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Difference Between Citation And Reference

This essential post is written by The Academic Papers UK about citation and reference. After reading this post, you will be able to get an idea of the difference between reference and citation. 

Difference Between Citation And Reference 

Either you are going to write an academic paper by adopting APA citation style, MLA citation style or Chicago citation style, you will have to come across with citation and reference. In the citation, you will have to acknowledge that you have used a specific part of the text in your academic paper. On the other hand, in the references list, you will have to provide a list of all the resources from where you have gathered data for your academic paper. If you want to use citation and reference in an effective way in your academic paper, it is necessary for you to understand the difference between citation and reference. The main difference between citation and reference is explained below;

Definition of citation 

After using information from any external source in your academic paper, you have to mention this source briefly. This is known as a citation. Basically, it is an abbreviated reference that you can use in the main body of the academic paper. It is also called the in-text citation. Its reason is that while citing any source in the main body of the academic paper, we have to use a pair of parenthesis. The main reason for citing this source in the main body of the academic paper is that it provides an idea about the editor and publisher. If readers want more information, they can easily visit this resource. 


Definition of reference 

A references list provides a list of all the resources that you have considered and used in order to gather the data for your academic paper. While preparing the references list, the writer tells the readers what kind of data he has used in his academic paper. Its reason is that the quality of the academic paper depends upon the reliability and authenticity of the resources from where a writer has gathered the data for his academic paper. By providing the references list, a writer is also allowing the readers that if they want further information about this topic, they can also read these resources. 

Key differences between citation and reference 

No doubt, citation and reference are two different things in an academic paper. If you want to use these things efficiently, it is necessary for you that you should understand the key differences between citation and reference. The key differences between citation and reference are given below; 

1) First of all, there is a difference between the meanings of citation and reference. The meaning of citation is that you will have to disclose the quotes, images, charts and statistics that you have taken from the outside resources in the main body of the academic paper. On the other hand, a reference list provides a list of all the resources from where we have gathered the data for your academic paper. 

2) Secondly, there is also a difference between the use of citation and reference. A citation is used in the main body of the academic paper in order to inform the readers about the basic source of the information. On the other hand, a references list is provided in the form of an individual section and it provides a list of all the resources from where a writer has gathered information for his academic paper. 

3) Thirdly, there is a difference between the purpose of citation and reference. The purpose of using citation in an academic paper is that it can provide an idea about the source that we have used to gather the information. On the other hand, with the help of the references list, it is possible for us to support or criticize the point of views of other writers relevant to your topic idea. 

4) Fourthly, there is also a difference between the placement of a citation and a reference. In order to place a citation, it is necessary for us to use a pair of parenthesis. On the other hand, if we want to use reference, it is necessary for us to present it in the form of anecdotes or at the end of the academic paper. 

5) Fifthly, we also have to provide different kinds of information while using a reference and a citation. It means that we can easily present a citation just by providing information like the last name of the author and publication year. On the other hand, if we want to present a reference in an academic paper, it is necessary for us to provide information like publication date, the title of the book or journal, first and last names of the author and page number. 

Difference Between Citation And Reference Difference Between Citation And Reference Reviewed by Emma Charlotte on December 07, 2019 Rating: 5

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