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Different Citation Styles: Different styles of referencing with examples for Academic writing

Citations are references to sources of information used in academic writing to give credit to the original authors and provide evidence for claims or arguments. This is achieved by following a standardized set of guidelines, referred to as citation styles. In other words, they are rules and formats that dictate the information necessary for a citation such as how to format in-text citations, footnotes or endnotes, and reference lists or bibliographies. Citation styles help readers to easily find the sources you used, so they can learn more about the topic or verify your information.

There are many different citation styles used in academic writing, each with its own specific format and requirements. The style you choose will depend on the discipline you are writing in, as well as the specific requirements of the publisher. Adhering to a citation style and format is essential to maintain consistency, clarity, and accuracy in scholarly writing. In this blog, we will cover some of the frequently used citation styles. Broadly they are classified into the following types:

Parenthetical citation style:

A type of in-text citation style that uses parentheses to enclose the author’s last name and the publication year, separated by a comma. In some cases, page number is also included. This style is commonly used in APA, MLA, Chicago Manual, and Harvard citation formats.

•          APA & Harvard style: (Smith, 2020)

•          MLA style: (Jones 45)

•          Chicago style: (Johnson 2019, 28)

Note citation style:

Popularly known as footnotes and endnotes, this citation style is used mostly in Chicago Manual Style. In this style, the footnotes and endnotes are used for in-text citations and a bibliography is given at the end of the page or at the end of the document. These notes contain detailed information about the source and can include additional comments or explanations.

“Examples of fullnotes1 and short notes2

1.  Bergers, Gabriele and Benjamin, Laura. Tumorigenesis and the angiogenic switch. Nat Rev Cancer 2003;3:401-10.

2. Bergers and Benjamin. Tumorigenesis and angiogenic switch, 401-10.

Numerical citation style:

In this style, each source is assigned a number that is presented in square brackets or superscript within the text, which corresponds to a full citation in a numbered list at the end of the document. This style is often used in AMA (American Medical Association) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) citation styles.

For example,

“Cystatin C is a non-glycosylated protein produced by all nucleated cells [1].

Corresponding reference entry: “1. Griffin BR, Faubel S, Edelstein CL. Biomarkers of drug-induced kidney toxicity. Ther Drug Monit 2019;41:213-26.”

Annotation citation style:

Annotated citations include a brief summary of the source along with the citation. These annotations help readers understand the content and relevance of the source.

 For example: Russel, Jonathan B. (2019). “Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Systems: Current Trends and Future Prospects.” Nanomedicine, 21, 110-115.

Russel’s paper provides an overview of the current state of nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems. It discusses the advantages of nanoparticles in terms of targeted drug delivery, reduced side effects, and improved therapeutic outcomes. This source is valuable for understanding the potential applications of nanotechnology in medicine.

By following the citation styles correctly, you can give credit to the sources you used, make it easy for readers to find your sources, and avoid plagiarism.


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