Referencing is the most accepted way of giving credit to the work of an author. Referencing is also a standardized way of formatting the information sources used in an assignment or written work. Any given referencing style serves the following purposes:

  • Acknowledges the source.
  • Assists the reader to trace the source.

Failure to reference, or poor referencing fall under academic misconduct. Referencing is a standard for scholarly communication. It is also a standard for written communication expected by professional organizations offering employments.

Referencing serves the following advantages:

  • It shows adherence to academic writing standards.
  • Shows respect for and acknowledge the work of other scholars. Acknowledgement of a source serves in avoiding plagiarism.
  • Referencing provides the evidence that a writer has read and considered a relevant source.
  • Allows the validation and confirmation of sources used in a piece of writing.
  • Finally, referencing imparts credibility in a given piece of work.

Referencing is an effective measure in avoiding plagiarism. In professional life, plagiarism can have dire consequences on reputation of colleagues as well as employers. It may also prompt legal action from the copyright owner of the work not acknowledged.

The following are some of the referencing styles used commonly:

  • ACS (American Chemical Society)
  • IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association of America)
  • Oxford
  • Harvard
  • APA

Proper referencing is key to avoiding plagiarism.referencing in writing