge authors from whom you have taken ideas and language. You acknowledge and respect the author’s intellectual property rights by using their work as a source. You can use any of the millions of thoughts, perceptions, and arguments made public by other authors, many of whom have devoted years to research and writing, as a student or academic. All you have to do is thank them for their assistance with your assignment. Also, in order to avoid plagiarism, referencing is your shield. But how to use it – this manual will guide you in this blog.

What is a Bibliography? Formatting Guidelines for a Bibliography

A bibliography is a record of writings (such as books and articles) on a specific topic or published by a specific author. 

In particular, there are 3 different types of annotations serving the purpose of bibliography

  • Descriptive annotations that provide a summary of the work.  
  • Evaluative annotations that basically criticize include quality-based judgments of the work.
  • Combination annotations that summarize and evaluate the work of another author.

The primary goal and advantage of creating a bibliography is to prevent plagiarism. Another goal of the bibliography is to let the reader verify the information in the compiled bibliography.
If you give credit or a source at the end of your work for the quote and earlier expressed opinion, readers might learn where statements and comments have come from.

You can format your bibliography using the  MLA Format or APA Format as a template.

For that, you must use the last name of the author, and alphabetize the sources. 

If a source has multiple authors, start with the first one and go down the list. If a source’s creator is not known, alphabetize it by the title.

What are Citations? Definition and Types

A citation often contains the author’s name, the date, the place where the publication was published, the name of the journal, or a DOI (Digital Object Identifier).

The information required for a citation, its arrangement, punctuation, and other formatting are all determined by the citation style.

Citations let you give credit to others for their creative and intellectual works that you used to support your research. Additionally, it can be used to track down specific sources and prevent plagiarism.

First of all there are two basic approaches to citation you will work on –

  • In-text citations 
  • Endnotes or footnotes 

Based on these the popular styles of citation you will find are –

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Chicago Manual of Style

Find below and learn more on the citation techniques –

Guidelines for In-Text Citations

In APA Style in-text citation –

‘…he mentioned the galaxy as a dream.’(Parker, 2005, p. 16)

Further, here are rules you must follow for in-text citation –

  • Always use Arabic numerals (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
  • Prefer using either square [ ] or curved brackets ( )
  • Include superscripts if you want alter with brackets 
  • Add reference numbers to the left or inside of colons and semicolons.
  • Reference numbers are generally placed outside or after full stops and commas
  • Whatever format you choose, it is important that the punctuation is consistently applied to the whole document.

Here are some examples –

In-text citation with round brackets:

…as one villager has put it “the darkest days still remains”. (1)

In-text citation with square brackets:

…as one villager has put it “the darkest days still remains”. [1]

In-text citation with superscript:

…as one villager has put it “the darkest days still remains”.1


Shawn1 argues about the ….

The 101 of Referencing You Need to Keep in Mind

  1. Author-Date Referencing Style
  2. Definition and characteristics

People who work in the physical, natural, and social sciences are the ones who typically employ the Author-Date citation format.

Here is the how the format looks like – (authors last name(s) year of publication, page numbers)

Meanwhile, the bibliography page will also include a complete reference for the source.

All bibliographic sources must have the year of publication given after the author’s name in the Author-Date reference format. This makes it simpler to locate the proper full source from a text citation.

Elements of Author-date referencing 

  • Author or authoring organisation’s name
  • Publishing date
  • Title (and series or issue details)
  • Publisher details
  • Accessed date (for digital content)

Now, let’s delve deeper into this format.

In-text citations

The author’s name and the publication date are included in an in-text reference. The date must always be enclosed in brackets. Don’t use a comma to separate the name and date.

For example – Shawn (2002) supported the statement.

For more than 2 authors

Include both authors’ names in the in-text citation for a work with two authors.

For example – Rose and Shawn (2002) supported the statement.

Note – For a resource with 3 or more authors, include the first author’s name plus put the Latin term ‘et al.’ However, don’t use italics for ‘et al.’

Also, all authors’ names must be included in the reference list.

For example – Jason et al. (2008) reported a change.

Page numbers

Include page numbers in the in-text citation only when the work includes pages and you are including a direct quotation. The date and page numbers should be separated by a colon.

For example –

 ‘These were unexpectedly identical species’ (Green and Smith 2010:23–24).

Green and Smith (2010:23–24) claimed that these were ‘unexpectedly identical species’.

Examples of Author-Date Referencing

  1. Book

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

  • Lee, Bob, and Jacob Fishman. 2008. The Silence. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • Adams, Amy. 2012. Time is Running. New York: Penguin Press.

