Preparing your assignments? University referencing guide for beginners

accreditation

For most university courses, you'll write countless essays and assignments. While referencing may not be everyone's cup of tea (and you'll eventually realise just how much of a pain it can be), it is compulsory after all, so it's best to master it from the very beginning.

It's important to ALWAYS reference your sources, and remember that plagiarism is a SERIOUS OFFENCE that could get you academically excluded, so stay far away from it.

An in-text citation is the reference that is used when you quote something or someone in the body of work such as an essay. The reference list or bibliography is the full citation with all the source's details that goes at the end of the body of work.

Here are some of the main referencing styles used in universities and their in-text and reference list citation formats of books, websites and journals:

1. The Harvard method 

For books:

Harvard style referencing

For websites:

In-text citation:

(The author(s) and date created)

Reference list:

Author(s) surname, initial. (Date of publication). Website Title. Available at: http:// link (Access date: date accessed).

For journals:

In-text citation:

(The author(s) and date published)

Reference list:

Author(s), initials. (Year of publication). 'Article title' Journal title Volume of journal, issue number of journal. Page range of article.

2. APA Style Referencing

American Psychological Association (APA).

For books:

apa style referencing

For websites: 

In-text citation:

(Author surname, year, p.)

p= page number

Reference list:

Author(s) surnames, initials. (Year Month Date published). Article Title. Retrieved from URL.

For journals: 

In-text citation:

(Author surname, year, p.)

Reference List

Author(s), year of publication, Article Title, Journal Name, volume number, issue number, page number range of the article.

3. MLA Style Referencing

Modern Language Association (MLA)

For books:

mla style referencing

For websites:

In-text citation:

("Title of page" Year published)

Reference List:

Author’s Last name, First name. “Title of the Article or Page.” Title of the Website, Name of the Publisher, Date of Publication in DD/MM/YYYY format, URL.

For journals: 

In-text citation:

(Author surname and page range)

Reference List:

Authors Last name, first name. "Article Title." Journal Title Series Volume. Issue (Year Published): Page(s). Print.

4. Chicago Style Referencing 

For books:

Chicago style referencing

For websites:

In-text citations:

(Author surname and Year Published)

Reference List:

Author surname, first name. Year. "Page Title" Website Name. URL

For journals:

In-text citations:

(Author surname and year published) 

Reference List:

Author surname, first name. Year. "Article Title". Journal Name volume (issue no.): pages used.

5. AMA Style Referencing 

American Medical Association (AMA)

For books:

ama referencing style

For websites:

In-text citation:

(Author surname and date)

Reference List:

Author surname First name initial. Page Title. Website Name. URL. Published Year. Accessed date.

For journals:

In-text citation:

(Author surname and date)

Reference List:

Author surname First name initial. Journal name. Year of publication: volume number, issue number, page numbers.

Is there any kind of referencing style used at university that you feel should be included? Let us know by emailing us at chatback@Parent24.com.

Read More: 

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive Parent24 stories directly to your inbox.   

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 401 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4847 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 668 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
18.07
-0.6%
Rand - Pound
20.16
+0.2%
Rand - Euro
17.68
+0.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.58
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.1%
Gold
1,661.25
+0.0%
Silver
19.03
0.0%
Palladium
2,166.50
0.0%
Platinum
864.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,390
+0.8%
All Share
63,726
+0.7%
Resource 10
60,230
+0.7%
Industrial 25
77,400
+0.8%
Financial 15
13,796
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE