Student Leaves Hidden Message In Essay Citations

The Harvard style originated at Harvard University, but has been much adapted by individual institutions. There is no set manual or formatting rules for Harvard as there is for some other referencing systems. Harvard is a style for citing sources by giving the name of the author and the date of their publication in the text of a piece of writing, within brackets ( ), for example (Smith, 2016). A reference list of full bibliographic details is then given at the end, with sources listed in alphabetical order by author.

Harvard is the most widely used referencing system and, as a result, there are a number of interpretations of this style. It is extremely important to check and follow your Department's specific regulations.

Harvard is a style based on name, date details for general in-text citations e.g. (Johnson, 1998) and name, date, page number for more specific in-text citation e.g. (Johnson, 1998, p.103) or (Johnson, 1998, pp. 103 – 122).

It is important to give a page number in a Harvard in-text citation in the following circumstances:

  • when quoting directly
  • when referring to a specific detail in a text (a specific theory or idea, an illustration, a table, a set of statistics).

University of York department interpretations:

Archaeology prefer students to use page numbers for all in-text citations unless students are referring to a complete book in a very general sense. Anything more specific should have a page number. Archaeology also require the following in-text citation punctuation: (Lee 2012, 236) for in-text citation with page number and (Lee 2012) for in-text citation without page number.

Environment ask that for multi-authored sources, given in the reference list, that the first 10 named authors are listed before the use of 'et al.' to indicate additional named authors.

Language and Linguistic Science: 
If using secondary citations (for example Smith (2000) cited in Jones (2010, p.5)) references should be given for both the sources mentioned.

In APA style, citations have the same three elements regardless of source:

  1. author
  2. publication year, and
  3. page or paragraph number.

The page or paragraph number where you find information is required for all quotations but is optional for paraphrased information. Citations in your paper are necessary to provide credit to the proper sources; failure to cite properly could result in plagiarism.

Some good guidelines for citing your work are to cite anything that includes actual statistics or figures (i.e., "Fifty percent of the population believes..."). It is not necessary to cite common knowledge (i.e., you do not need to cite that the Earth is round). You will credit a source in each sentence that references material from a source. For examples of how often to cite a source in a paragraph, see our examples in the Citing Sources Properly section.

APA style citations are all in-text citations, meaning the information about the source appears in the body of the paper rather than in end notes or footnotes.

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