Skip to Main Content

Referencing : Online Learning: Home


Do you get confused with referencing?

Discover the basics of Harvard referencing, used by Teesside University.  This guide will show you

  • why you need to reference and how to reference books, journal articles and websites.
  • incorporate references into your writing
  • identify the different styles of in-text citation and when to use them
  • develop techniques in paraphrasing.

Online tutorial for referencing

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.

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.

Guidance on 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, 2015)
  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 most frequently used referencing style is Harvard.  At Teesside, the Harvard style is taken from Cite them Right.  If you follow the guidance in Cite them Right, your referencing will be correct.

Harvard is an author-date referencing style.  This means that in-text, you just need to include the author's surname, the year, and page number if you are referring to a specific page (eg (Godwin, 2014, p.15)

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 eg (BBC, 2015).

For more than three authors, you should use the first author's name, 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 "Godwin (2014) states that ..."

2. the author is not part of the sentence so both the author's name and the year go in brackets


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.


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 they 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). Includes everything referred to in the text
References need to be:

  • Accurate: Are spellings and other details correct?
  • 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?

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

School of Computing, Media & the Arts

School of Health & Social Care

  • DClinPsyc: APA
  • All other subjects: Harvard: Cite them right online
  • Please note - SoHSC guidelines for Harvard Referencing do not require a page number when paraphrasing

School of Science, Engineering & Design

School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law

Teesside University Business School

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 your appropriate style, for example with Cite them Right for Harvard.

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'.

Referencing Guidelines

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


Help for referencing

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

  • Read our guidance or view our online 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.
  • Use Cite them Right online
  • Use software such as Refworks to help you.

Referencing examples

How to reference a bookpile of books

Books with up to 3 authors:
In-text citation

Pears and Shields (2016, p. 20) or (Pears and Shields, 2016, p. 20)

Reference list

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2016) Cite them right. 10th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

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