Importance of Referencing in Essay Writing

Referencing is the process of citing all the sources of information that were used in the process of writing an academic essay. It is used to acknowledge the ideas and that have been developed from the work of a primary author. Referencing is also used to credit authors for their efforts in researching the topic.

In instances where an author fails to acknowledge their source of information, it is considered as academic plagiarism, which is a major act of misconduct in academia and is punishable by learning institutions.

Referencing and plagiarism

Referencing is, therefore, an integral part of academic essay writing in university and tertiary levels of learning. Academic referencing is crucial because it enables the student to provide a clear record of all the information sources used in their studies. Additionally, some readers may want to read further into the topic from the source; referencing enables the instructor and other readers of the essay to access more information from the source if necessary. Failure to properly reference and cite an essay creates the assumption that the work has been copied; therefore, the work cannot be used for further research. In academic work, any facts, figures, or claims must be backed by a reference as evidence that it is drawn from existing research.

Types of Referencing Styles

The main types of referencing in academic essay writing are the American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Language Association (MLA), Harvard style, and Chicago / Turabian style. When using a referencing method, one should understand its specific requirements and adhere to them. 

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