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Harvard Referencing and Citation Style

The Harvard referencing system comes in various versions, and this article is a guide only. If you are in any way doubtful about the citation style to use, double-check with your tutor, supervisor, or lecturer, or your course or college handbook, or the guidelines provided with your coursework. 

Using Citation

If you use any idea or quote from a textbook, journal or other source in your written work, then you should acknowledge that you are doing so within your paper or text. This practice is known as ‘citation.’  

If you use a quotation that exceeds two lines, you need to show this as a separate paragraph in indented form.  

Creating a References List

A references list is a comprehensive list of every source that has been used or cited within a text or written piece. Reference lists are used in papers, journals, books, and so on, and they appear as a single list according to the type of source rather than in separate or different lists.   

References lists should be created in alphabetical order according to the name of the author or editor.

Harvard is a prescribed referencing style that applies to papers, books, electronic journals, and so on, and this format must be adhered to.  

A references list should display every source that has been cited or quoted directly or cited.

Where more than one work belonging to the same creator or author is used, the works should be listed in the order they were published, starting with the work that was published most recently.  

Creating a Bibliography

Sometimes, you may consult sources for your written work without citing them. Such sources may be listed in a ‘bibliography’ at the end of a paper or text. Items should be listed alphabetically according to the author’s name and in the same format as they appear in a references list.

A reference list will suffice if you are able to cite from work you used or consulted. However, if you want your readers or examiner to see the entire extent of the research work you did, even the sources you did not use, you will need a bibliography to demonstrate your overall effort.

You should always double-check the guidelines you are provided with for a dissertation or any type of coursework to understand whether a reference list and bibliography are expected. Ask your tutor or lecturer if you are in any doubt.  

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