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Referencing Tips For Academic Essay Writing

Believe it or not, referencing plays an important role in our life. When a friend refers a book, you know it’s going to be a good one; when a professor tells you about a new discovery, you know they’re facts. To bring the same originality and validation in your written work, citing is necessary.

Various referencing formats can be followed to acknowledge the work of other writers. But before you begin referencing, here’s why it’s a daunting subject in the academic world.

Why Reference your work?

A report or essay is drafted after research; highlight the ideas or concepts that you have taken from other authors. Referencing allows you to:

  • Acknowledge other authors or writers for their original idea
  • Support your stance or argument
  • Allow readers to retrace your research work
  • Let readers know your academic assignment writing is dated
  • Let the academia know that you have done thorough research on the subject.
  • Keep away from plagiarism

Plagiarism – a great academic offence 

Using another author’s work without credit is known as plagiarism. Quotes and images need to be sourced back to their owner. Even paraphrasing an idea without linking it to the original source is considered plagiarism.

Referencing tips for academic writing

Academic Essay Writing tips


Two types of citations are readily used in academic writing: in-text citation and referencing list.

When a quote or a paragraph is incorporated in the body of your essay, in-text citation is used.

For examples, “The European economy was finally thriving…….” (Richard, 2018)

List of books and authors at the end of your assignment is known as a reference list.

Referencing style 

Academic institutions have a preferred referencing style for their documents; follow their outline. Some of the commonly used referencing systems are Harvard, APA, and MLA. There is a slight difference is all of these styles; pay close attention.

Your referencing should communicate important details about your source, such as, Author’s name, year of publication, title of book or article, city of publication, name of publisher, pages cited in your work, URL and date a webpage was accessed, etc.

Sources should be cited in alphabetical order, according to the last name of the author, but can be ordered by date, if the reference has more than one author.

Create a list

Your bibliography should be updated at all times. You may be accessing multiple sources for your assignment; don’t leave out a source. Use strong, credible sources to build your argument. Pay more attention to quality of sources, than the quantity of your reference list.

Use ‘et al’

Formatting sequence of different referencing style may vary, but when citing more than three authors for an article or book, make use of ‘et al’. Here is a Harvard referencing style example for you, (Richard et al., 2014).

Unconventional sources

Generally, books and articles are used as a prime source of an essay, but some topics needs citation of unconventional sources like audio books or unpublished reports. Learn the right way to incorporate them in your research or ask a professional academic writing service to do it for you.

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