Referencing is the act to recognise the contribution of other authors in a personal document. Nowadays, all the university and institutional written works must contain references to give credit to the authors who permitted the writer to produce his/her ideas.
With the act of referencing researchers, writers recognise and respect the intellectual property rights of those authors. Citations should always be clear and precise as the person who reads the document can easily find out where information comes from. Finally, citations make the written document more persuasive.
Every source used in a written document must be cited, no matters if it is print or digital (eBooks, eJournals and PDF files). Furthermore, also multimedia files such as films, images, videos and documentaries must be acknowledged if used in a work.
Referencing can be divided into in-text citations and reference list. In-Text citations are those which are used when directly quoting or paraphrasing a source. They are written in the body of the work and consist of only a part of the full citation. The reference list consists of citations located at the end of the work and shows the full reference to the sources used in the document body.
Different disciplines adopt different styles. The most common ones are the APA (American Psychological Association) style which is used by Education, Psychology and Sciences, the MLA (Modern Language Association) style which is adopted by Humanities and the Chicago / Turabian style which is adopted by Business, History and the Fine Arts. However, most of the time students adopt the Harvard style.
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