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Category: Different Types of Referencing Style in Dissertation writing

A Guide On Harvard Referencing Style

One of the most widely used referencing styles in the world is the Harvard referencing style. Based on an author-date system, Harvard referencing is recommended by many universities throughout the world because it is easy to use, read academic work and also facilitate findings and enlist all bibliographic references.

Harvard referencing can be used in any type of paper including literature reviews term papers, empirical studies, theoretical studies, methodological articles and other forms of academic writing. Harvard referencing style is an easy way of providing evidence and accrediting the sources used in a paper. This avoids suspicions of plagiarism because it gives credibility to the work of the authors involved.

Manner of referencing

There are several sources from which you can cite in an academic paper: journals, books, newspaper articles, internet websites or newspaper articles among others. In order for readers to find out the original material in your paper, Harvard referencing style consists of in-text citations indicating the author and the year of publication, and a detailed bibliography.

In-text citations mention the name of the author and the date of publication in brackets. Rules governing in-text citations include:
• They should exhibit consistency throughout the paper.
• In-text citations are written in round brackets. They are normally found at the end of a sentence, just before the sentence’s concluding punctuation. If there is a citation referring to a particular part of a sentence, it should be inserted at the end of a respective clause. Of importance to note is the fact that if an author’s name is included in a sentence, the citation should appear directly after the respective author’s name.
• When there is more than one author for a specific publication, all their names should appear in brackets in the same order as they appear in their publication and separated by the ampersand “&”. But if their names form part of a sentence, then use “and” to separate the authors’ last two names. For instance: “James and John (2012) indicate that…” or “more research on the same matter (Jacobsen, O’Malley & Kevin, 2008) reveals that…”
• If the author of some work cannot be identified, you should use the terms “Anon.” or “Anonymous” along with the work’s title in italics and the date of publication. However, in such cases, it is better to make efforts to find the name of the author especially when the work is part of the supporting evidence for your study. For instance: “Marketing Strategy (Anon., 2008) provides invaluable evidence for…”


The Harvard referencing style requires a list of sources at the very end of an academic paper where full bibliographic details of every book, website, journal or article are listed. Such a list enables all your readers to locate various pieces of information used in your study with ease. All items mentioned the list of references should be arranged in the alphabetical order of the names of authors. Details about items in the list of references should be mentioned including the year of publication, publisher, authors, website URLs, dates when websites were acceded etc. In this section, we shall expound on all these items. The Harvard referencing style does forbid the use of personal communications like informal emails and letters in the list of references. However, they can be cited in the text where need arises.
The manner of referencing ought to be very precise and adherent to the rules. The author’s name is followed by the year of publication; both details in parentheses at the end of the sentence. An alternative is to mention the author’s name and then putt the year in brackets when referring to some work in a direct manner.

Example one: “… the study heretofore has been proven by many researchers as well. (Jacobsen, 1989)”

Example two: “…not more than 40 percent of all incidences, as Jacobsen (1989) proved after several years of research.”

Another focal point in the Harvard referencing style involves direct quotes. When a student is quoting a fragment text comprising of less than 30 words, the student is allowed to incorporate the fragment in the text in single quotation marks. However, the year of publication and page number should be included in parentheses. When The pages being mentioned should be preceded by “p.” The Harvard referencing style requires users to write “pp.” for all page ranges.

Example: “demonstrate to the client that you are on top of their matter” as Sparksman (2008, p. 41) stated.
In the case of quotes with more than 30 words, the student is required to include a double space of 1.3cm of indent containing fragment text without quotation marks. However, you should introduce it with your own words.

