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What are the Different Referencing Styles for Academic Papers?

A referencing style is a hallmark of academic papers, and in addition to its subject matter, is a key way of differentiating it from other kinds of papers. Various kinds of referencing styles have developed over the years- in fact we find new styles developing every once in a while- but it is the popularity and acceptability of a given style by a given community that makes it stand out. The most popular styles in vogue today in the academic world are:

APA: Developed and used by members of the American Psychological Association.
MLA: Developed and used by members of the Modern Language Association.
Harvard: Developed and used by alumni at Harvard University.
Chicago/ Turabian: Developed and used at the University of Chicago. Turabian style is named in honor of its librarian who developed this unique method of referencing papers.

Referencing is done in a separate way both in the body text of the paper (called in text citations) and at the end of the paper (called References).
A Note on Plagiarism: 

Plagiarism is a no-no and a big concern in the academic world today. In fact a President’s speechwriter and a renowned doctor who appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show were also brought to book on accusations of plagiarism. So how serious is this offence really? Can one be jailed for it? Although I have never heard of such an occurrence, it is clear that it is a violation of copyright law and is a sort of intellectual piracy. It is ethically wrong, and colleges and universities do even expel students who are proved to have submitted work plagiarized from the Internet or some another source such as a newspaper article, magazine or a book. Simply put, plagiarism is an offence because it means that one has copied someone else’s work and passed it off as his or her own. Consider how J.K Rowling would feel if somebody got an advance copy of Harry Potter’s next adventure, changed the names, places and story a bit and passed it off as his own creation. She would be mad and sue, wouldn’t she? That’s how authors feel when their work is plagiarized.    

There are also various levels of plagiarism. One is simply copying and pasting without changing anything, and is easily found out. Another is changing key words as given in the example above, but can be found out by special computer programs called Anti-Plagiarism Software. ‘Turnitin’ is one such software, although there are others in vogue today as well, with varying degrees of effectiveness.

One way of avoiding charges of plagiarism is to quote the author, but this cannot be done too extensively. Another is to just borrow the gist of his or her writing and submit it with your own thoughts and opinions. It is always best to submit original work. Accusations of plagiarism can be confusing since simple words, phrases and sentences can appear in a plagiarism checker program from your essay, which have then to be reworded or changed if the article is to be free of plagiarism. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it.

In short, you can rest assured that all papers, no matter what their size or level, are passed though anti plagiarism software so that all chances of plagiarism are wiped out. You get a clean cut, original paper for submission every time. That is our promise to you.

 

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