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Plagiarism search Referencing guides - learn how to reference properly

Find a guide to help you with your referencing

There are a number of different styles of referencing, including:

  • APA
  • MLA
  • Oxford
  • OSCOLA (Oxford for law documents)
  • Harvard
  • Chicago

Each style of referencing has different rules for properly citing sources. These may be broadly divided into two categories:

  • Author-date styles (such as APA, MLA, and Harvard) - with these, the author's name is quoted within the body of the text of the assignment, and more details are given in the footnotes.
  • Documentary-note styles (such as Chicago and Oxford) - with these, the author's name is put in a footnote at the bottom of each page or an endnote at the end of the assignment.

In addition to the references, all sources are included in a list at the end which will either be a reference list or a bibliography. There's a subtle difference - reference lists (in MLA style these are called ;Works cited') include all the sources actually cited within the text of the assignment. Bibliographies however can include sources that are not directly cited in the work - for example, you might include books or journals that have inspired your ideas but which you did not cite directly.

So which style should you use? This is completely at the discretion of the University at which you're studying - and be aware that styles can differ from course to course (particularly between different subjects). Check with your university and find out which style they require you to use.

EncyclopediasHere are guides to some of the most popular referencing styles. It is advisable to check with your University or institution which style they prefer you to use - and be aware that this will vary from course to course in the same institution.

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About the Author:

Doctor Jan

Doctor Jan is a Ph.D. qualified university lecturer at a leading UK university with over 30 years experience in Higher Education.