Example: Mark L. Kutner adds weight on this physics aspect: When the time concept becomes suspect, it is important to reinvestigate the concept of length. We also need to think about how to measure the length of any given object. The two positions of the ends are measured and the difference taken. Nonetheless, measurements should be taken simultaneously in order for this procedure to become meaningful. (Kutner 2003, p. 129)

In other cases, an author may quote the work of another author. Harvard referencing style requires the author to acknowledge both primary and secondary sources by providing significant details for both sources in the reference list. For instance, if an Godwin cites work from Jackson, the text should appear as follows:
Jackson (cited in Godwin, 2011) offers compelling evidence concerning the facts enlisted below:


We have enough evidence to back up the aforementioned claim (Jackson, cited in Godwin, 2011).

Book Referencing in the List of Sources
The following rules are imposed by the Harvard referencing style when mentioning details of a book in the list of sources:
• Titles should be written in italics.
• Book information should appear in the following order: year of publication, title of the book, series, edition, editor, volume number (if any) or the number of volume(s), the publisher, place of publication, and the pages.
• Harvard referencing style requires minimal capitalisation: the student should limit capitalisation only to proper nouns as well as the first word of a book title. Subtitles should not capitalised. However, they should be separated from the main title of the book with a colon.
• In case we don’t have an author, the source can be listed with the first significant word in the title or with the editor’s name where available.

Bibliographical details are listed as follows in the Harvard Referencing style:

A Chapter in a book:
Author, X., Author, Y., and Author, Z. Year. Title of the Chapter: Subtitle. In: Editor M and Editor N (eds) Title of the Book. Place: Publisher, 11–22.

Journal articles:
General: Author, X., Author, Y., and Author, Z. Year. Title of the Article: Subtitle. Vol. number (issue): 11–22.

Example of Reference in a Book
Julie Dickson, 2001, Evaluation and Legal Theory. Hart Publishing.

Referencing a Book Chapter:
Frances, S., Ellie, W, Sizer. E. 2011. Nutrition Controversies & Controversies. In: The Proteins and Amino Acids: The Structure of Proteins. Oxford: Elsevier, 190-195.

Referencing a Journal Article
Wright, R., and Slatter, D. 2012. The Whole is Always Smaller than Its Parts’ – A Gigital Test of Gabriel Tardes’ Monads. The British Journal of Sociology, 64(3): 590-615

Different works of the same author and same year
When referencing works done by the same author you need to differentiate the year of publication—which is the main criterion for ordering. In case you are referencing two books done by one author and also published in the same year, Harvard referencing style requires that lower-case letters are used e.g. “x”, “y” or “z” after the year of publication. This should be done both in-text and the list of references.
Smith, X. 2010, The Power of Legal Systems, New York.
Smith, X. 2010a, The Law and Business in the 21st, Dallas.
Smith, X. 2010b, The Contemporary Legal-Business Regime, Austin.

Referencing an Unpublished Thesis
Chris M.N. 2001. Problems Suffered when Focusing on Reflective Activities: Potential Measures for Developing Self-assessment Skills in Learning Languages, Oxford University.

Referencing Newspapers
Neil, C. 2013. Bale of the Century. The Sun, 13 June, p. 7

Below are some abbreviations commonly used in reference lists:
Vols. Volumes
vol. Volume
trans. translator(s)
rev. Revised
suppl. Supplement
ser. Series
p. (pp.) page (pages)
n.d. no date
Edn. Edition
ch. Chapter

Website referencing

Harvard Referencing style recommends inclusion of full URLs when citing websites along with dates on which the author accessed them. Examples include:
– Webpages without an author: Neanderthal Man, 2006. [online] It’s available at: < http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/neanderthal.html/ page=984> [Accessed 6 August 2013].
– Web documents: Department of the Treasury, 2013. Treasury Honors Initiatives That Strengthen Global Communities and Advance American Interests. [online] Available at: < http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/news/Pages/Treasury-Honors-Initiatives-that-Strengthen-Global-Communities-and-Advance-American-Interests.aspx>. [Accessed 6 August 2013].
– Websites: NASDAQ, 2013. Information on Market Prices. [online] Available at: <http://www.nasdaq.com/> [Accessed 6 August 2013].

