Home Blog Is it essential to add references in an essay, and how to...

Is it essential to add references in an essay, and how to add them?


An essay is a focused draft of writing about a specific topic or field based on proper analysis and evidence. Essay writing is critical in bachelor’s or even higher degrees as it helps in better understanding the thesis statement and improves the learning process. Essays force students to discover and ponder on a variety of things. Essays help a person to develop the vital skill of judgment.

Just oral activities can’t achieve creative skills like logical thinking, useful vocabulary, and writing. Essay writing plays an essential role in enhancing knowledge and smoothing the language at the same time. Essay writing is convenient in businesses as employees need to write reports or articles, requiring good writing skills. In literature writing or higher degrees, students are required to write essays, thesis, or dissertations, which can’t be done without proper writing skills.

Practicing essay writing from the early stages of an academic career is equivalent to polishing the writing skills for the future. That’s why teachers focus a lot on improving essay writing skills. All the practices done in writing assignments help in successfully approaching effective results. Writing an essay provides practical help to prepare for future academic happenings.

Types of Essay

Essays are categorized into four types. There are many styles in which we can scribble an essay, but they all ultimately merge into these four primary kinds.

Persuasive Essay: In this piece of literature, a logical argument is created which proposes a legitimate point of view of ‎your reasons and evidence. These kinds of essays are all known as argumentative essays.

Narrative Essay: These essays are written in a format that the writer might assume of it as telling a story. The students can write it in various creative styles describing their personal experiences.

Descriptive essay: A detailed description of a person, place, event, object, or experience. This format provides enough material about the described content to picture the image related to the subject.

Expository essay: this genre required the students to evaluate evidence, investigate the idea and then place an argument concisely and clearly.  Students need to take a balanced approach to the subject instead of justifying reasons or point of view.

Importance of adding references in an essay

We can understand essay writing’s importance because various leading universities offer online courses to students in essay writing.

One of the fundamental aspects of writing an essay is citations and references. Adding references in an article means giving credit to the author from whose work you are extracting information. While writing a paper, assignments, or essays, you should highlight the author and their words to validate your argument.

It is essential to add references and citations in your piece of writing as it lets the reader approach the original content if they want to look up at it and allows them to see how up to date information is. Citing is very important in terms of avoiding plagiarism. When the original author is mentioned, the lectures or professors are of the opinion that the content isn’t plagiarized, and the content is well-researched.

Citation Styles

There are two pioneer guides on how students or scholars can add citations and references to the essays.

  • APA (American Psychology Association)
  • MLA (Modern Language Association)
  • Chicago

Each of these has its own set of rulings, but it is unnecessary to familiarize yourself with them all. In academic writing learning, only one of these styles is enough.


In MLA, when you cite the source of documentation, start by listing the core elements. The author’s name, the title of the source, title of container, and other contributes are added within the text closed in parenthesis. Information of source is kept in raw format, and different punctuation is required depending on the source’s type.

In the beginning, the author’s name is entered following the rest of the name after coma as represented in the original work. End that with a full stop.  After the author’s name, the source title is entered. A title can be written in italics format or quotation mark depending on the type of source. Other than the author, more contributors like editors and translators need to be credited. If they are essential in identifying the source or are related to your research, then include them in your essay.

The source is from a book with multiple volumes or a journal with both issue numbers and volumes, then cite those numbers in your paper.  Add the date of publication after all the entries.


Core components in APA references are the author’s surname, initials, publishing date, the title of the source, location of the publisher, publisher, and URL. These are entered according to the sequence.

In APA, the references added must be on the document’s end on a new page or be centered. The full reference should contain all in-text references.

Scholars must include the in-text citation after the use of quotations or a paraphrased information from other work.  These citations are entered within the main body to refer to quote or paraphrase directly. These citations correlate to the preliminary reference list. These references include only the name of the author and publication date. If you have the author’s name but don’t know the publishing date or page number, there is no need to add that. Just add the author’s name at the end of the line.

While writing an essay or research paper, sometimes there is so much material you gather from research that it’s hard to remember that from which source it was extracted. In APA, every paraphrase is required to be cited along with writing. So, in this way, scholars will be able to remember the source of information. A whole page of the cited references is created at the end of the document to give the original authors credit.


Chicago is the reference style that is used by researchers to structure their references and written work. Chicago is mainly used for the history or social science discipline. Drafters can write Chicago references in two styles. These formats are ‘Notes and bibliography’ and ‘Author-Date.’

In notes and bibliography, the references are added in footnotes, bibliography page, and endnote. The bibliography is placed at the end of the page. In the header, the writer mentions that the references are available at the end of the page.

In the Author-Date style, in-text citations are required. This Chicago citation style requires a bibliography and in-text citation, often used in research papers and essays related to history and science majors.

These are the basics of an essay and how to cite, add references and implement various essay writing strategies. Essays UK can help students write exceptional essays as well as improves their writing abilities.