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The Harvard System of referencing

The Harvard System of referencing works within the text itself and not in footnotes or endnotes. Whenever you quote, or refer to someone’s words (directly or indirectly), or use someone’s argument, or refer to a source, you should use the system described below.

Whenever you quote you write the surname and the date of publication in brackets. When you quote directly, you should also add the page number:

In studying the anatomy of brains of early man, some 19th century anthropologists came to a conclusion which one writer reminds us was ‘at the time considered highly provocative but which is now obvious to every anthropologist’ (Wendt, 1974, p.12).

If the name of the writer is part of the sentence itself, put the date in brackets after the name: Wendt (1974, p.12) reminds us that the conclusions of some 19th century anthropologists were ‘at the time considered very provocative’.

The same applies when you are not quoting directly:

Wendt (1974) reminds us that the conclusions of some 19th century anthropologists were considered very provocative when they were published.

Sometimes, you find a useful quotation from one author in a book by another. In such cases, reference like this:

Johnson sweeps aside this argument: ‘His expressed view of the world has more style in it than sense – or evidence’ (quoted in Mason, 1990, p.44).

In this case, you are quoting Johnson from a book which you have not read and which you therefore cannot quote directly. So the reference is to Mason’s book, which you have read.

You will sometimes need to refer to more than one book or article by the same author, each published in the same year. In this case, put a letter after the date to show which of the publications is referred to in this instance:

Peterson (1989b, p.45) was risking the wrath of her profession by suggesting that ‘there is more to be gained by restraint than by rushing headlong into open debate’.

list of references

At the end of your text, you should list alphabetically all sources you have used. They are normally set out as follows:

Surname, initials of author(s) (date) Title, place and name of publisher


For example the complete reference for a book will look like this:

Gilbert, S and Gubar, S (1988) No Man’s Land New Haven, Yale University Press


When referring to an article in a journal, you should put the title of the article in quotation marks, and the journal title should be underlined:

Rollerton, F (1989) ‘Wordsworth’s Secret Dreams’ in Citations Vol.12, No.4 (pp.113-124)

If you are citing an article from an author from a book edited by a different author, the reference works as follows:

Silvershum, P (1978) ‘Fellowship Societies’ in Donaghue, P. (ed.) The Roots of Masonry Sidney, Outback Books

The list of references or bibliography should be in alphabetical order.

When you refer to more than one work by the same author, these should be set out in chronological order.

When you refer to more than one work by the same author from the same year, they should be differentiated by adding ‘a, b, c’ to the dates: 1989a, 1989b, etc.


The reference list should include only those works you have cited in your text. There may, however, be reasons why you would wish to offer a list of works which have informed your general thinking. If you want to cite works in addition to your references, this should be done in a separate list headed ‘bibliography’.


If you use illustrations of work by others or by yourself in your text, make sure you use accurate referencing. Referencing for illustrations will normally include (elements of) the following:

Name of the artist, title of the work, date, materials, size

For example:

Pierre Huyghe, Sleeptalking, 1998, 16mm film, 15 min.

You may add if appropriate:

Site, exhibition, collection or commissioner; place

For example:

Pierre Huyghe, Sleeptalking, 1998, 16mm film, 15 min. Installation at Manifesta, Luxembourg, 1999.

Fiona Banner, Le Bar du Peuple, billboard, Marseille, 1995.

Document formatting

Please submit your essay as a PDF file. Its first page should be a sheet stating its title, your name, the name of the institution and the course, the thematic project, the date. All pages should be numbered. Footnotes should be continously numbered throughout the whole document.

If one adds all requirements for referencing, quoting, citations, footnotes, page numbers etc., it is hardly possible to complete an academic paper in a Wiki, in plain ASCII, in HTML or a similar basic text format. The standard software recommendations are therefore either a traditional word processing program such as Writer or a markup/text formatting system for academic writing such as LaTeX or DocBook XML. (The Linux program LyX provides an easy-to-use word processor interface for LaTeX.) You are advised to choose the system that is most straightforward for you to use and interferes the least with your writing.

Further reading

For guidance on writing essays and good research practice, you are advised to consult: Tom Davis, How to Write an Essay, []. For a more advanced introduction, read Rob Barnes, Successful Study for Degrees, Routledge, 1992, chapter 6, p. 64-87. (This book can be found in the course library.)