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How To Write References in an Essay

When writing essays, it is not enough for a student to just do research, write an outline and present ideas clearly and concisely. Even a well-written essay with original ideas can be accused of plagiarism just because the writer failed to place quotations or acknowledge the proper authors for borrowed ideas. This is why a student must learn how to write references in an essay.

A referencing guide serves to teach students how to reference different types of material commonly used in an essay such as:


  • Direct quotations
  • Paraphrases
  • Statistical facts
  • Other people's ideas or words
  • Official documents or press releases


There are many referencing styles being used by researchers and academics all over the world, such as the APA, ACS, MLA, CMOS, OSCOLA, Vancouver and Harvard styles. Many universities prefer to adapt the Harvard referencing system, in which the author's surname and the source's year of publication are cited in-text, with the full details of the source all given in a reference list at the end of the assignment.


Students who need essay writing help can make use of an online referencing generator in order to quickly and easily format references and sources following the conventions of a particular referencing style. A Harvard referencing generator, for example will require details such as the following:


  • Author/s,
  • Date of publication
  • Title
  • Edition
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher
  • Page number/s
  • Other information

While using a referencing generator is convenient, you should only use this to make your writing easier. You must still be able to know how to write references in an essay manually so you can spot inconsistencies if ever they arise. Some universities also require students to undergo courses or modules on referencing in preparation for thesis or dissertation writing.


At Essay Writer, each dissertation, thesis, coursework, research paper or assignment you order comes with a guarantee of a full reference list in your preferred referencing style. Contact us via email, telephone or live chat for enquiries.

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