For more information about the Harvard referencing style, check referencing sections from websites like Monash University or Anglia Ruskin University.

A Guide OSCOLA referencing system

The Oxford Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities or the OSCOLA referencing standard is normally used to cite cases, law reports, legal journals, legislation and any other law-related item or source of specialised literature. It contains a set of strict rules that the student learning to use the OSCOLA referencing standard needs to know. Proper knowledge of such referencing rules is a prerequisite for writing excellent legal papers.

The OSCOLA referencing standard was designed by Oxford University. The Oxford Law Faculty, after wide consultations with the OSCOLA Editorial Advisory Board, revised the system so as to facilitate an accurate citation of legal materials, legislation, case laws and so on and so forth. Currently, many book publishers, law schools and law journals encourage their students to use the OSCOLA standard in the United Kingdom and many other countries worldwide. For more details about this referencing standard, check dedicated sections from several websites including: University of Portsmouth, the University of Salford and University of the West of England.

Main traits

In any academic paper, the student needs to back up their paper by citing the sources for development of their concepts. This can be done within the text or in footnotes. The same applies to all law and law-related papers. Legal writing normally cites legal sources like statuses and cases along with secondary sources including specialised websites, books, policy statements or journal articles. The OSCOLA referencing standard heavily relies on footnotes for citations. To this respect, in-text citations and end notes are not used in papers which use this system. Theses, books and other work, however, may have citations in tables of legislation and cases and legislation or even in lengthy bibliographies.


The OSCOLA referencing standard involves the use of very little or no punctuation totally. Full stops are never used after abbreviations e.g. the student should write AB, not A.B. In a case comprising of two parties, it should be indicated as “versus” also abbreviated as v. There should be no full stop at the end. A comma is used to separate parts of a reference for a book. The comma is usually found between the title of the book and the name of the author. A colon is placed between the title of a publication and the subtitle. For instance; “Human Trafficking: Law and Practice”.

Citing books and book chapters

The OSCOLA referencing standard, like any other referencing standard, has a number of rules for citing books, sections of books and even chapters. If a book has just one author, it is cited as follows: author’s first name or initials, his/her surname, title of the book in italics, the edition, publisher’s name, place and date of publication. The last four items should appear in brackets. After which, the page numbers for the sources are included. For instance:

Patricia Ewick, The Common Place of Law (1st ed. The University of Chicago Press, London 1998) 37

In case of a book with more than one author, the student should use use (ed) or (eds) after the name(s) of the authors e.g.:
Rogers John Marshall (ed), Healy Michael P. (ed), Ronald J. Krotoszynski, Administrative law, (Wolters Kluwer, Law and Business 2008) 85
In case you’ve cited more than one work done by the same author you ought to list all the works in a chronological order. You don’t have to write the name of the author before every title; just mention the name before the first item and then replace it with two dashes just before other titles.
Example: Kim HLA, Law, Civilisation and Morality (CUP 1996)
– -Ethics and Responsibility (OUP 2001)

Citing Parliamentary Debates

The OSCOLA referencing standard requires the writer to mention whether the debate took place in the House of Lord Hansard or House of Commons or House of Lords Hansard (HL and HC, respectively), followed by an abbreviation “Deb” along with the date, number and column number. All printed pages should have two columns and a “W” placed after the number of the column in the case of HC debates, “WA” before the column number in the case of HL debates. “WA” simply means written answer. The online Hansard should be cited in the same version as the printed one.
HL Deb 4 March 2000, vol 407, cols 659-36

Citing EU Treaties and Legislation

When citing EU legislations and treaties, a student is expected to mention the title treaty title, year of publication, series of the Official Journal, the issue and page numbers where those citations are found. For instance: Consolidated Version of the Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community [2010] OJ C 84/3

Citing Law Reports and Cases

In the UK, the most importance source for your law report is usually obtained by providing a neutral citation. This applies to cases written after 2001.The most authoritative source, Official Law Reports, should also be cited. Weekly Law Reports would be the next best and then All England Reports. These three sources are the most preferred citations more especially where you cite a case which exclusively includes a specialist series such as the Family Law Reports.

