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Sixth Form Study Skills: referencing


What is referencing?

Referencing is where you refer to a source in your writing, such as a book, journal article or newspaper article. When you reference you need to properly record the information you have used - this way whoever is reading or marking your work will be able to find the original source. There are many different referencing styles but one of the main ones is the Harvard referencing style which is demonstrated on this page.

There are two parts to referencing


This is a shortened version of the full reference and goes in the body of your essay whenever you use information taken from another source. It usually just contains the authors surname and year of publication. For example:

Storytelling activates the brain's insular cortex and allows us to experience sensations such as excitement or disgust (Wildrich, 2012).

If you mention the authors name then there is no need to include this in the brackets, for example:

Robinson (2001) suggests that.......

Reference List

A reference list includes all the full references for the sources you have cited in your main body of work and goes at the end of your essay. It is arranged alphabetically by author surname. 


Here are a few examples of how to reference different types of sources. For a full list visit our website.

Author, Initial. (Year of publication) Title in Italics. Edition if not first. Place of publication: Publisher.

Johnston, G. (1998) Introduction to Penguins. 2nd edition. London: W.H. Freeman.

Author(s), Initials. (Date) Article title, Journal title in italics, volume number (issue number if available), page range.

Al-Wazaify, M., Matowe, L. Albsoul-Younes, A. & Al-Omran, O.A. (2006) Pharmacy education in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 70(1), 18-20.

Author(s) (Year) Title of webpage in sentence case. Available online: URL [Accessed date].

Individual Author(s)

Reynolds, G. (2005) Top ten slide tips. Available online: [Accessed 27/3/2014].

Company author

SocialBakers (2014) LinkedIn statistics, number of LinkedIn users & demographics. Available online: [Accessed 26/3/2014].

No author or company name

Gourmet coffee boom takes Russia by storm (2013). Available online: [Accessed 2/1/2014].