Popular Referencing Styles and Their Requirements

Correct referencing is the key to avoiding plagiarism. Sometimes, you may feel hesitant over giving the original author proper credits just because you do not know that how exactly should you cite your quoted or paraphrased texts. But this kind of confusions may be very problematic in the way of achieving optimum grades.


  1. What are the standard referencing styles?

There are three major varieties of referencing styles. Firstly, you can use parenthetical referencing, which is generally based on an author, date format. APA, Harvard, etc. fall in this category. Secondly, you can use footnotes and bibliography. Referencing styles in this category are Oxford, OSCOLA, etc. Thirdly, you can use numbered references as in the case of the referencing styles specific to IEEE and ACM scientific journal articles. Parenthetical referencing is common almost in all subject areas. Nevertheless, MLA style of parenthetical referencing is mostly used by American universities. Footnote referencing is highly recommended for law assignments.

  1. Which are the most popular ones?

The popularity of referencing style varies from one country to another. In the UK universities, Harvard referencing is used by most of the departments. But in American universities, APA referencing is highly popular among the professors and examiners. So learning these two referencing styles will be highly helpful for you. Otherwise, when you seek academic assistance, clearly ask your providers and tutors in details about the referencing styles they are capable of handling.

  1. Differences in referencing styles

In-text citations in parenthetical referencing are defined with the help of author’s surname and date of publication of the referred text. But in professional scientific referencing, this style may not be followed. In-text citations are specified by numbers enclosed in square brackets. These numbers indicate the numerical order of the reference cited in the text. For instance, if a book is cited at first, then it will be denoted by [1]. If a journal article is cited second, then it will be denoted by [2]. While generating the list of references, referred materials are provided in the order of their first-time occurrence in the main body of the research paper concerned. But in the case of footnotes and bibliography, and also in parenthetical referencing, the references are listed in alphabetical order.

  1. Who can help?

The overall quality of an essay or research paper extensively depends on the quality of in-text citations and subsequent bibliography or reference list generation. Only educated, experienced, and knowledgeable writers can provide you with the authentic information on a given referencing style. For example, law professionals are good in OSCOLA, while computer science experts are well versed with the IEEE system.

  1. Points to remember

You should always keep in mind that proper citation and referencing techniques greatly reduce the risk of plagiarism. Sometimes, mention of page numbers in in-text citations may be need. This is particularly true when you are asked to use OSCOLA. Also, always gather as much publication information as possible regarding every material like books, websites, or journal articles you use for writing your assignment.

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