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Referencing: Help

Forthcoming workshops

How to use references  

This session will improve your skills in using references in your writing.  The workshop will show you how to: 

  • incorporate references into your writing 

  • identify the different styles of in-text citation and when to use them 

  • develop techniques in paraphrasing 

If you need further information or any adjustments to fully access this session, please contact in advance. 

Workshop materials:

Guidance on Harvard referencing

You need to learn how to reference accurately in order to acknowledge your sources and to demonstrate that your writing is based on evidence.  There are two parts to referencing:

  1. in-text citations - this is what you include within your writing.  The in-text citation gives very limited information eg (Cottrell, 2019)
  2. reference list - this appears at the end of your assignment.  Your reference list gives the full details of your sources, in a specific order and format.

Different styles of referencing use different formats for both in-text citations and reference lists.  You need to learn which referencing style is used by your subject area - this will be the style included in the 'How to reference' tab of your subject libguide.  The next tab in this box ('Which referencing style?') gives guidance on which style is used for each School.


A frequently used referencing style is Harvard.  At Teesside University, the Harvard style is taken from Cite them Right.  

If you follow the appropriate guidance in Cite them Right, your referencing will be correct.


If you would like more help on this topic - please use the materials on this page or book a tutorial with your Subject Librarian or contact

You need to follow the referencing guidelines for your subject area:

MIMA School of Art & Design

  • Fine Art: MLA

School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies

School of Health & Life Sciences

School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law

Teesside University Business School

The book 'Cite Them Right' by Pears and Shields details the Harvard referencing standard used by Teesside University.  

Click here for the online version of

Click on the book image below for location details of paper copies in the Library. 

Harvard is an author-date referencing style.  This means that in the text of your work, you just need to include the author's surname (family name), the year, and page number if you are referring to a specific page or pages e.g. (Godwin, 2014, p. 15). This is called an in-text citation.

This format is the same regardless of whether the source is a book, journal article or website.

If there isn't an individual author, you may need to use an organisation instead - this frequently occurs with websites, e.g. (BBC, 2015).

For four or more authors, you should use the first named author, followed by et al.


There are two styles of in-text citation - each style has advantages and disadvantages:

1. the author is part of the sentence, so the year goes into brackets, e.g. "Norman (2012) states that ..."


  • Emphasises the author
  • Positive: good for introducing reference early in a paragraph
  • Negative: can reduce the impact of you points
  • Negative: can can become repetitive
  • Ensure that you use the correct verb for you viewpoint

2. the author is not part of the sentence so both the author's name and the year go in brackets at the end of the sentence, e.g. (Norman, 2012).


  • Emphasises the information
  • Positive: can help your assignment to flow
  • Negative: references can sometimes appear too far away from the point
  • Ensure that you reference appears at the end of a sentence not just the end of the paragraph.

pros and cons of both styles of in-text citations

Paraphrasing means putting an author's writing into your own words, without changing the meaning.  

You need to paraphrase within academic writing to demonstrate to your lecturer that you understand the material.  

Paraphrasing also allows you to summarise the evidence so that it fits in with the case you are making, and improves the flow of your assignment.

In academic writing, your lecturers will want you to limit the number and length of quotations you use, restricting them to key phrases.  Instead, you should develop your skills in paraphrasing.

Remember you still need to reference any material you have paraphrased.


There is a temptation when you find one author quoting (or citing) another to just lift the quote and use it:


  1. You didn’t find the quote
  2. How do you know it is correct?


  1. Try and find the original source and make your own citation & reference.
  1. If it isn’t possible to check the original source - acknowledge both writers in the text but only reference the source you have read. This is called secondary referencing.


Imagine you’ve read a book by Chalmers (1999) and on page 141 it cites a piece of work by Worrall (1985) and has the full reference to it in the reference list.

You too would also like to refer to the work done by Worrall, but cannot locate his original work, only the reference to it in Chalmers.

The solution, in the text of your work, cite the original author ‘cited in’ then the author of the work you have read. BUT in your reference list only reference the work you have read – do not mention the original at all.

So our example would read as follows.

•In-text citation

(Worrall, 1985, cited in Chalmers, 1999, p. 141)

•In the reference list

Chalmers, A.F. (1999) What is this thing called science? Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Your reference list should be presented in one list in alphabetical author order, regardless of whether the reference is to a book, journal article, website or any other kind of source.

If there is no author, the item should come under the title (in italics).

The list should Include everything referred to in the text of your work.

References need to be:

  • Correct: are spellings and other details accurate?
  • Complete: is all the required information included?
  • Consistent: are all the references presented in the same way, fitting in with Cite them Right if the referencing is in Harvard style?

There are many tools available to help you with referencing.  At Teesside, we support RefWorks which enables you to create and manage your own personal database of useful references. You can then use these to quickly compile a reference list .

