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Types of References in Research Papers

03-01-2019 12:13 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: EssayCorp

Referencing, in simple words, means mentioning or referring the source of the facts or the information included in your assignment or essay or books. From High School, the student has to follow the referencing system because of two reasons 

Quoting or Paraphrasing another author’s work without giving them the credit for it is illegal. This is termed as Plagiarism. Many institutes have strict rules against it.
The tutors not only mark you on your knowledge reflected in your assignments, but also, on your research skills.
The referencing system works by providing details about the information and facts that you have used in your writing. The last two chapters of the content are for the reference list and bibliography. 

The reference list includes the direct quotations or paraphrases of another author that are used by you. Whereas, the bibliography is the list of sources you have read, analyzed, or researched for the information, which is usually not directly included in your content. Also, the references made throughout the body of your write-up should mention the author’s name and the publishing year in brackets.

There are different citation styles or referencing styles. They are predefined styles stating how to make the reference list and bibliography. 

In this blog, we will be focusing on the APA reference style and Harvard reference style.

APA Reference Style –

The APA Referencing style is an author-date style. The Author’s last name and the publishing date is put inside a parenthesis wherever the source is used in the body of the content.

The format of the APA style consists of –

In-text citations (Author’s surname, Date of Publication)
Reference list
Some points to keep in mind while using APA reference style are: -

1. Insert an in-text citation after a direct quotation.
For example – “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1603)

2. The in-text citation is also used at the end of the sentence where the source has contributed the information indirectly.
For example – Horatio and Marcellus, barges into Hamlet’s conversation with the ghost of his father. It is difficult for Horatio to accept the whole situation as ghosts do not belong in his philosophy. (Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1603)

3. If the Author’s name is already mentioned in the sentence, only the date will be inserted in parenthesis after the name.
For example – Shakespeare in his play Hamlet (1603) takes the function of soliloquy to another level.

4. If the source referred to is on a particular page or section, mention the page numbers in the parenthesis as well.
For example - “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” (Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1603, Act 1, Scene 5)

5. When the quotation cited from a source is written by three to five authors, all the surnames are mentioned in the first in-text citation. For the following references, only first author’s last name is written followed by et al. and the year.
For example - (Brinkworth, Noakes, Buckley, Keogh, & Clifton, 2009) for the first in-text citation, whereas (Brinkworth et al., 2009) will be used for subsequent citations.

When there are six or more authors, only the first author’s surname is mentioned, which is followed by et al. and the year for all citations.
For example - (Brinkworth et al., 2009)

6. If both the name of the author and the year of publication is mentioned in the text, then there is no need for an additional citation.

7. On the Reference List page, all the citations are mentioned according to the Author’s surname in the alphabetical order.

8. ‘&’ is used in the place of ‘and’ in both in-text citations and full references.

HARVARD Reference Style –

The Harvard style of referencing is usually used to cite sources by University students. The format consists of –

In-text citations
Reference Lists
The In-text citations are used when the quotation is directly included in the text or is paraphrased. The citations are only a fragment of the full citation.
Some examples of Harvard In-text Citations are: -

1. For one Author
(Shakespeare, Hamlet, 1603).

2. For two or three Authors
(McLoughlin & Lee 2007).

3. For four or more Authors
(Greiner et al. 2005).

4. For Corporate Authors
(Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2007).

5. For No Author
(The entrepreneur’s guide to the law 1999).

The Reference List is located at the end. It displays the full citations of the sources included in the text. Each citation includes the name of the author(s), year published, title, city published, publisher and pages used.

The general format of the Harvard Reference List citation is –

Last Name, First Initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).

For example - Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015a, The precious ring, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.

The APA referencing style and the Harvard referencing style are quite similar to each other. Other popular styles include –

1. MLA reference style:
It is mostly applied by the arts and humanities in the USA.

2. Vancouver reference system:
It is mainly used in medical and scientific papers.

3. Chicago reference style:
It is similar to APA and Harvard. It is mostly used for history and economics. 

4. Turabian reference styles:
It is very similar to APA and Harvard referencing styles. Similar to Chicago referencing system, it is widely used for history and economics.

The Referencing styles should be used according to their format and the instructions of the tutor. They should not be mix and matched.

EssayCorp is an efficient assignment help provider worldwide. For further assistance on Referencing Styles connect us anytime. Our online service is available round the clock.

Emily Scott
Customer Service Executive
4950 Polk Street
Tucson, AZ 85714
Phone: +1 (205) 708-8703
Email id -
Website -

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