Reference style: what is it?
A reference style defines the rules you have to follow to refer to sources. There are many different reference styles, often linked to a certain field. Also certain scientific journals have their own reference style. Some examples of reference styles are: MLA, APA, Vancouver, IEEE, OSCOLA,...
References have to be:
- Complete (the reader needs to be able to find the same text by themself)
- Consistent (use the same reference style throughout the text)
- Simple (no excess information)
- Legible (if you omit the reference, the text must still be readable)
Tools that help
There are several tools you can use to use a reference style correctly. One of them is citation software, such as EndNote, Mendeley, Zotero, and many others. You can see citation software as databases with your sources, where you pick a reference and drop it into your reference list. When used correctly, the softwares allows you to update reference styles automatically, which saves a lot of time.
You can also use a citation generator like Scribbr, that will format your sources for you in either APA or MLA.
Read more on the website of Taaladvies (Dutch).
Taaladvies. (n.d.). Refereerstijl.
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Last modified Jan. 30, 2023, 10:22 a.m.