The main difference between in text citation and reference is that an in-text citation is a brief reference within the body of a paper, whereas reference is a list of citations that provides the reader with the complete original source information appearing at the end of a paper.
In text citations usually mentions the author’s last name, the date of publication or/and a page number of a source. A list of references is an elaborate version of in text citations that helps to support research work with appropriate literature and gives credit to the original authors.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is In Text Citation
– Definition, Features
2. What is Reference
– Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between In Text Citation and Reference
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between In Text Citation and Reference
– Comparison of Key Differences
In text citation, Reference
What is In Text Citation
In text citation is an abbreviated reference we include within the main body of a paper. An in text citation usually involves the source of a paraphrase, quote, chart, image, video, or table. In simple words, writers use in text citations to show that a particular piece of information is extracted from an external source. This practice gives credit to the original author of that idea or argument and also helps to avoid plagiarism. An in text citation generally comes inside a set of parentheses. In an in text citation, we usually mention the last name of the author and the year of publication. Sometimes, we mention the page number, especially if it is a direct extraction.
In-text citations are also called parenthetical references. In text citations are short notations within a scholarly work and direct the reader to the references at the end of the paper, which provide the reader with the complete notions of the source. Therefore, all authors or publications cited as in text citations must be included in the list of references.
What is Reference
Reference is a list of complete citations. Generally, it includes the complete details of all the sources cited within a scholarly work. These include the author’s name, the title of the book or article, year of publication, publisher, page number, etc. The writer usually presents a reference list alphabetically. A reference generally starts with the name of the author. Given below is an example of an academic text in APA style.
Perlman, C.C. (2003). Performance Assessment: Design appropriate performance tasks and scoring rubrics. North Carolina: USA
However, if there is any work with no author, we usually cite that particular work by the title. In such instances, we have to include that reference item in the alphabetical reference list, focusing on the most striking term of the title.
While the in-text citations appear in the body of a scholarly work, reference lists appear at the end of a particular intellectual work. If we want to refer to more than one scholarly source by the same author, then we have to list such work chronologically, mentioning the earliest publication first. Furthermore, the way we write the reference depends on the citation style we use.
Similarities Between In Text Citation and Reference
- Both in text citations and reference lists aim to give credit to the original author/s and to avoid plagiarism.
- Further, both allow the readers to refer to the original sources.
Difference Between In Text Citation and Reference
An in text citation is an abbreviated reference writers use in the body of a scholarly paper, whereas reference is a list of complete citations that appear at the end of a paper.
While the in text citation informs the readers about the original source of an idea and the year of publication, the reference informs the readers about the complete source of information.
An in text citation appears in the body of a scholarly work, while the list of reference appears at the end of the work.
Moreover, in text citations usually include the author and the publication year of the source. But reference list includes all the details available about a particular original source: the author’s name, the title of the book or article, year of publication, page number, etc.
The main difference between in text citation and reference is that an in text citation is a brief reference writers use in the body of scholarly paper, whereas reference is a list of complete citations that appear at the end of a paper. However, both in text citations and the reference list aim to give credit to the author/s of the original sources from where an idea or an argument is extracted and avoid any kind of plagiarism.
1. “References.” American Psychological Association.
2. “MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): In-Text Citation.” In-Text Citation – MLA Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition) – Library Guides at University of Nevada, Reno.
1. “Scientific citations” By Mike Thelwall, Stefanie Haustein, Vincent Larivière, Cassidy R. Sugimoto (paper). Finn Årup Nielsen (screenshot). – Do Altmetrics Work? Twitter and Ten Other Social Web Services. (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia