Referencing and Citations: How to apply reference and citation in writing

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How to apply reference and citation in writing

How to apply reference and citation in writing

Referencing involves documenting the sources used while writing an essay. How does one go about referencing the materials he or she has cited or quoted in an essay? There are two major ways of referencing in an essay

  • The use of notes
  • In-text referencing

In the first instance – the use of notes – there are two ways of documenting the sources used. One could either use footnotes or endnotes. In either case, the use of notes involve the use of superscript numeric characters arranged serially from the beginning to the end of the essay (a paper or chapter in a book) each representing a material that has been consulted in the course of writing the essay starting from the first to the last.

 

Differences between Footnote and Endnote

The difference between the footnote and the endnote has to do with the position where the cited materials represented by each serially arranged superscript are placed. In using the footnote referencing style, the references for the materials consulted in each page appears at the bottom or the foot of the page till the end of the entire essay. While typing with  Microsoft  word  application, this can easily be done using the Ctrl+Alt+F keys.

How to apply reference and citation in writing

How to apply reference and citation in writing

The same method has been employed through the pages of this study series. But for the endnotes, the references for the  materials consulted are collated at the end of the entire document, under   the heading “Endnotes”, serially arranged with each serial number corresponding to the  superscript serially arranged in the document. When typing with Microsoft word application, one can simply create an “Endnote in a document by using the Ctrl+Alt+D keys.

While creating the references either at the bottom of the page or at  the  end of  the document, some rules are followed. There is no generally accepted method of doing this. It varies among, institutions, academic association, and journals. Each of these bodies tries to find a way to add a unique touch to the referencing style to make theirs different from others. However, it generally follows the formats below:

Author’s first and last name, Book Title (Publishing Place: Publisher, Year), page(s) cited

  • Referencing a chapter in an edited book (or an entry in an editedEncyclopaedia):

Chapter author’s first and last names, Chapter Title. In Book Editors first and last names (Ed., or Eds. If more than one editor), Book Title (Publishing Place: Publisher, Year), page(s) cited

  • Referencing a journal article:

Article author’s name, Article Title. Journal Title, Volume-Number (Year): page(s) cited

  • Referencing an internet source:

Article/Book author’s name, Article/Book Title. Retrieved on (write the date from Site) Name. Available at: Webpage address

When an already cited material is been cited again in the same documents, essay or chapter, there is no need repeating the entire details of the material. What is needed at that point is simply the author’s name, the title of the material followed by the page(s) cited. The page cited is always represented with a “p.” for a single page and “pp.” for citations that cuts across pages.

How to apply reference and citation in writing

On the other hand, in-text referencing style involves the direct placement of the cited material at the beginning or the end of the part of the essay being referenced. This is done by simply stating the author’s name, year of publication and/or page(s) cited of the material referenced. There is no fixed way of doing this. The in-text referencing style can appear in  any of the following manner  in the example below:

  • Quine (1992, p. 20), in his naturalised epistemology goes beyond traditional accounts of epistemic
  • Quine (1992: 20), in his naturalised epistemology goes beyond traditional accounts of epistemic
  • Quine (1992), in his naturalised epistemology goes beyond traditional accounts of epistemic
  • Quine, in his naturalised epistemology goes beyond traditional accounts of epistemic justification (Quine, 1992, p.20).
  • Quine, in his naturalised epistemology goes beyond traditional accounts of epistemic justification (Quine, 1992:20).
  • Quine, in his naturalised epistemology goes beyond traditional accounts of epistemic justification (Quine,1992).

How to apply reference and citation in writing

The variations in the use of in-test referencing style depend on institutional, journal or associational requirements. At the end of the entire essay, the writer is then expected to provide the details for all the references used in the essay under the heading “References” or “Bibliographical References”.

 

All the referenced materials should appear in this section arranged alphabetically. The manner in which this documentation is done also varies among academic bodies, institutions and journals. However, it generally tallies with the format below:

  • Referencing a book:

Author’s last name, first name or Initials, Publication Year, Book Title, Publishing Place: Publisher.

  • Referencing a chapter in an edited book (or an entry in an editedEncyclopaedia):

Chapter author’s last name, first name or Initials, Publication Year, Chapter Title.  In  Book Editors first and last names (Ed. or Eds. If more than one editor), Book Title, Publishing Place: Publisher, page range.

How to apply reference and citation in writing

  • Referencing a journal article:

Article author’s last name, first name or Initials, Publication Year, Article Title. Journal Title, Volume-Number: page range

  • Referencing an internet source:

Article/Book author’s last name, first name, Publication Year (or ND meaning No Date if publication year is not available), Article/Book Title. Retrieved on (write the date from Site  Name. Available at: Webpage address

It is also important to note that notes referencing style can also be used side-by-side with the in- text referencing style. When writing an essay, there could be information that the writer may feel is useful for the reader to grasp the thoughts better but cannot readily fit within the essay itself to avoid clumsiness and prevent the primary line of thought from being distorted.

Such points or information can be brought to the bottom of the page as footnotes or at the end of the document as endnotes using superscript numbering. In this way the information is preserved  in the essay but not in a way that will distort the basic argument and line of thought. Once a researcher is familiar with these basic referencing tips, he or she can present his ideas and their evidences clearly and neatly.

 


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