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Various Referencing Styles

Brief Description of Various Referencing Styles

APA Stands for American Psychological Association

This is the author-date formatting style applied to papers written in social sciences. This style was formed by a team of social academicians many years ago. APA is one of the most popular styles used for referencing and formatting academic papers. This style is used mainly in the USA.

APA Citation Style

Chicago Formatting Style

One can identify two types of the Chicago style, namely author-date and notes-bibliography.

The author-date type is principally used for organizing papers in social, physical, and natural sciences. Sources are cited in brief within the text.

The notes-bibliography type is applied to academic paper produced in History, Literature, and Arts. In this style, bibliographic details are presented in the footnotes/notes.

Chicago Citation Style

Harvard Formatting Style

This is the author-date referencing style deriving from Biology. Nevertheless, it is mostly applied to papers in social sciences, history, and humanities. This style is used in the UK and Australia.

Harvard Referencing System

MLA (Modern Language Association)

MLA was established by the Modern Language Association. It is usually used to format papers in liberal arts and humanities. MLA is primarily used in the USA and Canada.

MLA Citation Style

Oxford Style

This is a documentary-note referencing style used mainly for formatting papers in History and Philosophy. It can be also identified as a footnote system. Oxford is applied in the UK.

Oxford Style of Referencing


One can use two documentation systems, i.e. parenthetical references and footnotes. A notes-bibliography system is applied to papers written in Literature, Arts, and History. Concerning the author-date type, it is used for formatting papers in social, natural, and physical sciences.

Turabian Formatting Style

Vancouver Citation Style

This is the author-number style applied in the field of Medicine and Biomedicine. It is also used in physical sciences. Vancouver is primarily used in Canada.

Vancouver Referencing System

CBE (Council of Biology Editors)

It is advised to use this style for referencing papers written in all subjects. Nonetheless, CBE is applied mainly in biology. This style is widely used in the USA.

CBE Style of Writing