What crucial role do referencing guides play in learning of references?


Referencing- meaning

Any author consults various other research works and articles to make his own work more informative and rich, and to support the arguments and ideas that he wishes to discuss in his works. But merely consulting these works are not enough. One needs to give proper acknowledgement to the sources he is referring to and this process is called referencing. Referencing is an inseparable aspect of any written work and allows the author to assess the quality of his work. It also underlines the uniqueness of any given work.

The purpose

Referencing is a very important tool for any writer and it serves some very important purpose.

  • Referencing allows any reader to know the origin of a particular idea.
  • Some articles and works can be a little complex and in such a scenario referencing allows the reader to keep a track of all the ideas and prevents him from getting confused.
  • Referencing adds polish to any particular work and makes it look more credible and scholarly.
  • Referencing is important for another reason. The quality of an essay or any other academic work depends upon the quality of the works an author is referencing to.
  • Proper referencing highlights the fact that the author has studied the background thoroughly.
  • Referencing can be used in almost any type of academic writing- history essays, science essays, business essays or even dissertations. But different subjects require a different style of referencing.
  • The most important purpose of referencing is that it makes sure no one is accused of plagiarism.

The how tos

For referencing one is required to give detailed information about the source of the quote, paraphrase, translation or summary. One must mention the name of the author, the page number from the original text and the year of publication. It is necessary that a part of information is provided with the quote or the paraphrase. At the same time, a more detailed information about the source should be included in the bibliography or the reference list at the end of the book. Both the in-text citation and the reference list are an important part of referencing. It is of utmost importance that the references should be accurate- this makes it easier for the reader to find the source text.

The guides

There are a number of referencing styles following different rules and each of them has their own guides. Some of the referencing styles and the guides that they follow have been described below:

  • The Harvard Style- It is an example of author-date referencing style. It is mostly used in humanities. In this style one requires to give the last name of the author and the year of publication in brackets after the quote, the paraphrase, the summary or the translation. There reference list as to be maintained in an alphabetical order and must contain a detailed information about the source. All its rules are drawn from Style manual for authors, editors and printers 2002.
  • The APA Style- This is the conventional style used in Psychology. This style is also used by different subjects, especially Social Sciences. The American Psychological Society publishes a book named Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association where all the rules are mentioned. According to this style any academic writing requires to be clear and uniform. Every work mentioned inside the text has to be present in the reference list and vice versa. The reference list is not like bibliography and must only contain the name of the works one has referred to.
  • The Chicago Style- This style of referencing is used very frequently since it allows both foot-notes and author-date referencing. In this style referencing can be done in two ways- the note and bibliography style and the author-date style. The Chicago Manual of Style published by The University of Chicago Press has all the required guidelines.
  • The Oxford Style- This style is also called the documentary style and consists of two components- the foot note and the reference list. In the foot note the name of the author, the book, the year of publication, etc. are mentioned. Then they are again mentioned in the reference list.
  • The MLA Style- This style is followed by the Modern Language Association of America. All its rules are enumerated in MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing.Its guidelines are generally followed by humanities, mostly in English Studies.
  • The Vancouver Style- This is also known the Uniform Requirements Styleand follows an author-number system. It is not only used in medical but is also widely used in physical sciences. In this style one must number the references and the tables. This style requires no foot notes or bibliography and all the references must be mentioned in the last page under REFERENCES in numerical order.

Referencing guides- their uses

  • The whole process of referencing can be a little daunting and therefore it is convenient to have the assistance of some referencing guides.
  • There are innumerable referencing styles and each style has its own guidelines. Since all this can be a little overwhelming every style has its own guide.
  •  Referencing guides have detailed guidelines about citation, how to quote or paraphrase, where to cite, etc all which are very important.
  • The referencing guides tell an academic writer how to arrange the reference list. For example, the Harvard style referencing list follows alphabetical order, the Chicago style prefers a bibliography, the Vancouver style follows numerical order, etcetera.
  • These guides also mention how to maintain a particular format and tone in the text.
  • Different styles have different purpose and are used by different departments and subjects. In this respect the guides are helpful as they show if a particular style is meeting the requirements or not.
  • These guides are easily available and their purpose is to make sure people are absolutely clear about the rules and regulations.
  • Since all the rules are written in these guide books they can be used to clear doubts very easily.
  • These guides and extremely significant in our understanding of the whole process of referencing.

What is the difference between bibliography and references?

