By correctly referencing throughout your assignments, you are ensuring that:
- the marker knows you support your arguments with reputable academic sources
- you give credit to the authors you have paraphrased/quoted
- you avoid charges of plagiarism
- the reader can find the resources you have used
- you show an understanding of academic writing conventions
When to Reference
You must insert an in-text citation and corresponding reference list entry, every time you:
- quote directly from a source
- refer indirectly to someone else's work, including paraphrasing, summarising, or use information obtained from their work
- wish to provide sources of further information or additional evidence to support your arguments
Plagiarism is intellectual property theft. Hence, you must avoid it in all your assignments by referencing all the sources you have used.
The University has a very strict policy against plagiarism and dealing with students accused of it. We’re not saying don’t get caught plagiarising. We say don’t do it - it’s not worth the risk! As long as you reference according to our guidelines, you will be fine.
We say you paraphrase when you take someone's ideas, theories, opinions, and write them in your own words. This is great because you can show your understanding of the concept. Still, it is not your original idea. So, you must reference the original author. If you don't, it will constitute plagiarism, which we're sure you want to avoid!
This is when you copy the exact words from a book, journal article, or website. It’s OK to include quotations here and there. But, try not to overdo it, as too many quotations might get frowned upon. It is your work as well! A few things to keep in mind:
- contain short quotations in your paragraph, enclosed within "quotation marks”
- put longer quotations separate paragraph, without quotation marks
- don’t forget to reference all your quotations!
- include the exact page where you took the extract from in the citation. The exception is when there are no pages, like web pages or Kindle books - page numbers may vary depending on the text size.
The Stages of Referencing
- author(s) or editor(s) surnames and year of publication
- there is no comma between authors and year of publication
- page reference also included only when you have quoted directly or referring to an illustration
|When you paraphrase:||The full citation appears in brackets. If it is at the end of a sentence, it will always appear before the full stop.||There is a tendency to .... (Smith 2015).|
|When you paraphrase and want to use the author(s) name(s) in the sentence:||Only the year of publication will appear in brackets.||According to Smith (2015), there is a tendency to....|
|When you directly quote:||You must include the page reference of where you are quoting. This will appear after the year of publication.||"Over the past decade there has been a significant growth in......" (Smith 2015 p.37).|
|When you directly quote and use the author(s) name(s) in the sentence:||The author(s) name(s) comes out of the citation, leaving the year of publication and page reference in brackets.||Smith (2015 p.37) states that "over the past decade there has been a significant growth in...".|
The reference list is entirely linked to the citations in your text, and it gives full details of the sources you have used. Each one of your citations must match a reference list entry.
Librarian Top Tip!
To ensure you don't miss out any references, make sure you write the reference list entry as soon as you insert a citation!
- arranged in alphabetical order by author
- appears at the end of your document
- you don't need numbers, bullet points, start or any other pretty symbols to decorate your references. Keep it plain and simple! :)
If you have used any other sources which you haven’t referred to in your text, but nevertheless were part of your research (think background reading), they would go in the bibliography.
- appears at the very end, after the reference list
- arranged in alphabetical order by author
- it may or may not be a requirement for your assignment. If in doubt, check with your school
The Basic Rules
AUTHORS' NAMES, Year of Publication. Book Title. Edition (if not first). Place of Publication: Publisher.
PAYNE, J.R. and PHILLIPS, C.R., 1985. Petroleum spills in the marine environment: the chemistry and formation of water-in-oil emulsions and tar balls. 2nd ed. Chelsea, MI: Lewis Publishers.
AUTHORS' NAMES, Year of Publication. Article Title. Journal Title, Volume(issue), Article Page Range.
WAGNER, M.R. et al., 2006. Horizontal drilling and openhole gravel packing with oil-based fluids: an industry milestone. SPE Drilling and Completion, 21(1), pp. 32-43.
AUTHORS' NAMES, Year of Publication. Webpage Title. [online]. Place of Publication: Publisher. Available from: URL [Accessed Date].
MASTERS, T., 2017. Harry Potter: how the boy wizard enchanted the world. [online]. London: BBC. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-40340400 [Accessed 26 June 2017].
Inserting the author(s) / editor(s)
- The author(s) names are always in capitals
- If more than 1 author, write their names in the order in which they appear on the source material
- The surname comes first, followed by a comma and the initial(s) of the first name(s)
- If there are more than 3 authors, you don't have to list them. Just mention the first author followed by et al. (it means 'and others')
- If the material has editors, just mention ed. or eds. after the editor(s)
|1||BROWN, C.M.,||BROWN, C.M., ed.,|
|2||BROWN, C.M. and JONES, A.B.,||BROWN, C.M. and JONES, A.B., eds.,|
|3||BROWN, C.M., JONES, A.B. and SMITH, C.D.,||BROWN, C.M., JONES, A.B. and SMITH, C.D., eds.,|
|more than 3||BROWN, C.M. et al.,||BROWN, C.M. et al., eds.,|
Corporate authors: acronyms and initials
If the authoring organisation's name is abbreviated to its initials,
- You must write the full name, followed by the initials (in brackets). This applies for both in text-citation and the reference list entry.
- If the author is also the publisher, you can just put the abbreviation as the publisher
- In your sentence, when you first refer to the organisation, you should write it out in full. If you mention the organisation again in a following sentence, you can just write the abbreviation. This rule doesn't apply to citations, just the sentence.
- Acronyms which are general knowledge (think BBC, NHS) do not have to be written out in full.
The original stance on liver disease adopted by the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN)(2002) was rescinded three years later when SIGN issued new guidance (Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network 2005).
Places of publication
|United Kingdom||Just the city||Oxford:|
|United States||City, State Abbreviation||Hoboken, NJ:|
|Canada||City, Territory Abbreviation||Calgary, AB:|
|Australia||City, Territory Abbreviation||Perth, WA:|
|Rest of the world||City, Country||Geneva, Switzerland:|
Here's an extract from an assignment, with correct in-text citations and a reference list. Please note you do not have to bold the citations in your assignments.
See further explanations regarding the in-text citations
BERKENKOTTER, C. and HUCKIN, T., 2014. Genre knowledge in disciplinary communication. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
BRAINE, G., 2010. Writing in science and technology: an analysis of assignments from ten undergraduate courses. English for Specific Purposes, 8(6), pp. 3-16.
FAIGLEY, L. and HANSEN, K., 2013. Learning to write in the social sciences. College Composition and Communication, 36(2), pp. 140-149.
HOROWITZ, D., 2011. What professors actually require: academic tasks for the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 20(3), pp. 445-462.
SWALES, J. et al., 2012. Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Further support for Harvard referencing
If you need further support with Harvard referencing please visit our Workshops and Appointments page where you will find:
- A calendar of workshops that can be booked online. There are regular sessions on Harvard referencing during Semester 1 & 2
- Drop-in sessions are also listed on the Workshops calendar. These are held in the Library and you can simply turn up and ask your question
- Recordings of previous workshops
- Information on how to book 1-1 or small group support appointments with one of our team
You can also email the team for support and can even send us your list of references and we'll help to identify if you're on the right track!
If you need some support please get in touch. We're happy to help!