In-text citations

  • (Bob and Fishman 2008, 12)
  • (Amy 2012, 315–16)
  1. E-book

Reference list entries (in alphabetical order)

  • Edger, Paul. 2007. Pride of Life. New York: Penguin Classics. Kindle.
  • Frank, Brooke. 2010. A Guide to Research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ProQuest Ebrary.
  • Marlin, Philip B., and John Steve, eds. 1967.The School of Protest. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

In-text citations

  • (Edger 2007, chap. 8)
  • (Frank 2010, 89)
  • (Marlin and Steve 19867, chap. 12, doc. 19)
  2. Overview and features

In order to make reading scientific writing easier for readers to understand, a group of psychologists, anthropologists, and business managers got together in 1929 and set out to create a straightforward set of processes, or style guidelines, known as APA style.

APA style defines requirements for written communication with regard to:

  • How to organize content 
  • Write in a particular style 
  • Cite sources
  • Format a paper for publication in a particular field

Writing in accordance with APA guidelines will do the following:

  • Provide readers to focus better on your discussed ideas without distracting them with unnecessary formatting. 
  • You can establish your credibility in the chosen topic/field by demonstrating an awareness of your audience/readers and their needs as fellow researchers too.
  • Provide readers with understandable resources they can use to follow your ideas more efficiently and locate information of interest to them.

The general APA format is –

  • 1 inch page margins on all sides. 
  • Double-space all text, including headings. 
  • Keep indentation of the first line of every paragraph to 0.5 inches. 
  • Preferable fonts are – Times New Roman 12pt., Arial 11pt., or Georgia 11pt.

Here is the APA format for a title page – 

  • Title of  the paper
  • Name of an author or each author of the paper (the by-line)
  • Affiliation for each of the author/contributors (name of the  university attended and the department)
  • Section for course number & name
  • Instructor/Guide name 
  • Due date of the assignment  (for example, July 4, 2023)
  • Page number

If you preparing for a professional APA paper, it will include:

  • Title of the paper/content
  • Name of each author of the paper (the by-line)
  • Affiliation for number of the author
  • Author’s note
  • Running head
  • Page number

Note – The paper title must be bold, centred, and written in ‘title case’ for both academic and professional works. Moreover, ensure that about three to four lines should separate it from the top margin of the page.

Examples of APA Referencing

Keep the following things in mind when using the APA style in your paper:

  • The author-year approach used by the APA style eliminates the need for footnotes when citing sources.
  • Depending on the number of authors of a source as well as the distinction between brief references in the text and comprehensive references in the reference list, there are multiple sets of guidelines for quoting in APA style.

Now, let’s understand the above through the example below –

  1. Basic Format for a Book:

Format for Reference List – Authors’ Last name, First Initial. (Year).Title of the book: Subtitle. (Edition). Publisher.

Example – Parker, T. (2009).How philosophy can help in daily life?. University of Chicago Press. 

Format for In-text  (Author, Year)

(Parker, 2009)

How to apply for two authors –

Reference List: Russell, T. E., & Dan, J. H. (2010). Promoting creative exercises in kindergarten

In-text: (Russell & Dan, 2010)

Note – For more than two authors, mention the initial author’s name followed by “et al.” in every citation. The purpose of doing it is to create less ambiguity between different sources. 

For example: (Andrew et al., 1997)

For Theses & Dissertations

Format – Author Last Name, First Initials. (Year). Title of dissertation or thesis (Publication No. if available) [Doctoral dissertation, Name of the Institution].Database Name. URL, (if available)

Example: Markle P.H. (2022).Threats of AI in Learning(Publication No. etd-022345-162743) [Doctoral dissertation, Oxford University]. Digital WPI

Here are some other popular examples as well –

Format for a Print Version of an Article: 

Last name, First Initial(s).(Year, Month Day). Title of the Article. Magazine/Journal/Newspaper Title, Volume number (Issue number), Page numbers.

Example of a Magazine Article:

 Russell, J.(2017,June).The spirit of morning yoga. Vogue Magazine, 40(1901), 31-40. 

 Example of a Journal Article:

Davis, K. L., Frank, T. R., Gray, M. K., & Catherine, P. (2009). Gender differences in school. Journal of Education Counselling, 94, 158-161.

  2. Overview and usage

Since its initial publication in 1906, the University of Chicago Press has consistently published The Chicago Manual of Style, an American English usage and style manual. It is now extensively utilised in many academic fields and is regarded as the benchmark for US publishing style.

In the Chicago style, there are two types of author-date citations: 

  • Notes and bibliography

To be specific, the approach of notes and bibliography style is mainly used by the faculty of humanities. Footnotes or endnotes are used for citations, and a Chicago-style bibliography with a complete list of your sources is included at the end.

  • Author-Date 

Science is the main field that uses author-date style. It makes use of in-text parenthetical citations, which are always followed by a reference list at the end.

Here are some pointers on how Chicago style is used –

  • Chicago prefers double quotation marks (“xyz”); 
  • In Chicago style, periods and commas go inside closing quotation marks, “xyz,”
  • Chicago uses dashes with no space before or after ‘—like this’. 
  • In spelling factor, Chicago prefers the spellings at

Title of Dictionary, ed. First name, Surname (if known), number edition. (Location: Publisher, Year of publication), s.v. “Entry’s Title,” Inclusion of URL if entry is from an online source.

