What is referencing? Importance of referencing in academic context
20 Jul 2020
Learn importance of referencing in academic writing
So, you want to secure high marks? College time is the crucial time to think about how to score good grades and grab the wonderful opportunities for better future progress. For good marks, it is quite important to submit error-free work as your project submission. But, it is tough to write unique content in all your assignments, homework, and research work. Thus, students must acquire proper knowledge to make their work plagiarism free and unique. To make your work genuine, you need to understand the importance of referencing while composing your academic papers.
While composing your work especially your research work, you need to include many researcher’s works and require to refer credible sources for information such as articles, journals, research papers, or any book. Because writing particular content in your words may lead to misleading or incorrect information. Therefore, you have to understand the necessity of referencing while drafting your research papers. In this write-up, you will get detail information about the citations or referencing so that you can use them in the correct format.
What is referencing?
Referencing or citation is a method of identifying and acknowledging someone’s work that you have used in your research. Citation helps readers to make a proper connection between the information and its original source. The important factors you need to include while using referencing style are
The name of the author
Date of publication
Name and location of the publishing company
Title of the journal or name of the book
Title of the research or chapter’s name
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
Follow two basic methods for referencing: In first, you need to provide a brief reference of work in the body section known as “in-text citation” and in second, a detailed reference list is required to mention all references at the end of the paper (in a list format).
Purpose of referencing
Today, referencing become the most essential part of academic writing. It provides authenticity to students’ research work in which they put their effort and dedication.
It allows readers to locate the original sources of research work so that they can access the information or material and understand it in their way.
Citation helps to tackle plagiarism issues.
Referencing or citation styles
Referencing styles or citation styles are the various standard methods used to cite the original source of work. Refer to the below list to know some widely used citation styles:
American Psychological Association (APA)
Modern Language Association (MLA)
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Australian Guide to Legal Citation (AGLC)
American Medical Association (AMA)
Council of Science Editors/Council of Biology Editors (CSE/ CBE)
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
The last five referencing styles are rarely used but still required in some places. These styles depend on the terms of formatting, punctuation, and order of information. You will find the difference in both the level of citations (in-text citation and reference list). The use of citations reflects the discipline for which you are writing your documents. Furthermore, you need to follow the referencing style as per your academic institutions or publishers.
The numerous referencing styles follow two types of systems named as the documentary-note system and parenthetical system.
Documentary-note system: In this system, chronological numbers are used as in-text markers to either footnotes or endnotes or both in which a numeric digit usually placed after the full stop. The use of numeric digit in the reference list is not necessary as it totally depends on the specific referencing style.
Parenthetical system: In this system, the brief information of author and date (or page number as in MLA format) is used in in-text citation enclosed by parenthesis (round brackets). At the end of the papers, you will find the detailed reference list.
Let’s discuss some referencing styles in details to understand its usage
Harvard referencing style
Harvard is a commonly used citation style based on author-date and mainly used in the U.K. and Australia. There is no specific manual for this style. The use of punctuation and other formatting varies from institution to institution. We are using Charles Darwin University’s (CDU) Harvard Referencing Style guide 2016 version to explain the details of this style.
The parenthetical system of referencing is used in this style.
The name of author and year of publication is used in “in-text reference” and mentioned in round brackets. For example, (<author name><publication year>, <page number/s>). Use only the surname of the author and do not need to place a comma (,) between the author’s name and year of publication like (Dickinson 2002). If the page number is included, then write in the following format (Dickinson 2002, p 30). This referencing style is used in different subjects of humanities.
For the reference list, use a separate page to mention the detailed references at the end of the document and arrange all authors’ names in alphabetical order.
When you need to include more than one author, refer to the below format for both methods
For in-text citation: Only mention the surnames of the authors and use “&” to separate them. (<author #1 surname> & <author #2 surname> <Publication Year>)
Example: (Christie & Dickens 2009)
For the reference list: Use “&” to separate the late name and initials of the two authors. <Author#1 last name>, <author#1 first name/s initials> & <author#2 last name>, <author#2 first name/s initials> <Publication Year>, <title>, …
Example: Christie, Agatha & Dickens, Charles 2009, <title>, …
APA Referencing style:
There is a negligible difference between APA or American Psychological Association referencing style. APA is generally used in the USA. In this section, we are using the APA 6th edition Library guide for the University of Sydney. In both in-text and reference list, use double line spacing to mention the authors’ information in APA style. It is also known as an author-date based referencing style.
This style of referencing uses the parenthetical system.
Use the name of author and year of publication “in-text reference” and mention in round brackets. For example, (<author name>, <publication year>, <page number/s>). Use only the surname of the author and place comma (,) between the author’s name and year of publication like (Dickinson, 2002). If you include a page number, then write in the following format (Dickinson, 2002, p 30).
students can use this referencing style in different fields of social sciences and some other subjects including education, business, and nursing.
For the reference list, use a separate page to mention the detailed references at the end of the document and arrange all authors’ names in alphabetical order. Use double line spacing between each entry and place a full stop (.) to end each reference. Place year of publication in parenthesis.
When you need to include more than one author, refer to the below format for both methods
For in-text citation: Only mention the surnames of the authors and use “&” to separate them. (<author #1 surname> & <author #2 surname>, <Publication Year>)
Example: (Christie & Dickens, 2009)
For the reference list: Use “&” to separate the late name and initials of the two authors.
<Author#1 last name>, <author#1 first name/s initials>. & <author#2 last name>, <author#2 first name/s initials>, (<Publication Year>). <title>, …
Still, confused about the referencing styles? talk to our academic writers!
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