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Harvard Referencing

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Top Tips

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  • Do ask for help if you are not sure of anything!

  • Be organised. Whenever you consult a source, make a note of all the details you need for a reference

  • Allow yourself time to compile your reference list

  • Be consistent in the style and layout of your references

  • Make sure your references include all the information needed to locate it

  • Be thorough. Check the details of any source carefully for accuracy.

  • Use the online tutorial on Harvard Referencing and come along to the Succeed@Tees workshop 'How to use references' 

  • Consult Cite them Right 

  • Consider using RefWorks – see  

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.  Your citations should include the following elements: author(s) or editor(s) surname/family name, year of publication, page number(s) if required*.
  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.

*If you are quoting directly or using ideas from a specific page or pages of a work, you should include the page number(s) in your citations. Insert the abbreviation p. (or pp.) before the page number(s) e.g. (Harris, 2023, p. 56) . If your citation refers to a complete work or to ideas that run through an entire work, your citation would simply use the author and date details e.g. (Harris, 2023). Websites do not have page numbers, therefore, are not required in your in text-citation e.g. (BBC, 2023). 


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:


School of Arts and Creative Industries

School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies

School of Health & Life Sciences

School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law

Teesside University International 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'.

Harvard Referencing tutorials

online tutorial on Harvard Referencing (Basics) Online tutorial on the basics of Harvard referencing

online tutorial on Harvard Referencing - in-text citations  Online tutorial on using in-text citations

online tutorial on Harvard Referencing - creating a reference list  Online tutorial on creating a reference list

online tutorial on Harvard Referencing - paraphrasing  Online tutorial on paraphrasing

online tutorial on Harvard Referencing from Cite them Right Online tutorial for Cite them Right

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 (2022, p. 20) or (Pears and Shields, 2022, p. 20)

Reference list

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2022) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 12th edn. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

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 article journals

Journal articles with up to 3 authors (applies to paper and electronic versions)
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. Available at:

Journal articles with 4 or more authors (applies to both paper and electronic formats - for instance this article is electronic and includes a doi * see below for information on doi's).
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. Available at: 

How to Reference an electronic journal article with doi

In-text citation

Barke, Mowl and Shield's study (2010) ....

Reference list

Barke, M., Mowl, S. and Shields, G. (2010) 'Malaga - a failed resort of the early twentieth century?', Journal of Tourism History, 2(3), pp. 187-212. Available at:

* a doi (Digital Object Identifier) is used to identify individual digital (online) sources, such as journal articles and conference papers. No accessed date is needed.


How to Reference an electronic journal article with URL

In-text citation

An example cited by Dutta and Marjit (2016, p. 120).

Reference list

Dutta, M. and Marjit, S. (2016) 'Intra-country technology transfer', Indian Ecomonic Review, 51(1/2), new series, pp. 117-127. Available at: (Accessed: 27 May 2021). 

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).

How to reference an Act of Parliament (for UK after 1963)


Whole act:
In-text citation
(Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019)
Reference list

Wild Animals in Circuses Act 2019, c. 24. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2023).


Section of an Act:

In-text citation

As outlined in section 20(2) of the Act (Children and Families Act 2014)....

Reference List

Children and Families Act 2014, c. 6. Available at: (Accessed: 23 November 2023).



Workshops - How to Reference ... and How to use References Workshops

We have 2 workshops designed to help you with different aspects of referencing, from how to reference correctly to how to incorporate references into your academic writing:

1. How to reference … books

Become more confident about your referencing skills.  This 30-minute workshop outlines how to create Harvard references for the books you use when writing your assignments. 

We explain how to create references for books when: 

  • There is more than one author
  • It is not the 1st edition
  • You are using an ebook
  • You are referring to a chapter in an edited book

This workshop is not subject specific and is suitable for any student who needs help with the basics of referencing.

Link to  how to reference books powerpoint How to reference books
(Download the slides)
Link to Succeed@Tees workshops page with schedule and recordings of workshops

Forthcoming workshops

Thursday 8th February 2024 3.00 - 3.30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams 

No booking required.  Please join the workshop a few minutes before the start time.

Link to join session


Thursday 7th March 2023 1.00 - 1.30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams

No booking required.  Please join the workshop a few minutes before the start time.

Link to join session



How to reference journal articles

We also have a presentation on how to reference journal articles.  This includes:

  • What to do when there is more than one author 

  • When to use italics 

The slides are not subject specific and are suitable for any student who needs help with the basics of referencing. 

Link to  critical writing powerpoint How to reference journal articles
(Download the slides)


2. 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  


Link to Succeed@Tees workshops page with schedule and recordings of workshops

Forthcoming workshops

Online Session (via Teams):

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

We are very interested to hear your views about any workshop you attend.

Please complete the feedback form after you have attended.


Recording of previous session

Link to  critical writing powerpoint How to use References presentation
(slides with notes)
Link to  critical writing powerpoint

How to use references

Link to video for harvard referencing

Harvard Referencing Video 1: What referencing is and constructing basic references

Link to video for harvard referencing

Harvard Referencing Video 2: Paraphrasing and using citations

Next steps

If you thought this information was useful you may want to look at some of the other Learning Hub guides aimed at helping students with:


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