Last Updated: 06 Jun, 2023     Views: 4

"Referencing" and "citing" are both words that describe the same thing: acknowledging your sources.

These words are often used interchangeably, although some styles might use "referencing" and others might use "citing". For example, APA has a list of "References", while MLA has a list of "Works Cited". They both mean the same thing: a list of works you have used (and thus referred to) in the text of your work.

There are subtle differences between the words, which might be best illustrated by this sentence:

In text, when you refer to information that you learned from a source, you cite the source.

However, for the purposes of referencing, the words are interchangeable.

N.B. The terms "reference list" and "works cited list" are identical as they must only contain the works you have referred to (cited) in-text. A "bibliography" is different, as it is a list of works that might contain more sources than just the ones you have referred to (for example, a bibliography might contain works you read that contributed to your understanding, but that you didn't use).

Sometimes, people say "bibliography" when they mean "reference list" - always confirm with your lecturer what they mean if they have asked for a "bibliography".