For many the hardest part about writing an academic article or essay is not the actual writing. More so, students struggle to get the referencing right. Here is a quick and easy Beginners Guide To Academic Referencing.
There are many apps and tools that exist to help you manage your references. These include:
Why do we need to reference?
When writing an assignment YOU MUST highlight your use of another author’s words and ideas. Referencing is important for the following reasons:
- Acknowledging an author for his/her ideas
- Supporting your arguments
- Allows the reader to look up the original source if they want to
- The reader is able to see when and where the author wrote the original source
- Proof that you have read up on the topic under study
- To avoid plagiarism
Different Referencing Styles
There are many forms of referencing. A lot of the time your institution will inform you of which one to use. Some of the different styles include:
American Psychological Association (APA)
This style allows for easy communication between the student and reader. Because it is clear and to the point. When a style works best, your ideas flow.
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Each entry, using this style, has the following key elements which fall in this specific order:
- Title of Source
- Title of Container (the larger source which holds the source you are using. For example an article is find within a journal)
- Other contributors
- Publication date
You can use this practice template to insert a reference using this style.
This form of referencing is a documentation style. And it was created by the University of Chicago. This style has two forms:
- Notes and bibliography
- Author date
Notes and Bibliography
Students studying art, history or languages like to use this style. For example:
Pollan, Michael. The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. New York: Penguin, 2006.
Scientists prefer to use this style, as the In-text referencing is more brief. At the end of the paper there is a reference list with full details. For example:
(Pollan 2006, 99–100)
Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
The Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is a professional organisation. This style includes in-text references numbered in square brackets. And a full list of references at the end of the paper.
NOTE: The reference list is in the order of it’s number not alphabetically.
This style uses footnotes and a bibliography. And was created by The University of Oxford. This type of referencing is very complex. But, there’s a style guide which breaks it down.
Harvard referencing is also known as the author-date style. And it is almost the exact same as the APA Style. But, there is no comma separating the author and date in the in-text referencing. For example: …common at the time (Jones 2005).
Difference between a Reference List and a Bibliography
It is very easy to confuse the two but there are some slight differences. Some institutions prefer a reference list, others a bibliography. But, there are institutions which ask for both.
A reference list is a detailed list of references that you have referenced in your actual text.
A bibliography includes the list of references you used. But, it also includes extra readings that you may have read through.
What is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is a serious academic offense. Consequently, you could get 0% for your assignment. You should know plagiarism comes in many forms:
- The act of presenting someone else’s ideas as your own without acknowledging them.
- Adding images to your assignment without saying where it came from.
- Not showing a quote as a quote.
- Summarising information without showing the original piece of information.
- Changing a few words in a sentence (paraphrasing) and not acknowledging the author.
Avoid Plagiarism, Seek Support
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