OSCOLA referencing standard requires all case names to be written in the lower case using italics. The date should also be written in square or round brackets. Round brackets are usually applied for the less important dates like those of reports which use the year by year numbering sequence to label the volumes of publication. On the other hand, square brackets are used where there dates of reports for several volumes that number the same sequence within a particular year.

Eric & Peter BC [2001]5 AC710 (HL)
If the party is named Eric & Peter BC, 1990 is the year of the report, 5 is the volume number, AC is the law report title’s abbreviation and HL is the name of the court.

Judgments passed in the High Court or other courts above it are usually assigned a “neutral citation” with a view to locating cases published on the Internet. These include those which have not been reported in the law report series.
Example: Steve v Duncan & Co [2010] UKSC 36, [2011]2 AC118
Names of the parties involved: Steve v Duncan & Co.
Neutral citation: 36th Supreme Court judgement passed in 2010,
Citation to the source where the case has been reported: [2011]2 AC118.

Journal articles

For journal articles, OSCOLA referencing standard applies under a very different rule: the student should write down the name of the author before the article’s title. However, article titles, unlike those of books, are not written in italics. The Main words in the title should also start with capital letters.

Titles for Law Journal articles are also abbreviated. In this regard, the Cardiff Index of Legal Abbreviations will be of great help to the student as a source for more information. Dates of cited articles should be written with the same rules for citation of Law Reports in practice. The volume number, month or issue number (written in brackets where the issue of the journal starts with page 1) and the article page should be written in that order.

Chris J. Johnson, ‘Business and Politics: How Politics Influences (2004) 75 HLR 850
For all journal articles which are exclusively available online, the full URL and date on which the site has been accessed should be mentioned as well.
C Bovis, ‘Future Directions in Public Service Partnerships in the EU
(2011) 2 (2) KLO< http://www.kluwerlawonline.com/toc.php?area=journals&mode=bypub&level=5&values=journals~~european+business+law+review~Volume+24+(2013)view¬_48) > accessed 5 August 2013

The OSCOLA referencing standard usually cites encyclopaedias in much the same manner as citing books. But you should be keen to exclude editors, overseer auditors and publishers. The edition, year, date and number of issue should also be included. It is normally indicated at the foot of the page).
International Encyclopaedia of Comparative Law (1st ed., 1990) vol 3 para 19 IALS Chap 6 April 1990

Newspaper Articles
With regard to newspaper articles the writer ought to mention the name of the author, full title of the article and newspaper title and then parentheses which contain the city, date and pages.


Thomas Peterson, ‘Supreme Court Decision Triggers Outrage among Students’ The Guardian (London 5 Sep 2009) 5
According to the OSCOLA referencing standard, the following rules apply to citation of case notes: where there is no title for an article, mention the name of involved parties in quotes and then add “(case comment)” or “(case note) before citation of the journal.

Citing Websites and Blogs
In citing free websites like government departments as well as professional organisations, you ought to mention the name of the author or corporate author, the title in single inverted commas), type of document ,the full URL and date of access. For instance:
The Associated Press ‘SEC Proxy Access Rule Vacated. Corporate Counsel (FindLaw, 25 December 2012)

OSCOLA referencing standard involves the use of footnotes at the bottom of the page. A running number which is used as an indicator for a footnote usually follows the referenced sentences. When subsequent references to the same book are made, a new footnote should only mention the name of the author, number of original footnote in parentheses and then the new page which you have cited e.g.:

Hans Kelsen puts forth the argument that “a command binds, not because the individual who is commanding has the actual superiority in power, but because he/she is empowered or authorised to issue commands or decrees of a binding nature.” (1). He further says that the “binding force of a command or decree isn’t derived from the command itself rather the conditions under which that condition has been issued.” (2)

