A Guide to Harvard Referencing
Referencing is a way of acknowledging that you have used the ideas and written material belonging to another author. It demonstrates for example, that you have undertaken an appropriate literature search and that you have carried out appropriate reading around the subject matter.
NCC Education prescribes the use of Harvard Referencing as it is widely used internationally, and this guide is intended to help you with referencing your work. The following are examples of sources you may wish to access and therefore need to reference:
• Journal articles
• Electronic journal articles
• World Wide Web pages
Why is it necessary?
• The readers of your assignments need to be able to trace the sources you have used in the development of your work.
• If you do not acknowledge another author’s work or ideas, you could be accused of plagiarism.
• Accurate referencing is part of good academic practice and enhances the presentation of your work.
What is citing?
When you have used an idea from a book, journal article, etc. you must acknowledge this in your text. We refer to this as 'citing'.
Citing in the body of the text
When you cite a piece of work, you must always state the author/editor and the date of publication. If the work has two authors/editors you must cite both names. Only include the names and date, do not include the title, place of publication, etc. Full details of the reference should be written in your bibliography at the end of your essay.
Example – 1 Author:
The work of Smith (2001) highlights the conflicting results of research carried out by Jones and Lewis.
Example – 2 Authors:
The work of Thatcher & Blake (2004) highlights the conflicting results of research carried out by Jones and Lewis.
NCC Education 2
If the work has three or more authors/editors, the abbreviation 'et al' should be used after the first author's name.
The work of Smith et al (2001) highlights the conflicting results of research carried out by Jones and Lewis. Thatcher & Blake (2004) however, considered that …. If you are summarising or paraphrasing the proposition of an author, you must show that in your work.
... Many people believe that the Americanisation of the media, and what is called ‘dumbing down’, is having disastrous effects on the English language. One response to this is that language change is natural, so there is no reason for people to condemn it (Aitchison, 1981 p.16). Aitchison clearly views changes in language as neither good nor bad, merely inevitable...
If you cite a reference which has the same author and was written in the same year as an earlier citation, you must use a lower case letter after the date to differentiate between the two.
The work of Smith (2001a) highlights the conflicting results of research carried out by Jones and Lewis.
Citing from books with multiple authors
Some books may contain chapters written by different authors. When citing work from such a book, the author who wrote the chapter should be named, not the editor of the book.
Secondary references are when an author refers to another author's work and the primary source is not available. When citing such work, both the author of the primary source and the author of the work in which it was cited should be named. Example:
Ellis (1990) cited by Cox (1991) discusses ….
NB: Secondary referencing should be avoided if possible.
Quoting in the text
Often it is better to paraphrase than to use direct quotes. This demonstrates that you have understood the meaning and context of what you have read. If a direct quote from a book, article etc. is used you must:
• Use single quotation marks (double quotation marks are used for quoting direct speech)
• State the page number
Simpson (2002: p6) declared that 'the explosive behaviour was unexpected.' • Have a separate, indented paragraph for...