Main Difference – Citation vs Reference
In academic writing, whenever you are talking about someone else’s ideas, opinions or findings, etc, you have to use citation and referencing. You cannot mention another’s ideas as your own; using someone else’s ideas and not including reference or citation is considered an academic theft, which is known as plagiarism. Citation is mentioning the source of the idea in the text itself whereas reference is a list of sources given at the end of the work. This is the main difference between citation and reference.
What is a Citation
A citation indicates the source of your information. It tells the readers from where you took the ideas and information. This is done in the text itself. There are different ways of adding citation to your work. One of the most popular ways is mentioning the name of the author/s and the year of publication. This method is followed in APA style.
The process of heating wine for preservation purposes has been known in China since 1117. (Hornsey, Spencer, and Bacon, 2003)
This can also be phrased as,
Hornsey, Spencer and Bacon (2003) report that the process of heating wine for preservation purposes has been known in China since 1117.
In MLA referencing style, the year of publication is replaced by the page number. For example,
The process of heating wine for preservation purposes has been known in China since 1117. (Hornsey, Spencer and Bacon 30)
What is a Reference
Reference is the list of sources given at the end of the work. The information of all the works indicated in citations is given in the reference list. It provides more details about your sources. For example, it provides information such as the author/s name, the name of the book, journal, etc., publication year, page number, publisher, etc. If the information was taken from a website, the reference usually contains a link to the site as well as the date the information was retrieved. As with citations, there are different styles of referencing. Given below are APA and MLA styles of referencing a book.
Jenkins, Jennifer. World Englishes: A resource book for students. Psychology Press, 2003.
Jenkins, J. (2003). World Englishes: A resource book for students. Psychology Press.
Difference Between Citation and Reference
Citation is a specific source that is mentioned in the body of the work.
Reference is a list of sources mentioned at the end of the work.
Citation includes the name of the author and publication date or page number.
Reference includes more information like author, the title of the book, publication date or page number.
Citation is found in the body of the work.
Reference is found at the end of the work.