Referencing with the Harvard system

This page focuses on the conventions of referencing using the Harvard system

Proper referencing is essential in university work. There are two parts to referencing – in text referencing which appears in the middle of of your text next to the author you have referred to and your bibliography at the end.

In text referencing
Here is an example of how you can reference in the middle of your text:

Smith (2002) claims that houses in the UK will continue to be one of the best investments for years to come.

Rule: Use the surname of the author and the date the work was published.

Here is an example using a direct quote from the original text:

Smith (2002, p.46) says that ‘there is a real need for a rapid improvement in the quality of independent financial advisors in the UK’.

In the first example the writer reports the author’s idea. This is called paraphasing and you must change the author’s words into your own words. In the second example, the writer quotes directly from the book, so the page number must also be mentioned and quotation marks ‘ ‘ are used.

At the end of your essay you put this information about the book you used:
Smith, A. (2002) Regulating Financial Markets in the UK, London, Longman

The information is: author and initial, year of publication, title, place of publication, and publisher. The list of authors should be in alphabetical order.

An excellent guide to referencing is available here from Bournmouth University.

If you go here you and scroll down you can find some handy one page guides on referencing and writing a bibliography. Print them out, stick them on your wall. Make life easier!

For guidance about  newspapers or internet articles all the information you need is in the Bournemouth guide but be careful about using the internet – anyone can post on the internet and your references might not be reliable. Please, don’t use Wikipedia as a reference. It has good background information, but it is not a reliable academic resource. If you need more resources always ask your librarian. The best information for university students is usually found in journals. You can find these online through your university catalogue, but they can be difficult to access. Ask friends. Join up with other friends and go to ask you tutor or librarian for help to get these journals. Remember – you have paid a lot of good money for your course and you have a right to these services and you have a right to ask for help.

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