Referencing and Bibliographies: What’s the difference?

Find out the differences between referencing and bibliographies

Harvard referencingI just want to go through a run down of the differences between referencing material used for your essays and what a bibliography actually does.

It’s quite easy to remember the difference even though they both refer to a relatively similar process.

Referencing takes place within your essay.  This will be in relation to direct quotes, paraphrasing and of course any footnotes you may apply to the topic at hand.

A standard example of referencing would be as follows:

“Child language acquisition is a learned process (Surname, Year) that takes place…”

The Surname will refer to the author of the book you have cited and the Year specifies which book, if there is more than one from the same author, it is.

If you are citing the author’s name directly in the essay:

“According to B.F. Skinner (Year) child language acquisition is a learned process…”

Here you’ll note that the author’s name has been cited within the text and it is just the Year that needs to be referenced, again to differentiate which book is being used.

N.B. Make sure you read up on the “Plagiarism‘ notes on this site so as to make sure you’re referencing/quoting appropriately.

Bibliographies hold all the information pertaining to your references and any articles, websites, books and primary/secondary materials you have used to develop and inform your essay.

The most common way of presenting a bibliography is using the Harvard System.  This system is easily found on the Internet and is used in the majority, if not all, educational institutions throughout the UK and even, the world.

An example of the use of the Harvard System for a book with one author:

Surname, Initials, Year. Title of text in italics. Place of publication: Publisher.

This allows for a very clear and highly organised way of presenting the relevant information that has been utilised for research and referencing throughout your essay.

You must make sure that you read up on the various ways different resources are presented in your bibliography as they differ from one medium to another (websites VS printed books VS audio snippets VS videos and so on).

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