So you just finished your psychology essay after five failed attempts, three back-to-back all-nighters and endless cups of coffee. Kind of seems like you have just got a huge load off of your chest, right?
Well, you are wrong.
The drudgery of citing all external sources mentioned in your essay needs to be listed in the end as part of the list of references for giving credit where it is due. Although you have just finished a mammoth task of wrapping up your essay in style, it is far from being completed if you do not have a proper list of references as per the citation guidelines at your college or university.
What are the citation styles?
Citations (also called references) are basically how you give credit where it is due. An acknowledgement to the researchers or thinkers before you who have come up with and tested various theories for your discipline, you must enlist the names of the same at the end of your essay as a list of references.
Being morally upright and honest is the way to go when it comes to academia. If you want to avoid plagiarism issues, then you should always adhere to the citation guidelines preferred at your college or university. This gives you a scope of mentioning all the authors and external sources whose work or ideas you have mentioned in the essay.
Various types of citation styles and guidelines
A citation style is the structure that you should follow when listing the external sources used in your essay or any academic paper. Citation styles follow a specific structure for capitalisation, italicisation, and punctuation of the elements of the necessary information about the authors and their works. Citation styles usually include the name of the author, date of publishing, the name and location of the publishing house or company, title of the work(s) cited, hyperlinks and Digital Object Identifier (DOI).
Here is how you can use the various types of academic citation styles for your essay’s list of references.
The American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing is one of the most popular forms of citation styles accepted all around the world in higher education institutions for referencing the academic papers and documents of research. The APA citation style places special emphasis on the name of the author and the date of publication to easily identify the external sources. Students of psychology and related disciplines usually prefer this form of citation styles for their academic essays and papers.
How to use APA citation style:
Lawrence, D.H. (1992). Sons and Lovers. Hertfordshire, UK: Wordsworth Editions Ltd.
Gabbatis, J. (2018). Fishermen are illegally killing endangered dolphins and seals to use as bait. The Independent. Retrieved from: www.independent.co.uk/environment/dolphins-seals-killed-bait-fisherman-endangered-illegal-latin-america-africa-a8387271.html
Harvard is a citation style quite similar to that of APA, and it relies heavily on the emphasis on the author’s name, date and place of publication. Allowing the readers to locate the original sources with ease, this citation style is popular across the higher education institutions in the UK and Australia. The Harvard style of citing sources is quite a hit among students of humanities for its easygoing structure of referring to the sources.
How to use Harvard citation style:
Eliot, G. (2003) Silas Marner. US Edition. London: Penguin Random House Pvt. Ltd.
Taylor, D. (2018) ‘England’s World Cup dream dashed as Croatia win semi-final in extra time’, The Guardian, 11 July [online]. Available at: www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/11/england-croatia-world-cup-semi-final-match-report (Accessed: 20 July 2018)
The Modern Language Association (MLA) developed this citation style. It is used widely when writing essays and other academic papers in the humanities disciplines, especially on language or literature related disciplines. This citation style emphasises on the source being identified as part of a larger whole (called containers) and makes citing sources a pretty easy thing to do due to identification of the larger whole.
How to use MLA citation style:
Hosseini, K. A thousand splendid suns. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008. Print.
McGuire, C. “Moby Quick: Airbus’ huge Beluga XL plane nicknamed ‘whale in the sky’ takes maiden flight.” www.thesun.co.uk. The Sun, 19 July 2018. Web. 20 July 2018.
The Vancouver citation style puts emphasis on the usage of numbers and the name of the author as essential elements of identifying external sources in an academic document. The numbers related back to the same ones used throughout your essay and merge in-texting with the references in a systematic manner. Hugely popular among the discipline of medicine and the physical sciences, the Vancouver style of citing external sources is quite a fascinating one once you get the hang of it.
How to use Vancouver citation style:
Dostoevsky, F. Crime and punishment. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press; 2003. 25-118p.
Holden, S. A soccer player’s ordeal in an Argentine prison. The New York Times [Internet]. 2007 [cited 2018 20 July]. Available from https://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/movies/30chro.html
The Chicago and Turabian citation styles have plenty of similarities, just like the case of APA and Harvard styles of referencing sources. The Chicago and Turabian styles of citations can be used alternatively, in cases where the discipline and your university accepts any one of them. These two citation styles are mostly suited for citing the sources in disciplines such as history, fine arts, economics and business studies.
How to use Chicago/ Turabian citation style:
Atwood, Margaret. Morning in the Burned House. San Diego, USA: Mariner Books, 1996.
British Broadcasting Company. “Israel suspends fuel deliveries to Gaza over arson attacks.” Accessed July 20, 2018. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-44858637.
Now that you know of the various types of citation styles as well as the guidelines for using them, you can easily create a list of references for your essay. However, be sure to look up the specific guidelines at your college or university before you select the citation style of your choice that lets you cite sources with ease in your essay. Be careful about the punctuation parks, italicisation and capitalisation of words as well as the usage of spacing between each element of a citation when preparing the list of references. Good luck with your essay!
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