"You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know." Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
When you saw and read this quote, it might have given you a feeling of trust and confidence in this blog, the same goes with referencing. Students chase to incorporate this feeling in their assignments, they worry about how to make their write-ups more creative and colorful, some may have perfect writing skills or absolute knowledge about the subject. However, most of the students including even the brightest ones in class, lack proper knowledge about referencing. It is a skill that adds those missing colors and shows your creativity in the assignments. In this blog, we will have a detailed discussion on referencing and types of referencing styles; so, let's begin.
Definition: Referencing Style
Referencing styles are a set of rules that depict how a writer should acknowledge and give credit to the intellectual work of some other individual that a writer has used in their research or writing. Referencing plays a crucial part in the success of academic writing. It even assists in the avoidance of plagiarism while doing an assignment. Referencing contains two vital elements in it:-
Example: In a review of the meeting (1 or author name and year) some new topic emerges.
This style includes the source data in the text itself.
Entry in the bibliography of the writing
Example: In a review of the meeting1some new topic emerges.
This style of referring uses footnotes or end-notes which the reader can tally from at the end of the current page or in the bibliography where all the data can be found.
To provide you a general idea of what referencing includes, it includes the author's name and the year in which the data was published. This is the simplest way you can reference a source.
Importance of Referencing
Using referencing to improve writing might seem like a no-brainer, as it should be. It shows the reader that you have done proper research before writing and side by side increases the goodwill of it. Below are three 3 unknown benefits, that increase the use of references.
A proper bibliography shows off your research knowledge
The bibliography is the compilation of all the sources that a writer has used in their writing. Thus an extensive bibliography is the hallmark of a great writer. Moreover, it is important to include every reference in your writing, so a reader knows that you know your field perfectly.
Referencing enables verification of your work
Any piece of writing goes to proper examination before it's finally submitted or posted somewhere. Whether one is a proofreader or a professor whose job is to check your writing, usage of proper referencing will make your assignments stand out. It enables your work to be trustworthy and verified.
Good referencing practices make you a better writer
All students aspire to be the most elegant assignment writers, whose prose is as compelling as the content. To allow this to happen, good referencing skills build a strong foundation towards these goals. When you refer to sources properly, there is no doubt left in the reader's mind regarding the point.
Challenges Faced by Students
Referencing is difficult for academic writing, it’s a slow-moving and laborious process. And mastering this process takes up a lot of time for a newbie student. It can all come down to the use of correct punctuation. Basically, there are 3 main challenges faced by students when using references.
Lack of prior knowledge
It is broadly assumed that students write a lot of assignments before entering college. However, the reality is that in many cases, the actual number of assignments done by students is declining.
For instance, according to one survey, students in high school are writing fewer than 5 essays or assignments each year. Another survey, which is even more worrisome compared to this, found that teachers are struggling to educate students to have a good overall writing skill set.
There are numerous reasons for this, including increased class size, a lack of knowledge among educators, and others. Put, students are writing less and less each year, and teachers are not able to impart the right knowledge to them.
Different rules of different citations
This new generation of students may not be writing as much as the older ones, but they are still unknowingly actively engaged in writing. Be it social media, texting, or any type of online interaction, students are always writing.
The main problem is that all of these different platforms have different types of citation standards. For example, a meme shared on Facebook with no citations is like a post on Instagram that has automatic citations attached to it.
Similarly, different referencing stylesare associated with different sets of rules, and to make matters worse, none of them are similar. This makes it much more difficult and confusing for students.
Poor research skills
Lastly, the main problem with citation is not with the writing part, but with the research part.
Despite the fact that this generation has access to the internet, it is much easier for them. However, learning how to record and weave it into your own writing is not a skill that can be found on the internet. It comes through the practice of researching.
Organizing skills such as creating proper notes and adding references as you write, rather than adding them in the editing process, are scarce among students. This exemplifies the problems of students, making them struggle to remember which pieces of information came from which sources.
#3 Most Used Styles of Referencing with Examples
There are mainly three citation styles that are preferred all over the world, below they are discussed in detail with their respective referencing styles examples.
Harvard referencing style
Harvard referencing is also known as the parenthetical or author-date format. It is used by students at universities around the globe. This referencing style is used to cite information in an assignment. There are two types of referencing in this style, mentioned below.
In-text: These are the types of references that are used directly in the text itself. For example, Harvard referencing method (Jack, 2018)
Lists: In this type, a list of references is created at the end of the document, where all the references in the document can be found. For example, Jack K. 2018, the complete guide of referencing style, New Times Press, London.
APA referencing style
This style is referred to as the author-date style. This style also has 2 types:
In-text: The citation in the text contains the name of the author and the year of publication.
Note: The only surname of the author is taken in APA referencing style. Example (Kendric, 2018)
Lists: This list contains all the data that is required to follow up with your source. However, it is much more detailed, which can be seen from the example given. Example: (author’s surname, year, heading & sub-heading, edition, publisher)
Vancouver referencing style
It is numbered style referencing commonly used in medicine and science and consists of two.
In-text: Numbers should be used consecutively in the same order they are cited in the text using Arabic numbers in parentheses. For example, Jack (17) reported that
List: A compilation of citing should appear at the end of the document, listed numerically in the order they were cited. For example, (Jack K., editors. Rethinking Medical epidemiology: moving forward in science. Dordrecht: Springer; 2014. 349).
(Note: This referencing style in UK is mostly preferred by professors in the UK)
Still Unable to Choose a Referencing Style?
Referencing is a technique that can heighten your chances to make your assignments more certified, incorporating citations will exemplify your grades. But if you are still confused with it, then leave it to us.
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