There are different styles of referencing which 'fit' particular disciplinary cultures. Some disciplines use notes (footnotes, endnotes) to acknowledge source materials, while other disciplines use internal citations (author-date-page, commonly known as the Harvard system).
To format references appropriately, students will need to consult a referencing style guide. Psychology students, for example, will refer to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, commonly called APA, which explains how to format the references as internal citations. In contrast, Law students will use the Australian Guide to Legal Citation to format their references as footnotes. If you are studying Psychology and Law, you will need to learn how to use two referencing styles.
A comprehensive list of the style guides used by various disciplines can be found at Purdue University's Online Writing Lab.
Which style should you use?
Usually, the lecturer will specify the referencing style that they want students to use. They may do this in the course guide or via the course's website. Some courses provide an essay writing booklet that contains information on the preferred referencing format. If you cannot find information on what referencing system to use, ask your lecturer.
If your lecturer says that they want you to use the Harvard system, but they do not refer to a particular style guide, then you could choose from the American Psychological Association's guide, the Modern Language Association of America's guide (MLA), or The Chicago Manual of Style. In this instance, check with your supervisor or lecturer whether the style guide you plan to use to format the references is appropriate.
|Chicago Manual of Style||Yes||Yes|
|Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association||No||Yes|
|Australian Guide to Legal Citation||Yes||No|
|MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers||Yes||Yes|
Below, links to various resources are listed.
Using Modern Language Association (MLA) Format (Purdue University Online Writing Lab, OWL)
Australian Guide to Legal Citation (Melbourne Law Review Association, for Law students)
Internal citations (Author-Date-Page, Harvard)
Harvard Style (Re-cite Guide, @ University of Melbourne) - very comprehensive with examples
Using the Modern Language Association (MLA) Format (Purdue University Online Writing Lab, OWL)
Using the American Psychological Association (APA) Style (Purdue University Online Writing Lab, OWL)