Guide to the Harvard Citing and Referencing Style

There are different versions of Harvard referencing and this is only a guide. If you have any doubts about the style you should be using check with your lecturer, supervisor, course handbook or coursework guidelines.


When, in your work, you use an idea from a book, journal article, etc., you must acknowledge this in your text. This is referred to as ‘citing'.

Quotations longer than 2 lines should be inserted as a separate, indented paragraph.

Citing using the Harvard style

Using quotations

Your reference list

A reference list is your list of all the sources that have been cited in the text of your work. It includes books, journals, etc., listed in one list, not in separate lists according to source type.

  • The list should be in alphabetical order by author/editor.
  • Books, paper or electronic journal articles, etc., are written in a particular format that must be followed.
  • It contains all the items you have cited or directly quoted from.
  • When you have used more than one piece of work by the same author, in your reference list you should list the works in date order, beginning with the most recently published work.

How to write references for your reference list and bibliography

Your bibliography

There may be items which you have consulted for your work, but not cited. These can be listed at the end of your assignment in a ‘bibliography'.

They should be listed in alphabetical order by author and laid out in the same way as items in your reference list.

If you can cite from every work you consulted, you will only need a reference list. If you wish to show to your reader (examiner) the unused research you carried out, the bibliography will show your extra effort.

Always check the guidance you are given for coursework, dissertations, etc., to find out if you are expected to submit work with a reference list and a bibliography. If in doubt, ask your lecturer or supervisor.

How to write references for your reference list and bibliography

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Citing and referencing: Harvard guide (pdf)