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12 Nov

Different styles of referencing

A report or an assignment has different elements, referencing is one of them. Further, referencing could be segregated into different styles. Researchers select different referencing styles as per their requirements and set standards. Some of the popular and prevalent types of references are Harvard referencing, APA style, MLA style and Chicago style. The description of these styles is given below:


Harvard referencing: It is also known as author date style. It is one of the styles which is very much used by researchers in their reports. In Harvard referencing, the style of citation is completely different and it includes different aspects in different manner. It is to acknowledge that, with the perspectives of improving the standards of reports, the researchers should make extensive use of the Harvard referencing. This style of referencing varies as per the sources of referencing. In case of books, online articles, journals, PDF and newspapers, the researcher has to adopt different kinds of referencing. It is something that could not be neglected by researchers as it is helpful in ensuring the authenticity of the report or paper. Harvard referencing is generally based on the fundaments of appropriate usage of punctuations, capitalization, italics, etc. The title of books, journal name, online title, etc. are certain elements of Harvard referencing that remains in the italics. Proper use of coma (,) and dots (.) is also required in Harvard referencing. It is complex, but continuous practices can help in increasing the hold on Harvard referencing.

APA style: It is another style of referencing that is highly popular among the researchers. They generally follow this stylein their assignments. It is given by the American Psychological Association, to maintain the quality of the reports. This style of referencing is not very much different than the Harvard referencing generator. The major difference observed in the Harvard referencing and APA style is that, in later one, the year always remains in brackets, rest all the principles and fundamentals work similar to Harvard referencing. It also gives huge consideration to the use of punctuations and italics. The basic difference between both these reference styles has been given below:

In case of books: (APA style)

Wright,S., (2011). Fundamentals of marketing principles. 2nd ed. John Wiley and sons.

In case of books: (Harvard referencing)

Wright, S., 2011. Fundamentals of marketing principles. 2nd ed. John Wiley and sons.

MLA style: The list of most popular referencing styles also includes the MLA style of referencing. MLA stands for Modern Language Association. It is to acknowledge that this style of referencing is focused on the name of the author. Here in this referencing style, special preference has been given to the author of the content. It is completely different than the Harvard referencing and APA style. Its basic format involves the last name, first name, book title or journal title, publication or journal name, year of publication. It is basic steps of MLA referencing that should be followed in a stringent way. It also provides a complete acknowledgement of the researchers' work. Mainly, English and philosophy departments use the MLA style of referencing. Herein, the title of the book or topic could be written in capital letters so that differentiation could be fostered. Another unique rule related to MLA style is that, it is double spaced and uses parenthetical citations.

Chicago style: This form of referencing has originated from University of Chicago. The differences in this style of referencing can be experienced on the ground of its usage in any assignments. It is generally done in the footnotes by the researchers and have in text or citations at the end of assignment that could be treated as a bibliography. Thus, these are different styles of referencing that could be practiced by researchers. In every kind of reference style, two factors always remain the same; firstly, while formatting, all the references must be arranged in alphabetical order and secondly and most importantly the main usage of references is to avoid the element of plagiarism.