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Guidelines on Harvard Referencing Style

Guidelines on Harvard Referencing Style

When writing an essay or a research paper, it is important for every student to provide a list of the sources used for writing the paper. As a rule, when a student fails to provide references to the sources, certain parts of the paper will be referred to as plagiarism. Besides, providing a list of sources will help readers when they need to retrieve some other information from them or use them in their own research.

The sources included into the reference list at the end of the paper must be always cited in text (such reference are known as “in-text citations”).

In-Text Citations

In-text citations within the body of the research paper or any other type of a written assignment will help your readers to find full details about the document included into the reference list.

When providing in-text citations, please consider the following:

  • In-text citations should be placed in brackets (parentheses) or included into the statement.
  • The preferable form of in-text citations is author-date style, which makes it easier for your reader to find the most important information about the source. For example: (Black 2016). In case the book/ article, etc. that you are citing has two authors, cite them in the same order as they appear: (Nelson & Towell 2013). In case there are three and more authors of an article or a book, use et al. after the last name of the first author: (Green et al. 2014).
  • It is not obligatory to include page numbers into your in-text citations. It depends on the format of referencing. Besides, you may either include a specific page or indicate the range of pages. For example: (Jones 2011, p. 65) or (Burkett 2015, pp. 56-59).
  • In case you use electronic sources (web pages, electronic journals, news reports, etc.) that have no page numbers, you may provide a number of the paragraph (abbreviated as “para.”) to put a special emphasis to the part of the document you refer.
  • If you refer to two or more works of different authors, please put a semicolon between the works. For instance: (Green 2015; Atwood 2013).

Direct Quotes

If you refer to the specific words of the author, put those words/ phrases/ sentence(s) into double quotation marks. As well as that, you need to provide the page or paragraph number. In case the direct quote you provide is longer than 40 words, indent the quoted paragraph/ section and do not put quotation marks in this case.

Indirect Quotes

If you simply paraphrase ideas/ findings/ principles of a particular author, just integrate them into your paper written in your own words. In case of paraphrasing, you are not required to provide a page number since it may be a general idea taken from the book/ article, etc. One thing to keep in mind: make it clear where you provide your own thoughts and where you refer to those of other scholars/ researchers.

Providing Citations from a Secondary Source

If you need to use an author’s idea in your work that has already been cited in some other source, use “cited in…” When you think which source it is right to provide in your reference list, include only the secondary one.

Citations for Works Having no Author or Being Written by an Anonymous Author/s

When there is no author or when he/ she is anonymous, you need to indicate the title of the work in italics followed by the year of publication and a page number. If the title of the work is too long, shorten its name when you provide an in-text citation.

Reference List

The reference list or a bibliography is placed at the end of the essay or a research paper. The sources used in the paper are listed in alphabetical order. Make sure that each source appearing in your reference list is cited in text and vice versa. Double-check whether all author’s names are spelled correctly and whether all years of publications are correct.

You should include the following details into your reference list:

  • Last and first names of the author or an editor;
  • Year of publication;
  • Title of the book/ article/ web page, etc.;
  • Information on the publication:
    • In case of books, provide the name of the publisher and the place of publication. When two or more publisher locations are given, provide the one given as first in the book;
    • for journals, provide the number of volume, issue, and then indicate page numbers;
    • for websites, provide the full Web address (URL).

Sources written by the same author that also have the same year of publication are distinguished by letters added to the year. 

For example: If you use two references written by Arwood and both were published in 2014, one will have the date 2014a, whereas the other will have the date 2014b. Such dates will also be placed in in-text citations.

Prefer using web sites mainly to search for references in the primary literature.



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