When I first started learning how to write academic essays I was annoyed with the idea of citation. Especially in-text. Not that I mind showing where I got the information, more the fact that it can look a bit messy.
Most of the time Harvard referencing style is often advised to the point it’s preached by its users as if it were a religion. They love it so much they treat it as it’s the be all and end all of academic citation. But like most religions, it has its variations.
Which is why I personally loathe using Harvard.
I have however found a style I am so comfortable with that it makes citation fun. My personal favourite, when it comes to academic citation, is APA 6th [ed]. And the main reason for that is because, from my experience so far, it is consistent [when used in academic essays]. There are no variations of it, unless you are using a different edition, but at this point it is advised to use the latest, 6th edition.
Another reason I loathe Harvard is because it seems to make those who favour it that you can apply the same modifications on other referencing systems, that you can add your own flavour to it.
A discussion I unfortunately ended up having today with a professor, making me kind of feel like Sheldon Cooper [from TBBT]. Trying to reason that I use APA because I don’t have to deviate from the rigid paradigm APA follows, which I enjoy so much.
It might not look pretty, but this is why footnotes often are the best solution for citation. The system is so simple, you can’t do anything wrong, nor is it in your favour to modify it.
In addition, this is also why I really don’t like academic citation in general. I understand the idea, but when you not only have different styles of referencing, but different styles of specific styles, it just ends up becoming one big mess when you have people not willing to stick to the rules of those who created a specific citation system.