5 Types of referencing formats and their history

5 Types of referencing formats and their history
5 Types of referencing formats and their history

If you use Vancouver referencing in your assignments, you must know that each referencing format follows separate citation formats. Furthermore, you cannot use all referencing formats for every type of assignment.

You use some referencing formats for medical assignments, while some for MBA assignments. But what is the name of these referencing formats, and how did they come to be? If you want to learn more about these formats, read and get a clear idea about referencing patterns.

IEEE formats

Students use IEEE referencing formats in technical fields, especially computer science and programming. IEEE usually follows the Chicago referencing style, and you must number your citation.

Under IEEE formats, you can cite your sources manually and through online citation generators. If you have confusion regarding this citation format, you can seek from your professors to get a clear understanding.

AMA referencing formats

AMA or American Medical Association referencing formats are used to cite medical and other science assignments and dissertation papers. Professionals first used AMA citation in 1962, and as of 2022, professionals are using the 11th generation of the format.

You can cite AMA references manually and use free AMA citation generators to cite your paper & also you can use ada citation generator. Your professors and online tutors can help you understand the citation style if you cannot understand this citation type.

Harvard referencing formats

Harvard or parenthetical referencing is one of the most common referencing patterns. Zoology professor of Harvard University Edward Laurens Mark first introduced Harvard referencing in 1881. The structure of Harvard citation includes the author-date style, with the author’s surname.

Most universities in the UK use Harvard citation patterns. Furthermore, business students use Harvard referencing patterns to cite their papers. It is one of the easiest citation patterns; hence, you would have no complications while citing your paper.

APA referencing formats

APA or American Psychological Association citation format came to existence in 1929. A group of Psychologists, business personalities, and anthropologists first convened and established the style guidelines. Business schools in the USA and Australia commonly use APA citation formats.

Although APA and Harvard in-texts are alike, their format styles are vastly different. Furthermore, you must attach the journals’ DOIs at the end of every reference. You can manually cite APA references and also use citation generators to cite your paper.

OSCOLA referencing formats

OSCOLA or Oxford Standards of the Citation of Legal Authorities referencing styles are used in most law schools in the UK. OSCOLA referencing styles use minimum punctuation and are used as footnote style. However, OSCOLA citation can be a little confusing in the beginning.

And thus, you can consult your professors and take their assistance using this citation pattern. Peter Berks of Oxford University first developed the OSCOLA pattern. All law papers are cited in OSCOLA formats, and several popular legal journals contain OSCOLA citations.

Referencing patterns like Harvard and APA have a long history, and Griffith referencing patterns also follow APA 7 citation style. So, read about these citation formats and cite your paper confidently from next time onwards.


Citation formats have a vivid history, and it’s always fun to know about their history. So, get an itsy-bitsy slice of history here, and increase your general knowledge to shine in your classroom and life. Best of luck!

Author Bio: Alley John is an experienced academic writer associated with the digital platform MyAssignmenthelp.com. Students wondering, “Will my professor rate my paper well?” often consult him for expert solutions.


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