Imagine this, you write your final thesis and submit it. But it gets rejected and why did it happen? Was it the grammar? Was it the concept? Probably not. It was you writing other publishers’ research without acknowledging which is considered as a crime. This crime is known as “Plagiarism.” Plagiarism is basically writing or using someone else’s ideas, work, or any theory. To rectify this situation, terms like “referencing” and “citations” were invented and used. Today, referencing is used in every academic forum and is taught to students too. Referencing allows a person to use other publishers to work by acknowledging them. You give credit to them by writing their ideas, words, and etc.

There is a difference between a citation and referencing and people mostly get confused about it. The citation tells where the information or data came from. And reference tells you the details about the source so that readers can understand it properly and they can find it too if they want more details. A typical research paper consists of a title page, abstract, introduction, body or literature review, citations, conclusion, bibliography or references, figures, or tables.

When typing a research paper, there are a few guidelines which should always be followed and one should remember to use these guidelines which are

  1. The margin should on all sides be of 1 inch (top, bottom, and left, right).
  2. The font size should be 12-pt and Times New Roman should be used.
  3. Double-space throughout the paper should be there including the title page, abstract, body of the document, references, appendixes, footnotes, tables, and even figures.
  4. Insert space once after comma, colons, and semicolons within sentences and insert space twice after punctuation marks that end sentences.
  5. The order of the page should be the title page, abstract, body, references, footnotes, tables, figures, and appendixes.
  6. Use active voice rather than using passive voice. For example “He suggested going” instead of “it was suggested by him to go”.
  7. The page number should be one inch from the right edge of the paper on the first line of every page including the title page

These points should be followed whenever one is writing a research paper, it does not matter which style he is opting for.

There are many different referencing styles. You can choose any reference style you want. Remember to stick with the specific referencing style and NEVER use more than one reference style in the same research paper. Stick to one throughout. There are many types of referencing and citation styles which are

  1. APA referencing
  2. MLA referencing
  3. MHRA referencing
  4. Vancouver referencing
  5. Harvard referencing
  6. Chicago or Turabian referencing

Below is the description of some of the reference styles:



APA citation format is the most widely used format. It is mainly used in behavioral and social sciences. American Psychological Association also is known as APA was introduced in 1929. Like every referencing style, APA to have some rules which are to be followed when opting for APA citation.

A title page is required in every research paper. But in APA style, the title page is page 1. The title page should consist of running head, paper title, author, institutional affiliations, and author’s note. A running head is a short title that appears at the top of the pages of a paper and it should not exceed 50 characters which also includes spaces and punctuation.

The abstract is an important element. And it begins on a new page right after the title page. It usually is brief and contains the whole summary of the research paper. The heading “abstract” should be in the center. The word limit should be 150-250 words.

The body of the paper in APA begins on a new page which is page 3. The body consists of main headings which are methods, results, discussions, and references. It also consists of subheadings which are participants, apparatus, and procedure.

When the authors are a part of the sentence, the year of publication appears in parentheses. And when the authors are not a part of the sentence, their name and the year of publication appear in parentheses. When a text that has two authors is cited, both authors are included every time the source is cited.

In APA, the author’s last name and the date of publication must be mentioned. For example (Henry, 1999)

The references should be written in alphabetical order. For example (Henry, Matt, 1996)

If there are more than 2 authors, all the last names of the authors should be only for the first time when referring them for the first time. And after that, the last name of the first author should be used followed by “et al” also known as “and others” in English.

If there are more than 6 authors then only the last of the first author followed by “et al” is used throughout the text. In APA. References are termed as references.

The title is written in Italics in an APA citation.

If you are citing a web document, use the author-date format. If you are citing a website, mention the website.



This is another type of referencing style. Just like APA, Harvard referencing style to have a different style and one should know all the rules when choosing this specific style of citation. Harvard is used in economics And Chicago or Turabian style is used in Business, History, and Arts. The Harvard citation style is taught with slightly different variations in universities worldwide.

When citing, write the author’s name alphabetically. There are times when much work has been done by the same author, then write them in order of dates. And if the work is done in the same year then the titles are written alphabetically.

