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Get Help with Academic Referencing Styles

Academic referencing styles are utilized to acknowledge the source of material in your work that you have utilised. It aids the reader's understanding of how you drew on the work of others to create your thoughts and arguments.

Significance of Academic Referencing

The following are some of the advantages of mastering the art and science of academic referencing for students and other users:

  • It increases your writing abilities by paraphrasing, summarizing, and quoting other people's work as reference. It also includes doing extensive research and drafting draughts. All of these abilities aid in developing your writing abilities and provide you with a distinct writing style.
  • You gain knowledge on a wide range of topics, including You obtain a competitive advantage and applying what you've learned in the classroom to real-life situations.
  • It demonstrates accountability and maturity: Using other people's work and crediting them demonstrates maturity and honesty.
  • It aids in developing an authoritative research voice: You can constructively criticise or agree with others' viewpoints. This allows you to fill in any gaps in your study. As a result, you'll be able to defend your work with confidence.
  • It makes it easy for users to acquire information from its source. For confirmation, the cited work can be easily consulted.

Types of Referencing Style

APA referencing style

The APA referencing style is an Academic referencing styles. They have established a widely approved style of writing papers and referencing that is employed in the scientific and social scientific communities.

MLA referencing style

The MLA referencing style is a citation or citing format for literature, language, liberal arts, and other humanities-related subjects. The style includes a cross-referencing system that allows users to find information about a source's publication.

Harvard referencing style

In Harvard referencing style, the author/date methodology is adopted. The name of the author(s) followed by the publication date is how sources are mentioned within the body of your assignment. All other information about the publication can be found in the bibliography or a list of references at the conclusion.

MHRA referencing style

The MHRA referencing style is a set of referencing requirements often used in humanities disciplines. Sources are cited in footnotes in the MHRA, which are denoted by superscript numbers in the text. The author's last name and the page number are frequently all that remain in subsequent citations of the same source.

Tools & Resources for Referencing


As a research student, you'll need all of the citation tools you can use. Zotero is a free reference manager that helps you keep track of your research.You may attach research notes, share references with colleagues, divide your research work into subjects, save cited works in folders, and generate reference lists as you work using Zotero. Zotero is a programme that you can download.


As a student, research work might be exhausting. Endnote is a research programme that lets you retrieve your citations at any time. Endnote allows you to exchange and organise research documents.


Citavi is a good choice for students and businesses looking for knowledge management solutions. Citavi enables you to collaborate with others, share research materials, store data, create discussion forums, categorise your study, and manage your content.

Ref Works

This referencing tool makes your research process easier in a variety of ways. RefWorks enables you to obtain material from any resource, provide accurate references, provide limitless storage folders, search tools, and share with other users, as well as assist institutions and libraries in providing students with a seamless research process.

Some Important Tips for academic referencing styles

Depending on whether you're citing an author or authors, a textbook or journal article, or an electronic source, the format of each individual reference may differ slightly.

Before structuring your source list, take some time to review the precise requirements for each reference type. Here are some pointers on including academic referencing styles in your document.

  • Make a new page to keep track of your references.
  • Make a new page called "References."
  • At the top of the page, center the title text.
  • Sort all of the entries alphabetically.
  • A reference's initial line should be flush with the left margin.
  • Each additional line should be indented (usually accomplished using the TAB key).
  • Double-spacing the reference section is a must.
  • For book, journal, magazine, and newspaper titles, use italics.
  • Include all cited sources in the text and on the reference page.

Hints and suggestions for referencing

  • Keep in mind: If you don't already know, ask your tutor which referencing style you should use.
  • Be upbeat: when references are correctly employed, they boost your writing by indicating that you spent time investigating and digesting data before developing your ideas and arguments.
  • Be firm in your decisions on referencing your sources and mixing directly quoting, paraphrasing, and summarising (read about these in the introductory primary sections of Cite Them Right Online).
  • Be organized: plan ahead of time and keep track of all possible beneficial sources when you come across them.
  • Prepare yourself by reading the appropriate reference material before beginning your first assignment.
  • Be continuous: after you've defined the referencing style, you'll need to stick to it throughout your projects.
  • Be compassionate: set aside time and take your time to double-check your referencing.
  • Be specific about the type of source you're citing, and look up samples at Cite them Right Online.
  • Write notes: Keep a sheet of paper aside from the start of your essay to jot down references, authors, and quotes whenever you come across something that will be valuable. Even if you don't use the quote or citation, this list will come in handy when you require particular referring information like publishing year, publication location, etc.
  • There's nothing more frustrating than remembering a quote but not knowing who said it!
  • Take a look at the pros: Examine how academics cite sources in scholarly journal papers and the sources you're employing. Because you're already studying their work, it's the most efficient approach to learn how to be consistent with referencing.
  • Be thorough: Check your work and references before submitting your assignment to ensure that all of your citations correspond to full references and vice versa.
  • Check twice: Proofreading your essay is a common procedure, but do you double-check your referencing? Checking your academic referencing styles list after a break between creating it and proofreading to ensure you're looking at it fresh will help you avoid submitting work with incorrect full stops or italics.

When to reference

Referencing sources is sometimes presented as a simple, rule-based procedure. However, there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to reference, and knowing how to follow citation standards requires time and effort. If you're perplexed by it, you're not alone; you might be thinking in the right direction. Here are some pointers to assist you in navigating the world of citations.

When you are directly quoting someone, you must reference them, which is the most straightforward rule to grasp. If you're paraphrasing someone else's words word for word, you must put quotation marks around them and provide credit to the original author. If you don't, you're giving your reader the impression that these words are your own and reflect your own effort.

When you're referencing something up for debate, you'll want to use references. For example, suppose you wish to argue that the Patriot Act is a critical instrument for national security. In that case, you should be able to provide examples of how it has aided and how experts have said that it has helped. Many Americans who believe it infringes on their privacy rights will disagree with you, and they will be able to find opinions claiming that the Patriot Act has done more harm than good to the country. You must be ready to demonstrate to skeptics that you have specialists on your side.

What do I need to reference?

Every time you quote or paraphrase someone else's work, you must cite it. This includes direct quotations as well as paraphrases and summaries. There are several different referencing styles to choose from, which will be discussed on the following page, however, you will almost always be needed to:

  • When you're citing a source, make a note of it in the body of the text or a footnote.
  • At the end of your paper, include a citation of your sources.
  • You may need to incorporate information on websites, papers, and visual content such as films or images in your references and books and journal articles.
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