A Quick Overview of The APA, MLA And Harvard Referencing Styles

Referencing is integral to any academic task. Crucial to maintaining academic integrity, referencing acknowledges the contribution of others, boosts quality & credibility, and counters plagiarism in all its forms. It is also the best way to showcase the breadth & depth of your research and support your claims & arguments. Looking for a reliable assignment writing service? Our team of experts is here to provide top-quality assistance, ensuring well-researched and impeccably written assignments that meet your academic requirements.

Thanks to the myriad academic referencing styles in practice, there are various ways to cite or reference. This article will explore the key features of three of the most popular referencing styles on this planet – the APA, MLA, & Harvard styles.

Let’s start right away.

A Look at the APA Citation Style

The APA or the American Psychological Association style is one of the most famous citation styles ever. It follows the author-date system for in-text citations and requires a detailed referencing list at the end.

  • You can use the author’s name in the text and then add the year of the source’s publication in parentheses immediately. This is known as a narrative in-text citation.
  • If you are not using the author’s name in your narrative, mention the name and the year of publication in parentheses. This is called parenthetical in-text citation and comes right after any quotation, references, borrowed idea or information, etc.
  • Once a certain citation has been mentioned earlier in a paragraph, there’s no need to mention the year on subsequent mentions in that paragraph. Also, if consecutive sentences build upon an idea from that source, the in-text citation can be mentioned only once.
  • Et al. is used alongside the first author’s name if there are three or more authors in a source.
  • Add page numbers to direct readers to a specific section of the source.
  • Quotations of less than 40 words can be added within double quotations. The exact page number from where the quotation has been lifted must be added to the in-text citation. Quotes over 40 words should be placed in a double-spaced, indented block.
  • Reference lists come on a separate page.
  • Entries must be in alphabetical order.
  • Book, journal, and video titles must be italicized. Volume numbers are also italicized but not issue numbers.
  • The first letter of the first word of a book, article, chapter, or section title and the first letter after a colon need to be capitalized.
  • Any capitalized proper noun, acronym or abbreviation should also be capitalized in the reference list.

If you do not have the time to remember or follow all these different rules, it’s best to seek aid from professional assignment proofreading services.

Some Pointers On The MLA Style

The MLA, or Modern Language Association, is another commonly used and highly flexible referencing/bibliographic citation style in academics, especially in the humanities domain. It uses the author-page system for in-text citations and requires a works cited section at the end.

  • Like the APA style, if you have used the author’s name in the narrative, you only need to add the page numbers in parentheses wherever there’s a natural pause in the text.
  • If the author’s name has not been used in the text, add the name and the page number in parentheses at the end of a sentence.
  • Quotes that are fewer than 4 lines must be enclosed within double quotations. And the page number of the respective quotations must be added in parentheses right after the quotes.
  • Place quotations in a separate indented block without quotation marks if they are more than 4 lines.
  • If you use more than one source in a section, mention them in parentheses and separate the author names-page numbers with a semicolon.
  • If only the source’s title is present, use it to refer to the text. Omit subtitles and abbreviate the title if you are referring to it frequently if the title’s not in parentheses.

If placed in parentheses, then abbreviate only in the first instance.

  • The Works Cited section can also be named a bibliography or reference list.  
  • All entries must be arranged alphabetically by the author’s surname or by title if there’s no author.
  • References that are longer than one line must be indented from the second line onwards.
  • Book and journal titles, alongside all independent sources, must be italicized.
  • Article and chapter titles should be placed within quotations but not italicized.
  • All major words in a title MUST be capitalized.
  • Do not omit articles from the title but do not consider them when arranging entries alphabetically. Well, that’s all the space we have for this article. Hope it was informative enough. Try to be thorough with the rules of these three major referencing styles. And, if need be, ask professional assignment help tutors for aid.

Quick Notes on the Harvard Referencing Style

The Harvard citation style is yet another popular referencing format in academic writing. Like the APA style, it also follows the author-date style.  

  • The rules of the Harvard style are quite similar to those of the APA style.

If not, you can use the author’s name in the narrative or add it with the year of publication in parentheses. If you used the name in the narrative, remember to add the year in parentheses when there’s a natural break.

Add page numbers to in-text citations for better referencing.

  • The rules remain the same when it comes to small or block quotations.
  • And again, the rules remain the same for the referencing list.
  • Single space between references with no indentation
  • Book, journal, and video titles must be italicized.
  • Put chapter or section titles in quotations.
  • The rules of capitalization are the same as that of the APA style.

All the best!

Author-Bio: Rebecca Liam is a professor from a leading public university in Canberra, Australia. She is also a part-time tutor with MyAssignmenthelp.com, a global academic service provider that offers maths assignment help, English assignment help, Java assignment help, and more.

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