Referencing sources – What are credible sources?

Referencing sources – What are credible sources?

Referencing is documenting the source of an idea. Different citation styles are used depending on the field of study, for instance, MLA, APA, and Chicago. Credible sources are created by experts in that field or published in an unbiased publication, not on the wiki or a newspaper. They have in-depth information such as an abstract and a reference list, and they are current with supporting documents. The authors of the sources should be reputable people, with an immense contribution to written information on similar topics.

Peer-reviewed or scholarly sources are reviewed by several experts in a particular field, for example, scientists and historians. Journal of Higher Education is an example of a peer-reviewed source. Non-peer-reviewed sources are only edited grammar and spelling mistakes by the editor, and they include popular magazines and newspapers. When citing a peer-reviewed source, begin with writing the title of the review followed by the phrase ‘Review of’ then provide the title of the work. Books, films, and plays should be in italics, while poems, short stories, and articles should be in quotation marks. Provide the publication information and the review author at the end.

Scholarly sources have citations in the text and a reference list or bibliography section at the end of the paper. Although there are different citation styles, the information provided is the same. It is essential to reference sources as it enables readers to find the author and seek further information when necessary. Referencing allows the teachers to distinguish borrowed ideas from the work of the student. Before including the references, it is crucial to enquire from the professor on what referencing style to use.

In universities, it is compulsory to cite work from other sources. Plagiarism is an offense that cannot only lead to expulsion but also the cancellation of a paper. It is against copyright laws. Referencing gives credit to the source of the work cited. It is essential to include a citation after paraphrasing an idea of another person or stating it as it is. Sources included in the text are known as citations. A reference list appears at the end with all the references, it is arranged based on numerical or alphabetical order. Although there are reference managers such as EndNote that can help you manage the references list and citations, you can also do it manually. All sources for books should have the author, title of the book, where it was published, publication, and the year it was published.

Citation Styles Guide | Which Citation Style Should You Use?

Citation styles guide is a published official handbook with rules on how to cite and reference sources; it has illustrations, explanations, and examples of different citation styles. There are various citation styles, such as MLA, APA, and Chicago. They have different rules in terms of formatting, in-text citations, and reference lists.

In-text citations are inside the text. After quoting or paraphrasing an idea from another person, you are supposed to add a citation. There are different types of in-text citations; the parenthetical citation encompasses the use of parenthesis when citing sources, for example (James, 2010). Note citation entails the use of footnotes and endnotes. Numerical is the use of numbers that correspond with the reference list in the in-text citation.

The reference list appears at the end of the paper. It has all the information about a source that enables the reader to trace it. The reference list has different titles depending on the citation style; in Chicago A, it is the bibliography. In APA, it is the reference page. In MLA, it is named the work cited.

The formatting differs depending on the citation style. Some styles have guidelines on how to organize the cover page, margins, and spacing. They also have detailed rules on the font, headings, and subheadings. If the style you are using does not have formatting rules, use a format that is clear and consistent.

Universities and journals use different citation styles. For instance, the Journal of Marketing uses APA style. If the professor does not give guidelines on which citation style to use, consider the field and the citation style that provides relevant information. APA style is popular in education, psychology, and social sciences. MLA citation style is common in humanities, and Chicago A is common in history and humanities. 

The American Psychological Association published the APA citation style. In the in-text citation, APA includes the author and date in the parenthesis, for instance, (Smith, 2010). Modern Language Association created the MLA citation style.  It also has the parenthesis in the in-text citation. Unlike APA that contains the author and date, MLA uses the author and page number, for instance, (Steward 23). The Chicago Manual of Style published Chicago citation style. There are two categories; Chicago A and Chicago B. Chicago A uses footnotes and endnotes to cite sources. Chicago B includes the author and date in the parenthetical citation.

Importance of citation and references in writing:

In universities, citing and referencing are part of academic writing. Citations appear in the text and references or bibliographies at the end of the document. There are different ways to cite and reference sources. Referencing is not only advantageous to the writer who prepares the work, but also the reader.

First, it helps avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is a severe offense that cannot only lead to expulsion from school but also the cancellation of a paper. Secondly, it gives credit where it is due. As a student, you can draw ideas from different sources, such as books, magazines, and journals. Inclusion of a citation and a reference is a way of acknowledging the source. It reveals that you respect the author’s intellectual property rights. Referencing provides proof of the claims you made in your work. It also makes it easy to trace the source.

Citations add authority and persuasion to your work. Citing and referencing experts in your field show that you are conversant with that area of study. Your sources should be accurate to make it easy for the reader to find them. To ensure accuracy, make notes of the references you will use as you research.

References show the marker that you took time to research your work. Referencing acts as a fact-checking tool. It gives the reader room to verify whether a quote or paraphrase is accurate. Referencing in writing allows the reader to seek further information from the source if they are interested in the topic.

Apart from making you a good researcher who is detail-oriented, referencing makes you a good writer. It enables you to base your statements on facts instead of generalizations and false accusations. Citations make it possible to use the active voice rather than the passive. They enhance your keenness during research as you have to paraphrase concepts accurately.

Citations and references make it easier for your work to get accepted during the verification process. Before any document is published or posted on a website, it has to undergo a confirmation process. Multiple editors go through it to confirm whether sources are well cited. When you reference your sources correctly, you get minimal criticism, and your work gets verified with ease.

Finally, citing and referencing enables the readers to understand whether you have included recent sources. It also scales up your credibility as a writer and allows readers to distinguish your work from borrowed ideas. Sources such as experiment results, personal experiences, and general knowledge, do not need citations.