Referencing and citation are the best ways of acknowledging someone’s work in your essay. Knowledge is obtained. When we were born, we had nearly empty heads. You carried your empty head for a few years until you started understanding things. Then you were taken to school or wherever you went first to initiate your learning process. I can compare our heads before we started learning, to formatted disks. You only gain the contents when you start storing in the disk. It will be good to always remember the device from where you obtained the contents of your disk.
How is citation different from referencing?
Some of you might be wondering about the difference between the two. Today I will deliver you from ignorance. Citation is those little words, usually year and name(s) put in brackets at the end of sentences as in the APA format. In some cases, it is the name and page number for example (Name, page 321) as for the MLA format. References are the names of authors and titles of their books or articles with their years of publication, listed just below the conclusion of an essay. The references are cited in the essay beneath which they appear while citations are the cited references, that would be one difference. Citation is done in the body of an essay while referencing is done at the bottom of the essay after concluding- that is another golden point, put both of them down.
Why you need citation and referencing
However, no one cares about the source of your good videos and all those things you store in your disks, right? Wrong! Wait until your whole disk is eaten up by a malware. You will find yourself trying to figure out where you got the virus. It is the same with essays. The disk story is an analogy to essays and referencing. You cannot take all the crediting your essay, you were not born with all the knowledge, at least share some credit with other authors through citation.
Citation is telling your audience that you also obtained your knowledge elsewhere. In your citation, it is good to give directions to your audience to where to find more information. In your essay, you could have talked about a paramount issue, a lifesaver to a given individual audience, but might not be in position to discuss the whole point to their satisfaction. Referencing the source will guide them to the specific source of the whole information. They may access it later.
It is not possible to be exhaustive in your essays, is it? If you were to make sure that, you explain all your points to your audience such that they would get and understand everything just by reading your essay, then that is a lifetime job you have. You will never finish your essay, you will buy all the papers to write on and you will definitely die, yes, die out of exhaustion and old age before you ever finish your introduction.
Citation and referencing saves essay writers the trouble that would make them to drift and lose track of their main point. With referencing, you will stay relevant in your work. Referencing is also professional. It makes your work demand more respect from your audience. Imagine writing a whole six-page essay of pure natural sciences or even social sciences without a single citation. Obviously the whole world, where you audience is too, know that you have hardly invented anything and so most if not all of your knowledge is obtained from somewhere. Your work might be overlooked. It will be boring and monotonously possessive.
There is no other way that would make your essay appear more professional than citation and referencing. It is a way of validating your information. Referencing shows how much your audience should rely on your knowledge and shared information. Citation tells the readers of your essay that you have read wide and therefore they can use your information without fearing or doubting.
The only instance when your essay will lack authenticity is when you do not cite and reference it well enough. Therefore, the more you cite and reference your work, the more you authenticate it. Just make sure that when you cite, you do it the right way. Citations and referencing must not be overly done. Your work would lack originality and it would be unsightly to your audiences. You should come up with your own ideas and relate them to the already existing work through citation.
How are they done?
I have given you enough points on the importance of citation and referencing. You awe me many thanks, but before you shower me with blessings, let us look at what you got in your disk! How much do you know about referencing? Do you know all the styles of referencing and their applications? Earlier we had talked about citation authenticating your work and making it look more professional. Imagine doing it anyhow without a particular format. Believe me you had better not cited your work if you cite it without adhering to the given rules of citation and referencing. Your work will be more unprofessional than it would have been without referencing.
There are many styles and formats of referencing and citation. We have the APA format, the MLA format, the OXFORD and the TURABIAN formats. Each format has its own distinguishing referencing and citation rules. You must stick to all the rules. They are connected for every format. If you chose for instance the APA format, make sure that you stick to its guidelines throughout your essay.
It is crucial to note that a single essay can only use one style at a time. It is not possible to cite and reference using different styles in one essay. If you chose for instance the TURABIAN format, it must be maintained to the end of your essay in both the citations and the references just after your conclusion. The most popular styles are the APA and the MLA. Most writers prefer these styles and they are known all over the world.