There is a common misconception that referencing is only required in Ph.D. theses and dissertations. But in reality, referencing is essential for every academic paper and publication that uses external references to justify or establish a particular point or argument. As a student, you should aim to get acquainted with the relevant referencing styles as early as possible.
Referencing, as you may already know, is used to acknowledge the source material and the original author of a quote, data or piece of information used while writing. Depending on the referencing style of your choice, you need to put such pieces of information in a particular format.
In this blog, we will discuss the different types of referencing styles and the major referencing styles that are currently in practice.
Some of the Most Common Referencing Styles
As mentioned, there are hundreds of different referencing styles used in the academic field as well as the publishing industry. Here are some of the most common ones that you should know about in order to excel in your academic career and beyond.
- APA referencing style:
This referencing style was formulated by the American Psychological Association. It is primarily used while writing papers in the field of social sciences and psychology. However, it is now being widely used in many other disciplines because of its simple and effective characteristics. Currently, the 7th edition of APA is being followed in the academic field.
If you are told to follow Griffith referencing, you need to clarify whether APA is suitable for your work as Griffith University allows a variety of referencing styles depending on the field of study.
- OSCOLA referencing style:
This style follows the documentary note method classification. This is the reason why the referred sources are presented as notes in the footnotes section.
- Chicago referencing style:
This style of referencing follows the guidelines mentioned under the Chicago Manual of Style. This referencing style is further classified into two different types – Chicago A and Chicago B. The Chicago A referencing style lets you cite the references using endnotes and footnotes. However, the Chicago B referencing style uses a parenthetical approach – noting down the year and the name of the author(s) as an in-text citation.
- MLA referencing style:
This referencing style was formulated by the Modern Language Association. In today’s academic scenario, the 8th edition of the referencing style is being used. This style of referencing follows the parenthetical types of referencing styles since it notes down the page number and the name of the author in the in-text citation.
5. Vancouver referencing style:
The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors’ agency introduced the Vancouver style of referencing to the academic community. The reference list provides the complete detail of the sources to relevant numbers, linking them to respective in-text citations.
6. Turabian referencing style:
Even Turabian style has two types of referencing styles which follow the author-date system and documentary note system, respectively.
7. Harvard referencing style:
This referencing style is majorly used in the field of economics. Some of those organizations are – the British Standard Institution, the Australian government publishing service, etc.
Some Of The Types of Academic Referencing Styles
- Parenthetical styles:
Before the full stop (or period) is a sentence, you need to provide the in-text citations in the parenthetical referencing style. Some of the most commonly used referencing styles, including APA, Harvard, and MLA, use this format.
- Documentary note styles:
In this type of referencing style, you need to denote the references in the form of endnotes and footnotes. Some of the common referencing styles to use this type of format are Oxford and MHRA.
- Numbered styles:
This type of referencing style uses Arabic numbers to cite the sources.
It can be difficult for anyone to remember all the guidelines of every referencing style used in the academic field. So, it is better that you consult with your professor and clarify which Vancouver referencing style you should be using for your course while writing different papers. You can then learn the guidelines of the specific referencing style and cite the sources of references accordingly.
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