Referencing is one of the most crucial aspects of research paper writing. It is the process of acknowledging the original source of ideas and works that are not the author’s own. References are used to direct readers to the original documents cited in a work. Readers could decide to look for such materials for further studies or even to ascertain independently whether the attributed sources support the author’s argument as written. Referencing is one feature of every academic writing that researchers and scholars need to understand pretty well.
There are generally two key elements in referencing and they are; (1). An in-text reference that shows the reader that a particular concept, phrase or idea used within a work is from someone else’s work, and; (2). A complete reference list which provides the full citation details for all sources cited in a research paper or academic writing. The reference style refers to the format or manner in which you are required to present the in-text citation and the reference list.
There are several referencing styles which are used in writing research papers among which are Modern Language Style (MLA), Chicago style, Oxford style, and Harvard style. One of the most popular of these referencing styles is the APA style.
What is APA style of referencing?
The APA referencing style is provided by American Psychological Association (APA). It is an author/date style of referencing which is widely accepted in the social sciences and other fields, such as education, business, and nursing. The APA citation format requires parenthetical citations within the text rather than endnotes or footnotes. In the APA referencing format, citations within the text provide brief information, usually the name of the author and the date of publication, to refer readers to a specific place at the end of the paper where they can find a list of sources of the works quoted or mentioned in the paper.
The APA style has seven editions but the 5th and 6th editions are still very popular in various institutions of learning and research groups across the world. The 5th edition of APA referencing style appeared in 2001, and the 6th edition in 2009. The 7th edition was released in 2019. Though most APA-style publications rely on the 6th edition even as some are moving over to the 7th edition, the 5th edition still has its adherents, particularly with respect to documentation style. Let’s take a quick look at the major differences between the 7th edition of the APA referencing style and previous, especially the 5th and 6th editions.
The basic difference between APA 7th edition and previous editions
There are several important differences between 7th edition and previous editions of APA referencing style but the most basic ones are observed in the area of citations and reference lists. Watch video below;