Whichever tool you use, you'll need to adjust your references to make sure that they fit in with the appropriate style required for your subject, for example as Harvard Style outlined in Cite them Right.

You can also use Turnitin as a tool to help you prevent plagiarism in your writing.  It is available from Blackboard - see the link to 'Check your work for plagiarism'.

You can improve your referencing in a number of ways through the Learning Hub. 

  • Read our guidance or view our Referencing tutorial on this page.  They both go through the basics of referencing, and explain how to create in-text citations and a reference list, using the Harvard style.
  • Go to the 'How to reference' tab of your subject libguide - it will give you examples in the appropriate referencing style for your subject
  • Use Cite them Right online
  • Drop in to the Learning Hub with your questions
  • Come to the How to use references'' Succeed@Tees workshop
  • Use software such as Refworks to help you
  • Book a one-to-one tutorial with a learning advisor or with a librarian


How to use references

Improve your skills in using references in your writing.

Come to the workshop to learn how to use in-text citations, paraphrase and quote correctly in your assignments.  The session will cover how to :

  • incorporate references into your writing.
  • identify the different styles of in-text citation and when to use them.
  • develop techniques in paraphrasing.
  • incorporate quotations into your work properly.

This workshop does not cover the practicalities of creating a reference or advice on how to structure your references.

For more details on how to create and structure a reference - see the online tutorial below -  Harvard Referencing section.

Alternatively consult 'Cite them Right' which gives examples of how to layout references for many different types of resources.

If you would like more help on this topic - please use the materials on this page or book a tutorial with your Subject Librarian or contact

How to use references: workshop materials:

Recording from Collaborate session: How to use references (Recorded 9 April 2020 and also covers content of workshop on 14 April 2020)

Feedback form for workshop

Harvard Referencing tutorial

If you cannot view the online tutorial below, go to the following web page. When you've viewed the basics section there, click back to this page and select the 'In-text' tab above.

Welcome to this referencing tutorial.  You can either work through it in order or skip to the section you want:

  1. Basics: what referencing is and why you must do it.
  2. In-Text citations: how to correctly insert citations to references into your assignments (Harvard style)
  3. Paraphrasing: learn what it is, why you need to to it, and how to do it.
  4. Harvard referencing: learn how to reference books, journal articles and websites, and create a reference list in the Harvard style.

If you cannot view the online tutorial below, go to the following web page. When you've viewed the in-text citations section there, click back to this page and select the 'Paraphrasing' tab above.

If you cannot view the online tutorial below, go to the following web page. When you've viewed the paraphrasing section there, click back to this page and select the 'Reference list' tab above.

If you cannot view the online tutorial below, go to the following web page. When you've viewed the reference list section there, click back to this page.

Harvard - Cite Them Right referencing examples

How to reference a bookpile of books

Books with up to 3 authors:
In-text citation

Pears and Shields (2019, p. 20) or (Pears and Shields, 2019, p. 20)

Reference list

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 11th edn. London: Red Globe Press.

Books with 4 or more authors:
In-text citation

(Young et al., 2015, p. 46) or Young et al. (2015, p. 46)

Reference list

Young, H.D. et al. (2015) Sears and Semansky's university physics. 10th edn. San Francisco: Addison-Wesley.

Secondary Referencing
In-text citation

(Macmillan and Crelman,1991, cited in Wickens, 2002, p. 37)

Reference list

Wickens, T.D. (2002) Elementary signal detection theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press


An ebook that includes all the same elements as the print version e.g. page numbers, edition, publication details, should be referenced as though it was a print book.

Ebooks available on an edevice e.g. Kindle

If the ebook is available on an edevice (Kindle, smartphones and tablets) the elements might not be the same as the print version.  If this is the case you need to use the information you do have e.g. loc or %

In-text citation

(Adams, 1979, loc 876) or Adams (1979, loc 876)

Reference list

Adams, D. (1979) The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. Available at: (Downloaded: 28 August 2013).

How to reference a journal journals

Journal articles with up to 3 authors
In-text citation

(Parton and Fleming, 2008) or Parton and Fleming (2008)

Reference list

Parton, S. and Fleming, H. (2008) 'Academic libraries and learning support in collaboration', New Review of Academic Librarianship, 13(1), pp. 79-89.

Journal articles with 4 or more authors
In-text citation

(Norrie et al., 2012) or Norrie et al. (2012)

Reference list

Norrie, C. et al. (2012) 'Doing it differently? A review of literature on teaching reflective practice across health and social care professions', Reflective Practice, 13(4), pp. 565-578.

How to reference a website social media logos

In-text citation

BBC (2018) or (BBC, 2018)

Reference list

BBC (2018) News. Available at: 

(Accessed: 14 May 2018).

Using material on this page