Insert double space when opting for Harvard referencing styles. When citing the work of an author, the in-text citation consists of the author’s surname, year of publication, and the page number.

When there are more than one author and less than four authors, authors’ surnames will be used. If there are more than four authors, only mention the surname of the first author followed by “et. Al. There are times where there is no name of the author or it is not mentioned, mention the title in italics, year of publication, and the page number.

If there is no date mentioned, just write the name of the author, no date, and the page number. The references in the research page are termed as “references list.” The Harvard referencing style requires an abstract of the whole topic before the introduction and other elements



Another style of referencing is the MHRA referencing style. This type of referencing style is mostly used in arts and humanities. Now, what makes it unique? The footnotes. The footnotes provide all the details so that the reader does not have to search the bibliography to find the reference.

In MHRA referencing style, when you are writing some other author’s point of view or theory, use a subscript number which is above the line right after the sentence or quote. This will tell the reader to refer to the footnotes provided at the end of the paper. After mentioning the author’s name mention the title of the work in italics and then mention the place of publication, who the publisher is, and the year of publication. The titles of the books and journals should always be in italics. Do not mention the terms like press, Co. or Ltd. When mentioning the place of publication. The font size of the footnotes should be 10 pt.

Mention the surnames of the author in alphabetical order in the bibliography which will at the end of the paper. The bibliography should consist of everything and every information of the author you have cited in your research paper. If there are two or more than two authors of the same research, mention their last names. Do not use a full stop at the end of each reference.

Vancouver referencing style:

Vancouver referencing and citing style is used in medicine. When citing a reference using this style, use square [] or curly brackets {}. One can also use superscripts if he/she does not want to use brackets. References are listed in numerical order and in the same order in which they are cited. When citing a reference from a book, write the name of the author, title of the book, edition, place of publication, publisher, year of publication, and the page number.

If you are citing a reference from a specific chapter of a book then mention all the authors, title of chapter, editors, the title of book, edition, place of publication: Publisher; year of publication, and the page number.



Referencing MLA style or Modern Language Association of America is another type of referencing style which is used in research papers.

If you include the author’s name in the sentence then there is no need to write the name of the author again in the bracket. Write only the information required to acknowledge the author’s work that is the author’s name and the page number. These things are sufficient to identify the source. Online sources are cited just like you cite a book source. Mention the page number if there is a page number written and other relevant figures. You can omit the page number if the source does not have any page number mentioned anywhere.

When citing a reference from a book, the things that should be mentioned are author, name of the chapter, book title, editors, place of publication, name of the publisher, date of publication, page number, and the medium of the publication.

When writing the references under the heading of references which is the last page or section of a research paper, write the names of the authors’ surnames in alphabetical order.

Capitalize the first word and other important words of the cited worklist. The publisher’s name should be as short as possible. Remove words like ltd, Co., and Inc.



When we talk about this specific type of referencing style, there are two variations in it which are notes and bibliography and the other is author-date.

The notes and bibliography are used in literature, history, and arts. All sources are cited in footnotes or endnotes. Every note consist of a superscript. And all the references are listed in a separate bibliography.

On the other hand, the author-date format is more common in the social sciences and science. In this system, the sources are cited when the sentence in brackets.

Ignore all the a, an or the when citing references in the bibliography.



These are different types of referencing styles which are described in detail. Make sure to read about every style in detail to learn about them. They are available online and there are many guide books in a book store that will make you write a research paper easily and hassle-free. Remember to use only one style and use it properly. It is nearly an impossible thing to remember all the rules of even one referencing style and the best way to remember them is to take print outs and learn from them. Whenever you are stuck, just refer to your printout. And everything will be crystal clear. Gradually, you will remember the basic rules of all referencing styles if you will use them. If you are a student, then you will have to become used to all the referencing styles. And always check your research paper for assignment help UK. Go through each and every word to make sure whatever you have written is correct, the grammar is correct, it is original, and even if it is not original the author should get proper credit and everything else should be mentioned. The typical format which has been discussed earlier should be followed very strictly.

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