Academic papers such as essays, reports and dissertations require referencing to indicate where certain information were taken from; these could be facts, theories, ideas or direct quotations from published works, either in print or on the Internet.
There are many different types of referencing styles, the use of which depends on the type of writing task being done. Reference styles, or citation styles as it is also called, are mainly classified into two systems: the notes system and the parenthetical system.
- Notes System - uses numbers in a sequence placed after a sentence or paragraph that needs to be cited. The details are then placed according to the number either as footnotes, which are placed at the end of every page, or as endnotes, placed at the end of the written work. This system is typically used in academic works covering Humanities subjects such as History, Literature, and the Arts. The most common citation styles used are:
Parenthetical System - uses in-text citations where source and date (typically) are placed in a parenthesis directly after the sentence or paragraph that needs citation. At the end of the written work is either a reference list or a bibliography where detailed information of the sources are listed alphabetically. This style of referencing is generally used in Natural, Physical and Social Sciences. The most popular reference styles for the parenthetical system are:
Other referencing styles have been created to suit particular subjects and academic preferences. Some of these even use a combination of both the note system and the parenthetical system, the most common reference styles of this type are:
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