Academic Referencing Styles
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Academic Referencing Styles | MLA, APA, Harvard or MHRA?

Referencing to identify ideas and information in your writing that comes from origin materials is an essential aspect of academic writing. It is essential to recognize others’ thoughts in this manner to avoid plagiarism.

It is critical that you correctly format your quotations and reference list.

Different academic disciplines use different academic referencing styles, but all academic referencing styles have two main features:

  • In-text citation: academic referencing styles appear in the text of your file to show where you’ve used data or words from a source.
  • The reference list (or bibliography) comes at the end of the file and contains the full details of each origin cited in the text so that the reader can locate them if desired.

Types Of Referencing Style

» MLA Referencing Style:

When quoting more than two primary sources by a single author, the reference in brackets must include a smaller version of the title to indicate which book they belong to.

A bibliography created in conformance with the MLA referencing style guidelines lists the various items alphabetically, beginning with the author’s last name. Each record must include the author’s full name, the book’s title, the city where it has been accepted for publication, the publisher, and the year of publication.

MLA referencing style is the most commonly used academic referencing styles, so you need to understand it in terms of its relevance to the majority of subjects taught and classes taken by students.

MLA referencing style works depending upon the type of sources, such as a journal, a book, or a website.

» APA Referencing Style:

While the APA referencing style is deduced from the Harvard style, there are minor differences between different. The APA referencing style is based on the author and the date. The deadline and author of the work are important in APA referencing style to differentiate or identify it uniquely.

»  Harvard Referencing Style:

It is typically prescribed for students studying behavioral, natural, or social sciences. It is also referred to as the ‘author-date style.’ The in-text citation is placed in the body of the text or in footnotes in this style. The Harvard referencing style requires references in the essay’s body to include the author’s surname and publication date. A Harvard referencing style requirement is that an abstract of the entire essay is included in the beginning, following the introduction. The other academic referencing styles do not impose such a necessity.

» MHRA Referencing Style

The Modern Humanities Research Association established a referring technique called MHRA referencing style. It is primarily designed for usage in conjunction with the Association’s books and publications, although students also use it in a broader context.

If you’ve been ordered to follow a particular style, make sure you stick to it because that’s how you’ll be judged.

How To MHRA Reference

The MHRA referencing style relies heavily on footnotes. When you quote or paraphrase someone else’s words or ideas, you should include footnote numbers in your text. When citing a source for the first time, you must include all relevant information in the footnote. Following that, references might be offered in a condensed format.

You’ll also need to include a thorough bibliography at the end of the essay, which should be formatted precisely according to the material you’ve cited – whether it’s a book, journal, website, film, or something else entirely. Only content that you’ve explicitly cited in your work should be included in the bibliographies.

When And Why Do References Need To Be Provided?

When a source is used to provide any form of fact, thought, or evidence, a reference is offered. Academic referencing styles serve at least one of the following, usually overlapping, tasks in most academic texts:

In Order To Recognize Past Work In The Field

You can provide contrasting viewpoints within the discipline while providing background information by referring to earlier, relevant studies. This also serves as a foundation for your own reasoning. This means that you must show in your writing that you are aware of past and related studies on the topic. Previous research is acknowledged in a specific section of essays and research papers in some disciplines, but it can be acknowledged anywhere in the text in others.

To Place New Findings In The Context Of Past Work

One of the primary goals of the research is to increase knowledge. Scholarly authors must situate their work in reference to an earlier study in the topic in order to demonstrate what is new. Depending on the discipline and type of text, this positioning is done in a variety of ways. A popular strategy is to offer previous research and then present fresh findings that either add to or contradict the knowledge presented by the previous research. Writers must acknowledge what has already been written in the field in order to illustrate what is fresh in their essay or article.

Presenting Primary Data To Back Up The Writer’s Argument

Writers employ different primary data types to support their assertions depending on the discipline and how they use it varies. Clinical or experimental evidence will be used to support a research article in the domains of medicine or science (that is, evidence gathered and analyzed for the study that is being reported). Similarly, textual evidence will support a literary analysis (that is, evidence from the text that is being analysed). Because practices differ by subject, students should ask their supervisors for advice on properly presenting primary data.

 Over-Referencing Can Be Dangerous

It’s crucial to think about the significance of your references. A common beginner’s mistake is to introduce too many and hence irrelevant references in the hopes of demonstrating everything the writer has read. Over-referencing happens when references are made to facts that are considered common knowledge; if the readers to whom the text is addressed can be assumed to know a general fact expressed in the text, no reference is necessary. As a result, writers must be conscious of the audience for whom they are writing. Over-referencing, it should be noted, does not improve the writer’s case; in fact, it may have the inverse result!

When To Use Academic Referencing Styles

Use the easy six-point code below to help you decide when you need to cite. This is another one of those notes that you should pin to the notice board above your desk or tape to the side of your computer screen. Make sure it’s only a glance away wherever you put it.

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