Popular Reference Styles – What You Need To Know

Popular Reference Styles – What You Need To Know

When writing any quality essay or report, it is essential to give credit to sources you have used in their production. Failure to do so could lead to accusations of plagiarism or cause downgrading from your university professors.

Obviously, we want to avoid this, so it is essential to be aware of how to reference properly and the main styles of referencing in use today. This guide aims to inform you of the three most popular methods. It is important to note that every university uses their own preferred style, so make sure you are familiar with the exact requirements demanded of you.

However, knowing about the Oxford, Vancouver, and Harvard systems will definitely give you a good grounding for the future.

What is a Reference Style?

A reference style or system is simply a way of giving credit to an original author. In practice, it should include the following

  • a citation system.
  • a bibliography of books or reference list.

Throughout the World, there are numerous referencing methods in use, but the three main ones are the Oxford, Vancouver, and Harvard systems. Read on to become familiar with the rules that apply to each method:

Oxford Reference Style

This citation system originated at Oxford University and is also sometimes known as a documentary- note style referencing.

Its main feature is the use of a numbered citation in the body of a paragraph. This number is then further explained in a footnote at the bottom of the same page.

Example :

In-text numbered citation: Sally has brown hair.1

Expanded footnote: 1 Peter Smith, Female Hair Colour Factors (Leeds: Penguin, 2012).

In addition, a referencing list is required at the end of the document. Like the footnote, it should include author name, title, place of publication, publisher, and date. However, the number is no longer required and the authors’ surname is written first:

Referencing list: Smith, Peter, Female Hair Colour Factors (Leeds: Penguin, 2012).

The Oxford system is a very popular choice when writing novels or e-books, as it manages to avoid breaking up the reader-flow. For documents with many references, numbered citations can be an inoffensive way to give authors credit.

Vancouver Reference Style

The Vancouver method of attribution is heavily used in the science, medicine, and technology fields, so if you are studying in these topics you may be asked to follow a version of this referencing system. It was originally developed in 1978, and has grown in popularity since.

In-text numbered citations should always follow the relevant part of a sentence, and if the citation source is referred to again, the same number should be used. The reference list at the end of the essay must contain author name, book/paper title, place of publication, publisher, and date.

In-text citation: It has been shown that consumption of vegetables lowers insulin resistance (1) increases anti-oxidant levels (2) and stabilises blood sugar (1)

Referencing list:
1. Jones S. Effect of vegetables on blood sugar markers. 2nd ed. London. Pubmed; C2011. 2. Ahmed M. Diet and free radical production. 3rd ed. Paris. Medpress; C2006.

The main difference with the Oxford style, is that no footnotes are used – just a numbered text citation that is then expanded on in the reference list section. It is ideal for when immediate reference clarification is not needed.

Harvard Reference Style

Probably the most well-known style, especially among students, the Harvard method is widely used in the UK, with many universities using it as an inspiration for their own reference style.

It is sometimes referred to as the Author and Date reference system and, in contrast to the other two methods, uses both the authors name and the date in the text itself. Quotations are also commonly placed within the text.

In-text citation example 1: Ellis (2002) considers exercise a main feature… In-text citation example 2: ”exercise is medicine” (Ellis, 2002, p.54)

Like the other two styles, a bibliography or reference list should always give credit to the original authors at the end of the document.

Referencing list:
Ellis, D. (2002) How exercise and food promote longevity. 2nd Ed. Liverpool: Open University Press.

As you can see, all the three systems mentioned are slightly different, and suited for use within different study areas/topics. Remember to always follow your tutors referencing style requests. As stated before, each university may want you to follow their preferred method. Be sure to take note of your tutors instructions to help achieve the best grades possible.

Which do you think is the best reference style to use – or are you still confused? Why not take advantage of our citation services. We can save you stress and improve your grades!

Quick tips to boost the accuracy of your proofreading

Quick tips to boost the accuracy of your proofreading

It’s often easy to miss small errors in a text. After all, you’ve been constantly staring at it for hours and your brain has become accustomed to it. This means that even the smallest and simplest errors can slip past your guard and remain unnoticed, making proofing particularly important.
Proofreading, as the name suggests, is the term given to the process of carefully checking a document for spelling, grammar, comprehension and typographic errors. It is an invaluable process that every piece of work should go through in order to safeguard its overall quality.
Here are some simple tips that you can take when proofreading to maximise the effectiveness of the process and to stop those annoying errors from remaining uncorrected.

