While writing essays, you are entitled to add references to the sources you used to collect information for your study. Without referencing it doesn't appear professional or authorised. Referencing is a sincere act of respecting authors and publications that helped you add a different perspective to your paper.
As small-term referencing seems, it plays a vital role in deciding whether your work is satisfactory. In this article, you will learn different types, styles, numbers and importance of referencing and how it varies from essay to essay depending upon your university guidelines.
Importance of Referencing in Academic World
Referencing is very important in the academic world. Referencing was discovered to help authors use information from other sources in their publication and as a means of giving the recognition it deserves. It is beneficial for both parties. As soon as referencing came to light, many benefits were witnessed by authors which include:
Showed Research Skills of authors
With referencing, readers can know how knowledgeable the writer has become with this research. Showing your knowledge helps in gaining the trust of readers in your research.
Removed the problem of plagiarism
When you are at the learning stage and want to look for inspiration in other’s work, it would lead to plagiarism. Referencing allowed writers to take text from others and still not present a plagiarised work.
Gave recognition to authors
When your article is used as a reference by others, your work also gets recognised at different levels by authors who use it. It makes your work even more valuable and acceptable in the academic world.
Role of Referencing in Different Types of Essays
These are the creative part of the academic world. This is where use different sources and provide different definitions so that readers have multiple explanations leading to the same meaning. For citing you need to quote the sentences and add the name, publication, and year in the manner suggested by your guide.
If you are given an analytical essay, know that you have to follow the university guidelines cautiously. One of the important requirements is to add references properly. analytical essays in any subject sculpt your professional writing skills with referencing being a major part of it. Being obedient, alert and consistent is what is required from you in commencing proper referencing in essays.
It is an integral part of your graduation. You research and collect information and methods from different sources. You need a strong literature review to add weight to your research essay. It will be checked for plagiarism and your task is to defend yourself by citing each reference properly.
Different Types of Referencing
There are different types of referencing styles that you can use in your essays. Here are some methods that are common among UK universities. Refer to your guidelines and get to know about basics and style in the following context.
This was developed in 1929 by the American Psychology Department. This style is mainly used in English, psychology and science fields of study. In this type of referencing you need to use the author’s name, publication and date of publication.
This type of citation style was developed by the Modern Language Association. In this type of referencing you need to include all the references within the text and make a separate reference list at the end of the essay.
This type of publication was developed by Chicago University. Such types of references are used in Business, History and Fine Arts. It is a very flexible type of referencing in which you need to add the author's surname and year of publication.
In this type of referencing you need to include the author name, volume number, issue number title of the article and date of publication in the text citation as well as at the end of the citation list.
Points to remember while referencing an Essay
Here are some points that can help you in writing references in better ways:
- Make notes while collecting data: While you are collecting data for your work, note down all the sources, sequentially. Through this, you can keep a record of sources and cite properly.
- Understand University Guidelines: Every university has different guidelines for citations. When you write essays, you need to ensure that you follow the guidelines suggested by the university.
- Be consistent: Learn the citation style so well that you can maintain the same process throughout the essay. If you change the citation style it will show that you are not maintaining the right type of referencing.
- Coordinate between intext and reference list: When you are writing references, you need to make sure that the references that you add in texts match with your reference list which is usually posted where the essay ends.
- Mention the right sources: You must ensure that you use the right sources to add references to your essays. Invalid sources will not add much value to your content and in turn, disturb your referencing list.
- Use quotation or paraphrasing methods: When you are mentioning the text in your essays either use quotation if you are taking content as it is. You can also paraphrase if you are going for more professional referencing.
- Don't put irrelevant references: Adding references which are not related to your essays is not a rightful practice. This is why don't put references that will decrease the value of your essays.
- Cross-check after completion: When you have completed referencing, you must cross-check with your in-text citations. Check the complete text to see if any references.
- Check for plagiarism: The most important thing in referencing is checking whether it is completely free from plagiarism or not. There are some reliable plagiarism checkers you can use. You can also ask our experts who can detect and remove plagiarism completely.
Some Mistakes to Avoid in Referencing
Referencing can be a little tricky, especially for beginners like UK university students. Here are common mistakes that you must carefully administer to avoid plagiarism.
Repetition of the same references
This is a very common yet unavoidable mistake students make in their essays so stay ahead of it. It can confuse your readers and lead to misjudgement about the authenticity of your content.
Incorrect Page number
In some citation styles, page number plays an important role helping in locate your reference. Adding the wrong page number is misleading and might cancel out your reference as a whole.
It is customary to put quotations around your sentences, to let the readers know that you have taken this from other sources. If your context lacs these quotes, your referencing would be considered incomplete.
Not arranging alphabetically
To bring order to your references, you need to arrange them alphabetically. If such doesn't show in your essay, it would give an impression that you are not aware of proper referencing techniques.
Adding Improper punctuation
Punctuations are also very important in creating a better overview for your essays. When there are mistakes in punctuation, your referencing is not considered accurate.
Leaving citation undefined
If you use, “some studies” or “earlier studies”, it is considered vague or poor referencing because you have not defined which studies or sources you are referring to. You need to specify the sources from where you learned about certain information.
How Many References Should You Use in Each Essay?
Every student has a curiosity to know how many references are enough for any particular essay with a particular word count. Although it completely depends on factors like the topic, university guidelines, and research methods, you need to make sure that your references are just in an adequate amount (not too much and not too little).
For example, if your essay is 1000 words, it is suggested to use 8-12 references at least, if your word count increases up to 2000 words, you must include 16 references on average. There are certain factors you need to consider before deciding on reference numbers, which include-
- Word count
- Research potential of essay topic
- No of subtopics
- Guidelines are given by the university
- Number of paragraphs in each heading
- Versatility or reference sources
References in essays are something no UK student can escape. It is an important part of essay completion and to make sure that you have accurately composed the referencing methods there are certain do and don't that you must follow. An improper reference will not be acceptable to your professors and it will also show plagiarism in your work.
Referencing in essays is associated with different citation styles and word count. The number of word counts you need to use in your essay completely depends on your essay and its property. Make sure to include just the right amount, so that it appears professional.
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