Canterbury Christ Church University Harvard Referencing

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Canterbury Christ Church University Harvard Referencing

Why reference

When writing assignments you may refer to ideas that have been written or produced by someone else. It is important that you acknowledge all the resources you have used and enable people who read your work to find these resources themselves. Failure to provide references may expose you to charges of plagiarism.

This guide will give you brief advice on how to reference commonly used resources using the Harvard Style. For a more comprehensive guide, with examples of many other types of reference sources, see this publication:

Parts of referencing

There are two parts to referencing – how to refer to a material in the text of your assignment (citations) and secondly, how to reference at the end of your assignment (reference list). The reference list includes only the sources that you cite in your text, a bibliography includes all material that you read in preparation for your assignment.

Citations in your text

Acknowledging ideas

In the text you should include the author’s or authors’ surname(s) followed by the date of publication in brackets, e.g. Smith (2005) states that it is important to consider…. Alternatively, you could include both the surname(s) and date in brackets e.g. It has been suggested that it is important to consider… (Smith, 2005).

If what you are crediting is a particular observation made at a specific point within the text, then you need to add the number(s) of the page(s) in question e.g. Smith (1995, pp. 49-50) states that it is important to consider.

Secondary referencing

If you have not actually read Smith (2005) but have only read about Smith’s ideas in Jones (2010), you should use the phrase ‘cited in’ e.g. It is claimed (Smith, 2005, cited in Jones, 2010, p.30) that….

If Jones uses Smith’s exact words, then Smith has been “quoted”—rather than “cited”—by Jones.

Setting out Quotations (authors’ exact words)

If quotations are brief then they are absorbed into the main text using quotation marks. If they are lengthy, they are indented from the rest of the text and do not require quotation marks. In either case, the quotation is followed by a bracketed reference, e.g. (Brown, 2012, p 38).

Reference list

Your reference list (or bibliography) is located at the end of your assignment, or piece of work. Entries should be in alphabetical order by author’s surname, or by title where there is no author.

When referencing four or more authors/editors, give only the first name followed by et al. in both the in-text citation and the reference list, e.g. a book written by Smith, J., Jones, R., Sherwood, C. and Green, D. is referenced as Smith, J. et al.


When compiling your reference list please ensure you follow the punctuation, italics and abbreviations given in the following examples for different sources, as these form part of the referencing style.

Reference examples

Note that these examples below are for the most commonly used sources. See Cite them right for a wider range of sources.


In-text citation: Cottrell (2013)

Reference list: Cottrell, S. (2013) The study skills handbook. 4th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

If the author has published more than one document in the same year, distinguish between them by adding a, b, c etc. after the date and ensure that they are all listed in the bibliography e.g. (Cottrell, 2013a).