5 top proofreading tips

1. Leave your text for a period of time and look at it with fresh eyes

Sometimes we can get so used to rereading a piece of text that we can gloss over errors. A good way to combat this is to put the text aside for a period after you have written it, and then proof read it after you’ve had a break from it. This can help to readjust your mind-set and let you spot errors that had previously remained hidden.

2. Read slowly

Good proofreading will take time— it shouldn’t be rushed. Always make sure that you read through your document slowly so that you take all of it in and can check for any glaring errors.

3. Read it backwards

In the Western world, we’re obviously used to reading a text from left to right, but when proof reading it can often help to do the opposite. Reading a text backwards when proofing can help you to become aware of errors that could have stayed hidden.

4. Pay attention to homonyms

Homonyms are those tricky words that have the same pronunciation or spelling as another but have different meanings. Think ‘bare’ and ‘bear’, ‘meat’ and ‘meet’, ‘complement’ and ‘compliment’. If you come across a homonym when proofreading, make sure you pay special attention to whether you’re using the right word in the right context—making a silly error is easily done!

5. Get other people to check it

If you really want to maximise the accuracy of your proofreading process, get another pair of eyes to look at the text. This will help you to catch any spelling or grammar errors that you might have overlooked. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one.

Proofreading services from AcademicHelp

At AcademicHelp, our expert team are on hand to provide expert proofreading services that will ensure your document remains free of spelling, grammar and typological errors.
Our proofreading services will improve the quality of your text or paper whilst giving you the peace of mind that your text is free from any silly spelling or grammatical errors that could cost you marks. Our services are high quality, affordable and very quick.
Find out more about our proofreading services by giving us a call on 0203 623 0275 or sending us a message here.

5 tips for paraphrasing

5 tips for paraphrasing

Paraphrasing is a particularly useful tool in a student’s inventory when it comes to improving the academic level of a piece of text. Here is a quick guide to everything you need to know about paraphrasing and rewriting a text, and some top tips to take.

What is paraphrasing?

Paraphrasing, explained simply, is when you restate another person’s ideas. You provide the usual proper in-text references and citations to show the source of information, but you use a different set of words to explain the same thing. A paraphrased text will usually be around the same length of the original but will have a slightly different sentence structure. Paraphrasing is essentially explaining another person’s ideas.
Most universities and colleges will encourage their students to use paraphrasing in their projects to raise the academic quality of a project. Paraphrasing enables a student to present their understanding of a subject, without directly copying (or ‘plagiarising’) another’s work, in turn allowing lecturers and teachers to assess a student’s critical thinking and understanding of a project more effectively.

5 tips for paraphrasing

1. Always include sources and citations

It goes without saying that you should always clearly reference sources and citations used within your text, reproducing them faithfully in your own version. This ensures that your evidence is backed up with support.

2. Understand the author’s intention before you paraphrase

Always read the original text fully before starting your own paraphrased version and make sure that you understand what the author was trying to achieve and say with their text. This will help to speed up the writing of your own version.

3. Keep it natural

Don’t automatically reach for the thesaurus when you can’t think of a different word to describe something. Whilst using a thesaurus to find additional ways to phrase information is useful occasionally, relying on one too much to complete paraphrasing can end up making your text sound unnatural and artificial. Keep your paraphrasing natural.

4. Limit your personal observations

Remember that paraphrasing is about communicating the intentions of the author— not yourself. Limit your personal observations in your paraphrased work to focus your paraphrasing on what matters— the thoughts of your author.

5. Use different sentence structures

A great way to make sure that your paraphrasing is unique is to use different sentence structures than those used in the original text. This will help you to keep your version feeling fresh and original.

Choose AcademicHelp for paraphrasing and rewriting

So, there are our top tips. If you’d rather get a professional to paraphrase your text for you though, we can help.
AcademicHelp is the perfect company to choose if you’re looking for paraphrasing or rewriting services thanks to our extensive expertise. We can provide an original, authentic version of the information, opinions and facts expressed in your work, in an incredibly quick turnaround. To find out more about our paraphrasing and rewriting services, please give us a call on 0203 623 0275 or send us a message here. We hope to hear from you soon.