I believe I began learning about referencing as early as late elementary school. In elementary school and even high school, we didn’t have to use a proper style format. For the most part, as long as you listed some references or titles of the books in your bibliography, you were fine. Once I began my university career, there was a definite push to write in a scholarly manner with proper referencing and citations. I do remember that my history course in university required MLA and it was challenging to switch back and forth between the two styles. I was constantly referring to a style guide to make sure that it was written properly.
I am sure it will be a bit of an adjustment getting used to using scholarly journals in my writing and referencing using APA style. While I do write on my personal blog, there isn’t often a need for referencing and when there is, I usually use links to the original source of information. Luckily as a psychology student, we used APA referencing. Therefore hopefully I will be able to remember most of it pretty easily.
Referencing also proves to others that you have done additional reading and research to back up your opinions and ideas with research. You can show that you are making connections between journal articles and further analyse them in relation to your topic of study.
Because I use Google Docs to take my notes, there is a great add-on from the app store you can find called EasyBib Bibliography Creator. This is a great tool for searching the title of your article and choosing the style you want the bibliography to appear in. While this helps me tremendously in creating my list of references in APA format, I know it is still always good to double check that it has been generated correctly.
I believe it is important to use proper referencing to credit the author of the original work. It is important that those who have come before us in this field of study are recognized for their time, research and knowledge. It is also important that we don’t take credit for someone’s work and plagarise content as our own thoughts.
Wikipedia is not a scholarly resource that should be used within an academic paper as it is not peer reviewed by knowledgeable scholars, rather anyone is allowed to contribute to the site. However, it often can be a place to start from specifically for less academic pieces of writing. Wikipedia has a wealth of information and is usually referenced with footnotes. These footnotes can lead you to other strong resources that you could use. If I find information on Wikipedia that I think might find useful, I always ensure I find an additional source that confirms this information to be valid. Personally, I rarely use Wikipedia but for general knowledge, sometimes it can be a fast way to find an answer.