Harper Adams University Guide To Referencing

Harper Adams University logo

Harper Adams University Guide To Referencing

Click here to access the complete pdf

At Harper Adams we use the Harvard system of referencing, but there is no definitive version of Harvard. This guide introduces the version used at Harper Adams. Other approaches to referencing systems exist. The guide does not aim to cover every eventuality. If you follow the guidance here, you will be able to create references to sources not covered in this guide. If you need any help with referencing please ask your tutor, or come and see us in the library.


BIBLIOGRAPHY – an alphabetical list of sources, which you have read but have not cited within the text.
CITATION – an acknowledgement in the text that you are referring to another person’s work.
PLAGIARISM – the act of passing off as your own, the words, opinions or ideas of another.
QUOTATION – the exact words used by another person.
REFERENCE – a standardised description of the source you have cited within your text. The information included in the reference enables the reader to locate the source. References appear in an alphabetical list at the end of your work.
SOURCE – any resource used or quoted in your work, including text books, journals, TV and radio programmes, the internet and other people.

Why bother to include citations and references?

Referencing shows the reader where your information has come from. This is important because:
  • it gives other authors credit for their work
  • it protects you from plagiarism (for which you could fail your assignment)
  • it enables your reader to find the sources you have used
  • it allows you to show that you have researched your topic thoroughly (thus getting you more marks)
  • it gives your arguments weight – your work has more credibility if you show that it is supported by other academics and their research