Examples of Chicago Referencing

Format of Note (N):

First name Last name, Book’s Title (Place of Publication: Name of Publisher, Publication Year), page number.

ExampleMarlin Smith, Place of Culture (New York: Penguin, 2008), 271.

Bibliography (B):

Last Name, Firstname. Title of Book. Place of Publication: Publisher’s Name, Publication Year.

Example – Marlin Smith, Place of Culture. New York: Penguin, 2008.

  1. MLA Style

The Modern Language Association was formed as a way for the academic intuitions, the students, and upcoming researchers in the field of language and literature. The initiative was meant to structure their papers and assignments consistently. The end goal was to make the assignments simple to read. 

Just like the other format you have seen above, MLA uses a two-part system –

  • In-text citation: short parenthetical citations, embedded within the text of the essay itself.
  • Another is a “Works Cited” list that follows up the references with complete details of the sources, but in an alphabetical order. 

Examples of MLA in-text citation – 

For the format, first put the author’s last name and then the page number from which you have taken the quotation or the pharse.

For example: (Evan 167). 

Examples of MLA References –

Dolce, Abbey M., et al. “Importance of Foreign Languages.” Journal of  Cultural Studies, vol. 23, no. 4, 2018, pp. 255-259.


Another Author-Date citation format is the Harvard system. The list of references is in alphabetical order at the end of your paper, and it emphasises the name of the author of each piece of information and the date of publication.

Unlike other citation formats, Harvard Style doesn’t have a single, unchangeable version. As a result, elements like punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and the usage of italics may vary. 

Now, Harvard referencing is used in two places in a piece of writing: 

  • In the text and 
  • In a reference list at the end. 

Generally speaking, every author whose name occurs in the text must also be listed in the references, and every work listed in the references must also be mentioned in the main text.

 Examples of Harvard Referencing

  • In-text citation –Without referencing a paper is a lie (Evans and Shawn, 2022).
  • Reference list entry – Evans, R. and Shawn, G. (2022) Know About Citation: The essential guideline. 9th edn. London: MacMillan.

What is DOI (Digital Object Identifier)?

The DOI method has recently gained a lot of popularity. It serves as a special code for a digital document. Because DOIs are more enduring than URLs and guarantee that your reader can accurately discover the source, they are crucial for academic referencing.

Just like an ISBN number on a book, these identifiers follow the digital item no matter where it goes. The documents like multimedia, online books, research reports, etc., all fall in this category.

Significance of DOI 

The DOI(s) broaden the audience for and influence of your work. Hence, in order to precisely identify specific works and more reliably connect those works to their authors and producers, publishers, repositories, aggregators, indexers, and providers of research and academic profiles now rely on DOIs. Metadata and details about particular works are also increasingly linked to DOIs.

How to Include DOIs in References?

Here is an example of how to use DOI in references –


Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Date of publication). Title of article. Journal’s Title, volume number, page range.


Stanlie, D. (2010). Effective Communication: Finding New Trends. American Journal of Communication, 41(11/12),
          1245-1283. doi:10.1108/03090560710821161

Guidelines for Referencing Online Materials

Here is a list of step you must follow for referencing online materials –

  • Author’s name (if known)
  • Date of publication or latest revision (if available), in parentheses (year/ month/day)
  • Document title
  • Title of the complete work in the style of italics
  • Include the term “retrieved” followed by the date you accessed the source
  • Next, add the word “from” followed by the URL of the source site

Examples of Referencing Electronic Sources

The content on this page is taken from 2 manuals published by the IUP writing centre –

Henry, D. An Author’s Reference. (2013). (6th ed.) Boston: St. Martin’s.

Harnack, A. & Keppner, E. (1997). Online! A guide to apply referencing for internet sources. New York: St. Martin’s.


Use of referencing is just like taking a measure against copyright issues. Today, the threat of copying others’ work has become common, since the availability of data is transparent.

But, when you develop the sense of authenticity, you will realise, the skill of referencing can make your work more credible. 

Hence, apply the reference guidelines of APA, MLA, Chicago and their techniques, so that readers know you have provided the due credit to everyone for borrowing their ideas to heighten your work.

Hi, I am Mark, a Literature writer by profession. Fueled by a lifelong passion for Literature, story, and creative expression, I went on to get a PhD in creative writing. Over all these years, my passion has helped me manage a publication of my write ups in prominent websites and e-magazines. I have also been working part-time as a writing expert for for 5+ years now. It’s fun to guide students on academic write ups and bag those top grades like a pro. Apart from my professional life, I am a big-time foodie and travel enthusiast in my personal life. So, when I am not working, I am probably travelling places to try regional delicacies and sharing my experiences with people through my blog. 

Related Post

Join our 150К of happy users

Get original papers written according to your instructions and save time for what matters most.

Order Now
Plagiarism checker
Verify originality of an essay
Get ideas for your paper
Plagiarism checker
Cite sources with ease
sales chat
sales chat