An Introduction to Referencing

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” – Jacques Maritain

In all kinds of writing, including academic writing, we often borrow information from other sources. We take a little from what someone else has pointed out and their ideas. Every time we do this, we owe them our gratitude and their due credit. We do this by “Referencing”, which sounds quite horrid but isn’t as bad in reality. Once you get the hang of it, it is smooth sailing from the point on.

The role of referencing is manyfold. It:

  • Gives your point of view strength. It lets the reader know that the idea you have put forward is strong and has a stable base.
  • Keeps your work original. Referencing ensures the authenticity of the writer. It helps in building the trust factor with the reader and they know that you have tried your best to stay away from plagiarism.
  • It shows how hard you have worked to research the topic. To go to the source of the information and fetch them is something that requires a lot of work.
  • If other researchers go through your work then they will find it easier to reach the sources that you have used. It will help them in their research work as well.

There are a number of different referencing styles that are accepted. In some cases, specific referencing styles are listed out for specific areas of work, or specific project work. The most common writing styles are the MLA referencing style, the APA style, Chicago, Harvard and more.

Another important basic to know about referencing is that there are two aspects to it. The first is ‘in-text citation’ which is the citation of the source of a particular element withing the text. It usually includes elements like a concept, idea, or a particular phrase. The second is a holistic referencing method which includes complete information of the sources included in the project.

In any project of assignment, both the styles are used which complement each other and act as guides for the readers and other researchers who use a particular work as reference.

So, get your referencing game right! Get on top of it and your work will become a more authentic and trustable source of information.

All the best!