1 H Kelsen, General Theory of Law and State (The Lawbook Exchange, New Jersey, 2007) 32
2 Kelsen (n 1) 33

Modern Language Association style standards

The Modern Language Association style is used to write papers in the field of liberal arts and humanities. Also abbreviated as MLA formatting style, it is used by many universities throughout the world. In this article, we shall look at the general format and outline of MLA research papers along with information concerning in-text citations, footnotes and other characteristics of MLA formatting style. All information is presented according to the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, 3rd edition and
the MLA Handbook for Writers on Research Papers, 7th edition.

The MLA General Format

The MLA formatting style provides some general guidelines with regard to the format of manuscripts along, correct usage of the English language and a system of referencing using parenthetical citations and works cited in essays. Proper usage of MLA formatting style totally assures the author of credibility by protecting them against any accusations of plagiarism. Nonetheless, some things are more important in determining an author’s credibility than just providing accountability for the source of information.

Formatting guidelines for the MLA formatting style include:
• Print your academic work on a standard paper measuring(8.5 11 inches)
• Double-space the text with legible font (Usually, Times New Roman is highly recommended). In case you decide to use other fonts, the regular writing and italics should be easily differentiated. 12 is the recommended font size.
• Only one space should be left after punctuation marks unless the examiner or instructor directs otherwise.
• 1-inch margins should be left on all sides of the document.
• The first line in every paragraph should be indented by exactly half an inch. An easier way is to use the Tab Key rather than pressing the Space Bar up to five times.
• Insert a header with the page numbers on the upper-right corner of the document, half an inch from the top and correctly flushing with the paper’s right margin. But if the examiner insists that you should omit numbering on the first page, follow the instruction. The examiner’s instructions are superior to MLA’s guidelines in such a case.
• Italics should be used to write names of longer works on the paper. Emphasis should also be laid if it’s necessary.
• Endnotes should be included on an unformatted separate page just before the page of Cited Works. After entitling it as “Notes”, format it to have it at the centre of the page.

The First Page
These guidelines are applicable for the MLA formatting style for an essay:
• The title page should not be written unless expressly specified by the instructor.
• The name of the student, name of the instructor, the course and date should be written on the upper-left corner of the first page. The text should be double-spaced.
• Double space the text, add the title and then centre it. Avoid using italics, quotation marks and underlining. Capitalise all them main words in the title (Title Case).
• Italics and quotation marks are used when referring to another author’s works in the title; for instance, Literary Styles in “2013: King of the Jungle”; Theories of interpreting Literature applied in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
• Double space all the details between the title of the essay and the first paragraph.
• Page headers should be inserted on the upper-right corner with the page number and the writer’s last name in Arabic numerals. It should be set half an inch from the top before flushing it with the right margin. But if the instructor requires you to avoid this feature, do so please.

In-Text Citations

MLA formatting style requires parenthetical references to be set right before the concluding punctuation mark that ends the sentence containing the cited information. Examples:
o If you want to have the author’s name in the text: Jameson has undertaken several experiments which substantiate the theory mentioned above (343-349).
o If you want to include the name of the author in brackets: Several experiments have substantiated this theory (Jameson 343-349).
o If you are citing source volumes, the surname of the author should be written first, before the volume number and colon. Then the page range can be written down: (Lukasz 4: 31-34)
o Online sources should be cited in the same manner. If an online source does not have page numbers, it should be omitted from the parenthetical reference. For instance, this is an online source containing numbered paragraphs: (Goodman, pars. 26-29)

The MLA formatting style’s general guidelines for in-text citations include:
• References are placed in a sentence’s pauses. For example, before a comma, semicolon or period next to relevant material.
• The page number and name of the author from whom information has been extracted should be cited in brackets. Where multiple sources in one reference are being cited, they should be separated by a semicolon.
• Where page numbers are not mentioned, e.g. web pages, they can be omitted from the reference list.
• When noting down corporate authors such as the company or organisation behind the paper, just cite the name. When a name is too long, you may choose to include it in the sentence instead of using brackets e.g. there is evidence of innumerable facts that support this claim (National Research Council 122); The National Population Council has a different view (123).

