Footnotes and referencing are some of the most common problems students struggle with when preparing an essay or dissertation.
Learn how to correctly use the different types of references in your academic writing. The most common are Harvard referencing and Oxford referencing, but there are others as well!
You’ve written a fantastic piece of work, all your ideas are in order, and you’ve referred to a great variety of relevant sources.
Yet you face frustration losing vital marks if you fail accurately reference your work using either Oxford or Harvard system for citation styles (noting where they differ).
This simple guide explains each type of style – explaining what should be included and how it differs from other systems so that there is no confusion!
What is referencing?
Referencing is the practice of ensuring that every time you cite a book or study (or indeed any piece of work) by another writer, you accurately inform your reader and examiner.
This prevents plagiarism or the idea that you might try to pass off other peoples’ theories as your own.
It also shows a reader and an examiner the extent of research that exists for support in theory!
Reference citations show readers what they can find-in additional sources-when further clarifying their understanding.
Different referencing methods
You can’t have a successful essay if you’re not doing all of your work correctly.
Use the appropriate referencing system, and make sure that every reference is formatted consistently, so there’s no confusion as to who said what or when they were quoted.
Oxford and Harvard referencing – what’s the difference?
The two most well-known and commonly used referencing methods are Oxford and Harvard.
These systems allow for an essay or thesis to be properly attributed, but you must choose the right one because they vary in the location of references relative to the text.
For instance, with the Chicago system (which we will not get into), all citations should appear at the bottom of a page.
The main difference between these two popular reference styles is their footnotes fall – whether on each page or spread across every other paragraph throughout your work; this distinction can affect how easy it becomes to cite others’ ideas as sources within your writing without disrupting its flow too much!
There are many intricate details involved in using these referencing styles, which would be too numerous to list here because there is not enough space.
So you should consult an in-depth guide on how to reference correctly.
The information below will give a general overview and some helpful advice when using them.
The Oxford Referencing System
Custom footnote citations are a discreet way to include referencing information at the bottom of each page.
Footnotes use a small number called note identifier (usually formatted in superscript) and refer you back to the corresponding reference occupying that same space on the referenced page for further details about your citation.
It can be tedious to cite references for a project manually.
Luckily, most computers have useful functions that automatically organize your citations without entering the numbers yourself.
If you go back and add an extra reference later on in your project, this function will adjust accordingly, so it’s hassle-free!
An easy way is by using Microsoft Word—click ‘Insert > Footnote’ or ‘Reference >Footnote> from the dropdown list) when editing any document with these tools available.
What information should a footnote include?
A footnote should contain the following information, with the title of the book or work in italics and all other text in normal font: author initial and surname, title, publisher name, place of publication date. For example:
J.M. Coetzee, Life and Times of Michael K, Vintage, London, 1998, p.47
For further reference to this book, later on, you can abbreviate subsequent footnotes to simply: J.M Coetzee-page number.
The Harvard Referencing System
The Harvard referencing system includes the author, date of publication, and page number in brackets. For example:
A) (Corbridge, 1998, p. 27)
B) (Bozena et al, 2003 p. 45)
Tip: If you have already used the author’s name as part of your reference, it isn’t necessary to repeat it in brackets. For instance…
As Corbridge (1998, p.26) suggests…
A final note…
The Harvard referencing system is a more traditional and widely-used form of citation.
It’s most common when citing books, articles in journals or newspapers, interviews with authorities on the subject at hand.
This style aims to provide enough information that other researchers can find your sources without having to search through an entire library collection themselves!
No matter which reference style you use (Oxford being one), it’s always important to do include a bibliography so as not to be accused of plagiarism if someone else has already written about what you are discussing – even if they didn’t cite their work properly either!
Don’t be like one of those people who use different fonts for their footnotes and references because it’s impossible to read. The same goes with the bolding!
Remember that you should always keep your stylistic decisions consistent throughout your writing- otherwise, they’ll make things confusing.