Citing and Referencing

Citing and Referencing

What is “citing and referencing”?

The process of acknowledging other people’s work in your work is known as citing or referencing. The source of all published and unpublished documents regardless of format (i.e. print, non-print, electronic, internet) referred to, directly quoted from, paraphrased or summarized in your essay, project, dissertation or thesis must be acknowledged.

References are cited twice in a document:

  1. at the immediate point where a document written by someone else is referred to (in-text citation);
  2. in the bibliography, reference list or work cited at the end of your work.

Why is referencing important?

Good referencing is an essential component of good academic writing. It is important for a number of reasons:

  • It shows the depth and breadth of your reading;
  • It demonstrates how your work relates to others who have written on the same subject;
  • It allows your ideas to stand out clearly within the text;
  • It enables readers of your work to locate the original information source;
  • Most importantly, it helps to reduce the possibility of plagiarism as you will have declared all of your sources of information and ideas.

Citation Styles

Citation style is a written reference to a specific work or portion of a work (book, article, dissertation, report, musical composition, etc.) produced by a particular author, editor, composer, etc., clearly identifying the document in which the work is to be found.

Citation format varies from one field of study to another but includes at a minimum author name, title of the work, and publication date.

The three most popular citation styles are:

  • APA Stle
  • MLA Style
  • Chicago Style

Citation Style Manuals

Citation style manual is a guide to a prescribed set of rules for typing research papers and theses, usually written for a specific academic discipline or group of related disciplines, covering the mechanics of writing (punctuation, capitalization, quotations, plagiarism, etc.), format (spacing, headings, tables and illustrations, etc.), and correct form of documentation (footnotes, endnotes, and bibliographies), usually including pertinent examples.


  • APA Style Manual (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association)
  • MLA Style Manual (Handbook for Writers of Research Papers published by Modern Language Association of America)
  • Chicago Style Manual (published by the University of Chicago Press)

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British International School Abu Dhabi (BISAD) : A Nord Anglia Education School

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