Q. What kind of referencing is needed for work done for the IB Diploma?


All work submitted for the IB Diploma must be academically honest, which means acknowledging any materials or ideas used. 

For the Extended Essay, this is what the IBO guide says (p.10):

An extended essay must reflect intellectual honesty in research practices and provide the reader with the exact sources of quotations, ideas and points of view through accurate bibliographies and referencing. Producing accurate citations, referencing and a bibliography is a skill that students should be seeking to perfect. 

For a full explanation of referencing, we recommend you read the 16-page document -- "Effective citing and referencing" -- published by the IBO in 2014.  

Note that the IBO does not require one particular referencing style (e.g., MLA, APA, or Chicago).  Instead they only expect you to be clear and consistent when citing sources, such that any reader can easily distinguish between your words/work and that of others you have used.

However, UWCSEA expects you to learn to follow one of the major referencing styles, as that will be required if you go on to university.  

MLA is the default referencing style for all students in all subjects, however, for the IB Diploma program, some departments choose a different style, as indicated below for the East campus.

  • MLA (Modern Language Association) -- this is the Author-Page style of inline citations
    • All Languages A & B
    • Economics
    • Design Technology
    • Film Studies
    • Visual Arts
    • Theatre
    • ​Music
    • World Studies
  • APA (American Psychological Association) -- this is the Author-Date-Page style of inline citations
    • Psychology
    • Environmental Systems & Society
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Geography
    • Mathematics
  • Chicago -- this is the style that uses footnotes at the bottom of the page
    • History

NB:  Footnotes are only used to cite material in the Chicago style.  The other two styles -- MLA and APA -- use in-text or inline citations.  This means the citation is given in the body of the text when it is used.


Schools or departments may require a particular style of referencing.

For example, at UWCSEA East, each department has chosen a style, e.g.,

MLA (Modern Language Association) -- this is the Author-Page style of inline citations
All Languages A & B, Economics, Design Technology, Film Studies, Visual Arts, Theatre, Music, World Studies
APA (American Psychological Association) -- this is the Author-Date-Page style of inline citations 
Psychology, Environmental Systems & Society, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Mathematics
Chicago -- this is the style that uses footnotes at the bottom of the page
  • Last Updated Mar 13, 2017
  • Views 21
  • Answered By Katie Day

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