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What are the Different Referencing Styles used in Assignment Writing?


Home Blog What are the Different Referencing Styles used in Assignment Writing?

17 Jul

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What are the Different Referencing Styles used in Assignment Writing?

Referencing plays a crucial part in the assignment writing process. Assignments make for one of the most important academic commitments of university tenure. Writing assignments requires thorough research on each topic undertaken. At a certain point while writing an assignment, it is essential to cite a referencing style. The style can be cited to a specific format that presents in-text references along with a bibliography.

Understanding referencing styles:

These styles are referred to as a set of rules that will signify to you the manner in which you need to acknowledge the intellectual works of individuals and incorporate it in your research. Referencing is undoubtedly one of the most crucial parts of a successful academic writing process that also helps you to avoid plagiarism while performing assignments. While citing resources, do not forget to seek assistance from a plagiarism checker and run the content on the software for better convenience.

Referencing comprises of two vital elements such as the following:

  • An in-text citation
  • A reference list entry cited at the end of each assignment

The citation usually comprises a number of details that helps readers to identify the source which has been listed in the reference list. Mostly, it is usually cited to the name of the author and also the year in which the source of the data has been published. The list is usually written in an alphabetical style in accordance with the name of the author. Some of the other details to be cited include the year of publication in addition to the title of the source.

There are a number of guides, manuals, handbooks and styles that are beneficial for citing the references in your term paper. Distinct universities and publishers have a distinctive preference in regards with the format of the citations.

Depending on the way in which the sources are recorded, the scholarly reference styles can be subdivided in to three primary categories:

  • Documentary note style
  • Parenthetical styles
  • Numbered styles

Let us explore more about the categories as explained below:

Documentary note styles:

In documentary note styles, there are references as given in footnotes and endnotes. These are properly indicated by digits that recur with the complete reference at the bottom of a page, or after a text have been written. This digit is placed after a period or a full stop that ends a sentence to which the reference essentially belongs.

Example: MHRA and Oxford reference styles

Parenthetical styles or author date styles

In this form of style, the in-text references are usually given within the parenthesis as provided before the period or full stop of the sentence that comprises the reference. 

Example: APA, MLA and Harvard

Numbered styles

In numbered styles, the sources are signified to the Arabic numbers within a superscript or square brackets. On the other hand, the references are listed in a reference list which is numbered. This is listed after the written text. References are numbered in accordance to an order in which they tend to appear first in the text. A reference generator can be a valuable tool for organizing and tracking the sources that have been used in your paper.

Example, IEEE and Vancouver

Different styles of referencing:

There are a number of referencing styles that make use of multiple formats offering the same information. The method of referencing gives credit to individuals for the intellectual work that has been produced by them. It gives credit to support the paper or research that has been carried out. Furthermore, it is also beneficial to locate the significant sources and also to avoid plagiarism of all kinds. The styles tend to dictate the kind of information required for the citation and the way in which it is ordered which also includes the punctuation. Before knowing more about reference styles, you can reach out for essay writing help to complete your essay well.

Let us discuss the distinct styles of referencing and how they are different from one another. The article covers some of the most commonly used referencing systems that are used across assignments written in Universities.


APA or the American Psychological Association style is undoubtedly one of the most frequently used style in the realm of social sciences. This is used widely across a number of assignments and is beneficial to cite varied sources. The citation guide as revised in accordance with the 6th edition of the manual offers a general format for the reference page and the in-text citations. This is largely used by a number of organizations in the field of behavioural and social sciences that make use of the format to use it for the standard and guidelines of the organization.


MLA or the Modern Language Association aims to establish value for acknowledging the sources beneficial in research papers. This style of citations makes use of a two-part parenthetical documentation system that cites the sources well. Citations tend to point to the works cited in an alphabetical order at the end of each paper. These references aim to identify and credit the sources beneficial in the paper while allowing others to retrieve and access the material.

This is another type of referencing style where writers need to place references in the paper in order to identify them briefly while enabling readers to find them in the list of works cited. These references need to be kept quite brief and optimally clear. This kind of referencing style needs to be followed where the writers need to provide the information needed to search a source, which is usually the page reference suffice and the last name. Individuals need to place the parenthetical reference as close as possible. Information cited needs to be competent and not repetitive. If the author’s name is included in the sentence, you should refrain from repeating it in the parenthetical statement.


This is another common style of referencing that is used largely among students studying in universities. This style makes use of the author-date system, for providing in-text citations. It comprises the last name of the authors along with the year of publication cited in round brackets and is placed within the text. If there is no discernable author, you need to make use of the title and the date. It is essential to write the reference list in an alphabetical order and the references are ordered in an alphabetical order by using the first significant world of your title. Make sure you need to use only the initials of the authors without any period or space in between. Do not forget to use the last name first before the first name.

Oxford Style

This style of referencing makes use of footnotes right at the bottom of the page instead of an in-text citation style as used by the APA or Harvard. The style of citations has been developed by the prestigious university of Oxford in the UK. It is also known as a documentary note style and comprises a reference list and footnote citations. This is where a superscript number is properly inserted in the essay where the author’s work is cited. The numbers need to be placed at the end of the sentence followed by any punctuation mark. This note citation system requires writers to make use of the author’s last name if you refer to the same work again. A paraphrasing tool can help students to paraphrase the content and avoid plagiarism.


IEEE or the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) referencing styles is beneficial in the publications pertaining to computer, electronics and technology. Hence, it is rather a technical form of referencing style and is also used among the students in the field of Electronics and Information Technology. This involves in-text references and these are numbered in accordance to the order appeared in the document and reference list. The full details of the references are stated below each document. It is a numerical style of referencing where the citations are used numbered in the order of an appearance. This leads readers to a complete reference to the source as offered in the list of references below your work.

Final Thoughts:

In addition to these common referencing styles, there are a few more that offer distinct origins, characteristics, specifications and features as developed in their own style. The disciplines have adopted a distinctive referencing style along with other disciplines that might use a range of referencing formats. It is mandatory for students to learn the style of writing while familiarising themselves with the style of reference requirements for a subject.

If you have been looking for offering the correct citation format, it is recommended to get in touch with the professional academic service providers at livewebtutors.co.  The professionals are equipped with an in-depth understanding of every citation style and offer professional assistance accordingly. In addition to this, you can also avail online assignment help to offer guidance with the assignments procured in your university.