What is meant by bibliography and references?

Bibliography and references are two very important and essential aspects of an academic writing and have the ability to influence the standard and quality of any text, be it an academic one or a general writing. Both the bibliography and the references form an integral part of the work and can never be done away with. References are actually the acknowledgements and credits given to those authors or creators and their works that are mentioned in a text or an academic writing in the form of any language, sentence, phrase, concept, idea, image etc, which is cited from the original source or an already referred source by an academic essay writer. A bibliography, on the other hand, is a list of those references made in an academic work or text, be it cited or otherwise, that is mentioned in the work as a form of background and additional reading for both the academic writer and the readers and are usually present at the very end of the text or the writing. Although both serve the purpose of honoring the intellectual rights of an author or creator and are more often than not interchangeably used, their uses and targets vary widely. They also differ in their basic functions.

Features and functions of bibliography and references

Although the bibliography and the references vary in their basic characteristics, functions and their uses, they have some similarities in their features. For example, both have the same work of explaining an academic or otherwise citation made in the text. Again, the reference and the bibliography have the feature of being made in an alphabetical order where each and every entry is done in a strict orderly fashion. However, most of the feature and function of the two basically differentiate them. Most importantly, it must be mentioned here that while a bibliography is a kind or rather, a part of reference, the same cannot be said about a reference since a reference or a citation can never be a bibliography.

Few examples of each type

A few examples of each would be helpful here for a better understanding of the two aspects of an academic essay paper or custom term paper writing and also in properly comprehending the differences in their application. The two are generally used in different context and serve different purposes following an altogether different methodology. Some of the primary and common examples of the form of bibliography are as follows:

  • For books: Cuba, L (1988), A Short Guide To the Writing in the Social Sciences. London: Scott and Foresmann. Chs: 2, 4 and 6
  • For lectures as sources: Friedman, S. & S. Steinberg (1989) Writing and thinking in the Social Sciences, Engelwood Cliffs, NJ : Prentice Hall
  • For newspaper sources:  Doe, John. “How Do You Measure a Year in the Life?” The Sun Times. 2 July 2010: 1
  • For journals and articles sources: Ivanic, R. J. Simpsons (1992) The Who’s who in the world of academic writing, In N. N. Fairfan (Ed) Critical Language Awareness. London : Longman pps: 141 – 173
  • For multiple authors: Smith, John and Jacob Jingleheimer and Cindy Lu, Wu Xia and the Art of the scooter Mainatinance. New York : Springer, 2003

Now, as goes the functions and techniques of a proper and ideal reference, the examples are quite a lot and some of those examples are as listed below for a detailed study and comprehension of the type:

  • For more than one author: E.g.: Fish, 2001; Campbell 2008; Wilson, 2012.
  • For journals and articles: PEARS, R. & SHIELDS, G.J. (2010) Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide. 8th edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • For online and other such sources: Gelspan, R. (2007). The Heat Is Online. Lake Oswego, OR: Green House Network. Retrieved from The Heat Is Online website: http://www.heatisonline.org

Differences between bibliography and reference

The bibliography and the references, the two vital parts of a proper and formal academic research paper or custom term paper writing, vary typically in their functions and intentions. Therefore, it is really very important in order to create a good essay work to fully understand their differences and distinguish them according to their generic characteristics although they are at times rather confused with each other. Some of these differences between a bibliography and reference are listed as below:

  • A reference list is considered just a list or record of the sources of all the information and ideas that have been used or mentioned, or in other words referred to, in the body of the academic work or text while a bibliography at times might also contain extra and additional information for further background studies that though might not be directly linked to the referred item, may be actually a piece of useful information for the reader for some additional knowledge on the particular topic.
  • The reference list or simply citations as they are normally referred to, might occur inside a text, be it at the end of a phrase, a sentence, a quotation, a passage etc as an in text citation or at the end of the cited page as a footnote. However, a bibliography strictly occurs at the end of the academic work and is not be found anywhere inside the text but only at the end.
  • A reference has no further responsibility than just acknowledging the work or creation of a particular source or author and mentioning the original work where as a bibliography is known to provide the readers with a detailed and valuable information on the cited source, both on the cited creation and the creator of the work.
  •  Moreover there are some characteristically different aspects between the two like a reference is always double spaced and italics and capitalisation are to be used as and when necessary and these are quite mandatory rules while no such obligation is there in case of a bibliography.