If you do not credit your source or present the ideas from another as your own, either intentionally or unintentionally, you may be guilty of plagiarism. Harvard referencing helps you avoid plagiarism and it is the only path to take to help you exit the maze and truly succeed in your writing. So, what is Harvard referencing? How to do Harvard referencing? Is it necessary to add Harvard referencing in text? There is no Harvard referencing book, so let PaperCheap experts introduce you to the pleasures of Harvard referencing, without which your assignments will be an academic disaster.
Step by Step: Harvard Referencing Guide
Harvard Referencing is a life jacket for all students. When you are writing a piece of academic paper, you will be researching and reading a lot of works done by others to help formulate your ideas and arguments. Believe us, any piece of academic writing that is not properly referenced will incur the wrath of your tutor and most probably will result in a referral (if you are lucky) or accusation of plagiarism which is the worst academic sin student can commit.
So, the first thing you need to do is to acknowledge where you found the information not only because it is fair to give credit to a person whose hard work you are using but also to avoid plagiarism. Harvard referencing to the rescue! First of all, here are examples of the most common misconceptions about the usage of Harvard referencing.
Common Misconceptions about Harvard Style Referencing
- I do not need to reference this section of my writing because I have used my own words. You are wrong! Paraphrasing is an important academic skill. It means expressing in a shorter or even different way what someone has written. Since you are going to paraphrase somebody else’s words, you have to cite this source using Harvard referencing.
- I did not reference those sentences or sections because they are from my lecture notes. Wrong again! Yes, it may be your notes but where did you get it from? Since you are using information obtained from your lecturer, you should cite that source.
- I did not reference this paragraph because it is based on my own observations and experience whilst working for the company. Wrong! All statements of fact or suppositions, unless they constitute common knowledge, have to be referenced. So, in this case, you should reference yourself by writing “When I worked for “Google” in 2016, I observed/ found/ came to the conclusion that…” So, the reader will know where the information comes from.
The Essentials: What Is Harvard Referencing?
Let us carry on with the most exciting topic imaginable and start with obvious. Harvard referencing is one of the most popular styles of referencing which is used by university students to cite information sources in their research papers. The majority of students’ works, whether it is an essay or research paper, is based on Harvard referencing method and a set of requirements for pointing to the source of information that is used in the paper and end of text reference list.
When using Harvard style referencing, there are two stages of highlighting other people’s work in your own, citing and referencing. Citing is what you do in the text of your essay, where you highlight words and ideas that you have incorporated from somebody else’s work. Referencing is where you put all the details of the source of the information that you have used at the end of your work in a separate section.
Harvard referencing begins with an in-text citation which allows the readers to link the key words to where your information was sourced. It does not matter whether it is the exact words from the book or paraphrasing, the rule is that you must use the in-text citation. You need to put it after a quote before the end punctuation mark. Here are a few examples.
Knight (2008, p. 103) argues that “it is essential to use English grammar correctly”.
He argues that “it is essential to punctuate your sentences correctly” (Knight, 2008, p. 103).
Harvard Referencing: Reference List
If you use in-text citations in the main body of your essay or paper, you will need to include a reference list at the end. It is in the reference list that you present the full details of the sources you have cited. And it must be done in a proper way, you just have got to follow certain rules.
In order to successfully reference a book, you will need the author’s name, initial(s), not the full first name, the year the book was published, the title of the book, edition number, unless it is the first edition, the place it was published, and the name of the publisher. These details can usually be found on the title page and imprint page of a book. It is like a formula, you just have to memorize it.
So, the reference would look like this:
Cardwell, M. (2010) Psychology of the children. 4th ed. Deddington: Philip Allan Updates.
Journal article reference should have almost the same information:
Bronner, F. and Smith, R. (2013) Social media and consumer choice, International Journal of Market Research, 56(1), pp. 61-67.
Cambridge EAP Catalogue (2011). Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/us/cambridgeenglish/catalog/english-academic-purposes/cambridge-academic-english (Accessed: 27 November 2018)
Some academics make no distinction between a reference list and a bibliography. So, they list all the sources they have consulted under “Bibliography”. The problem here is that list will contain references that have been cited, together with references to sources that just have been used in a research but have not been cited in the assignment. Please, consult your professor in order to know which method to use.
Compiling a reference list is time-consuming. Some references, particularly with regard to websites, will be really long. So, take that into account when writing your assignments. Very often, students miss a deadline because they did not give themselves enough time to compile a proper reference list.
More of Harvard Referencing Examples and Errors
Let us take a closer look at some Harvard referencing examples and common errors which a lot of students make.
Incorrect: According to (Smith, 2011), there are six different ways in which culture evolves.
Do not forget you have to fit into the grammar pattern of the sentence while citing the source. In this case, brackets should go around the date.
Correct: According to Smith (2011), there are six different ways in which culture evolves. Small yet important change
Incorrect: Smith (2011) describes that there are six different ways in which culture evolves.
If you do not know the grammar pattern of a reporting verb, then do not use one. What is wrong with the sentence above? The thing is that you can describe something or you can describe how something happens, but you can’t say “describe that”. You have ruined the sentence because you are using a reporting verb.
Correct: Smith (2011) says/ claims/ argues/ suggests that there are six different ways in which culture evolves.
Incorrect: Cameron (2009) stated that culture is everywhere in organizational life.
Wrong tense. When referring to research that is of current interest or relevance, you should use a present tense.
Correct: Cameron (2009) states that culture is everywhere in organizational life.
So, when should the past tense be used in Harvard referencing? And what about the present perfect? When making very general observations, use the present perfect. For example, “It has been argued by Smith (2011)…”
You should use the past tense with procedural verbs when referring to academic activity, not conclusions, in the past or ideas that are no longer current. For example, “It is interesting to note that some research work which was carried out in 1985 (Green, 1985) examined…”
Incorrect: According to Cameron (2009), culture “is virtually important for the organization because of its impact on performance”.
When directly quoting the exact words from a text, you should include the page number in your citation.
Correct: According to Cameron (2009, p. 76), culture “is virtually important for the organization because of its impact on performance”.
Final Check-list of Harvard Style Referencing
Before handing in the research paper, double-check you have included all the following information in your reference list.
- Make sure that you have listed the authors in alphabetic order.
- Do not list a book twice or three times.
- Do not give the author’s first name, just an initial or initials.
- The title of a book needs to be in italics.
- If you refer to an article from a journal, put the title of the journal in italics, not the title of the article.
Happy referencing to you, dear students!