Indirect Sources

As a general rule, information from secondhand or indirect sources should be avoided. It’s a good practice to add “qtd. in” when quoting or paraphrasing from indirect sources just before mentioning the source, in brackets: Jefferson does not subscribe to this “immoral practice” (qtd. in Jefferson 219). If you are quoting from classic literary works, you should the page number followed by a semicolon and other information for identification of the right sentence or passage: (Wesley 52; pt 3, ch. 2)

List of Cited Works

MLA Formatting Style recommends the use of a list of Cited Works which is included just after doing your paper, for helping your readers to locate the sources you have used for your paper. The list should contain the heading “Cited Works”.
Write the surname first before other names of the author. Where there are multiple editors or authors, it’s only the first author whose surname is written first e.g.: Michael, Daniel, and Chingkim Chengun. If the authors are too many, you can write the surname of the first author and then add “et al”. The titles should be italicized.

Book references should also contain all the details, when using the MLA formatting style, in this order: author’s name, complete book title, edition (where mentioned), place of publication, publisher’s name (shortened), date of publication and the medium of publication. The medium can be an audiotape, film, CD, web, television, radio, email, interview, oil on canvas or digital file. If a software program is mentioned, it should be italicized.

The basic format is: Last Name, First Name. Book Title. Place of Publication: The Publisher, Year when Published. Medium of Publication.
Example: Shakespeare, William. 1597. Heuer Publishing. Print.
For chapters or essays in anthologies and edited books, the details which need the MLA formatting style guidelines include: the chapter or essay, name of the author, title, book title, name of editors or compilers, place of publication, publisher’s name (also shortened), the date of publication, page range and the medium of publication.

Kuratko, Donald. “Initiating Entrepreneurial Ventures.” Entrepreneurship: Theory, Process, Practice. 9th edn. Kim Kellogg. Cengage Learning, 2008. 152-175. Print.

Citing Journal Articles, Newspapers and Magazines
When writing references for a periodical article, the following details are essential: author, title of the article, title of the journal newspaper or magazine where the article was published, volume number, date of publication, page range and the medium of publication. Issue numbers should be written as decimals to indicate volume number after the decimal point (for instance, 19.2 is volume 19, issue 2). When citing a newspaper, it is recommended that you specify the edition as the material could vary among different editions.

For a journal article that has been written by two authors: Kevin Jones, Chris Edward. “The nature of man with respect to intelligence, love and desire” Critical and Creative Thinking 202 (Dec 2012): 18-38
Referencing a magazine article:
Kimberly, MN. “Sports Today: ABC Stars prepared to win the Champions League “The People 18 Nov. 2012: 22-24. Print

Citing Websites
Unless the instructor directs, MLA formatting style doesn’t require mentioning of web URLs in citations. But if you choose to include it then you ought to write it after the date of access to the website enclosed in brackets and a period at the end. Where pagination is not continuous or unavailable, you should write the phrase “n. pag.” when you are citing the web source.

Examples of Web Entries:
University of Hertfordshire Library. “Psychology BSc (Hons).” University of Hertfordshire Library, 2013. Web. 7 August 2013 < http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/psychology >.

Articles in Online Periodicals
Kate, Gough. “International Development Planning Review.”, Liverpool University Press 13 Apr. 2013: n. pag. Web 7 Aug 2013.

Example of Encyclopaedia Entry
“Tesla, Nikola.” Encyclopaedia of Technology and Innovation Management Online. Encyclopedia of Technology and Innovation Management, 2010. Web. 7 Aug. 2013.

For more information the MLA formatting style, please visit www.library.uvic.ca and http://www.mla.org/