Different References styles for writing essay & paper

Reference style Guide for students1835_1.jpg

Being a student, it is important to recognise in your assessment that when you are using the words or ideas of another author. This is the most accepted way of acknowledging the work of another author is to use a referencing system. Reference is a relation between things of one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect or link with alternative object. It is Collections of instructions that clears how to you should reference the resources”. There are various styles and should not be mix and match -it is very important to just follow a single style. 

Each style has name by which it is usually known, and then its full official name in parentheses.

APA: It is used for psychology, education, and other social sciences.
MLA: It is used at literature, arts, and humanities.
AMA: It is used for medicine, health, and biological sciences.
Chicago: for all subjects in the "real world" by books, magazines, newspapers, and other non-scholarly publications.
• Harvard: It is most common and simplest style for assignments of students.

Collecting all the details: Accurate referencing

For books, record

• The author’s name (or names)
• The year of the book published 
• The title of the book 
• If it’s an edition other than the first
• The city in which  the book was published 
• The name of the publisher

For journal articles record:

• The author’s name/names
• The year in which the journal was published
• The title of the article
• The title of the journal
• The page number/s of the article in the journal
• Other information, about the journal, for example the volume and issue numbers.



APA style-American Psychological Association 

APA format is considered as an official style of the American Psychological Association (APA) and is frequently used to cite sources in psychology, education, and the social sciences.

• All reference section must be double-spaced.
• Entries must follow in alphabetical order.
• References should switch with a new page.
• All sources cited should appear both in-text and on the reference page.
• Titles of books, journals, magazines, and newspapers should be in italics.


For Journal

Journal Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Journal, xx, xxx-xxx.  

For Books

Books Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work. Location: Publisher.

Example:-Sayre, H.M. (2011). The Humanities: Culture, Continuity and Change - 1600 to the Present. 2nd ed. Prentice Hall PTR.


Harvard Style

Harvard, mostly referred to as ‘Name and Date’ format.

• The reference list should be at the end of work on a separate page.
• It must comprise references that have cited in work itself.
• References must in alphabetical order only.
• All references should need to be  hanging indent. That is, all lines of a reference subsequent to the first should be indented   

Guidelines to use the Harvard style


  • More than one work by the same author: if there is more than one author it should be listed chronologically. 
  • Multiple works by the same author in the same year : if there are multiple works of same author and should appear in  be lower case letters (a, b, c etc.) 
  • Page numbers It includes page numbers in the full citation in your reference list that includes Journal article and Chapter/ contribution/ paper in an edited book.
  • Capital letters capitalise the First   letter of each key word and title of journal/ newspaper/ database.

• A recent study (Seeley et al. 2011, p. 143) concluded that  {in text Citation}
• Cochrane, A 2007, Understanding urban policy: a critical approach, Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA. O’Kane, B. 2004. Starting a business in Ireland: a comprehensive guide and directory. 5th ed. Cork: Oak Tree Press.



MLA Style-Modern Language Association

It is the simplest style in references style. There are few norms to be used in MLA format

• Use typeface like (Arial or Times New Roman) in a proper size (at least 11 point).
• Justify the text to the left margin and leaving the right margin.
• Leave 1" margins from the top, bottom, left, and right.
• Indent the first word of the paragraph by 0.5". Indent set-off quotations by 1".
• Double spacing should be followed throughout.
• We should Use single spaces after applying full stops, commas, exclamation marks, etc.
• A title page for page is not required; at the top of the first page (1" margin, flush left), type your name, your instructor's name, the course number, and the date on separate, double-spaced lines.
• The title for research paper must be at centred on the first page. It should not be highlighted in bold or italics or for it to appear in capitals.
• Page numbers should appear in the top, right-hand corner with a 0.5" margin from the top and with a flush right margin

Author. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year. Type of Material.

Example  Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: Norton, 1999. Print


Chicago style


The Chicago style includes two tasks: 

  •  referencing of sources through numbered footnote or endnote citation as Opposed to in text citation. 
  •  to compile a list of reference sources at the end of the text (reference list).

Types of Chicago style

REF(reference list): Author’s Last name, First name. Title: Subtitle. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher, date of publication.
Example: Thelen, Kathleen. How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.  
FTN(foot note): . Author's First name Last name, Title of Book (Place of publication: Publisher, Year of publication), page. 

Example:  Kathleen Thelen, How Institutions Evolve: The Political Economy of Skills in Germany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 271.  


CSE Style-Council of Science Editors

This style is use references list which start from separate page at the end of the document.

For Book


Refer to Scientific style and format : the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publishers

Example:-Muir, J, Armstrong L, Hillary E. 1998. Exploring San Luis Obispo and nearby areas: a guide to biking and hiking on the Central Coast. San Luis Obispo, (CA): SLO Going Press. 224 p.

 For Journal Article

Refer to Scientific style and format : the CSE manual for authors, editors, and publisher

Wesson, T, Hatch, R. 2001. Group dynamics and competition: A socio-psychological analysis of the Survivor television show. Journal of Media and Social Psychology 25(2):10-36



• Items must be listed in numerical in the order they are cited.
• It should include not more than 6 authors 
• When there are  more than six author provide the names of the first three authors 
• If there are no authors, start with the title. 
• Periodicals (journals, magazines, and newspapers) must be in abbreviated titles; to check for the proper.

For Example

 Salwachter AR, Freischlag JA, Sawyer RG, Sanfey HA. The training needs and priorities of male and female surgeons and their trainees. J Am Coll Surg. 2005; 201: 199-205. 


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