Reference Styles

There are various ways of referencing, some styles use footnotes or have separate lists called ‘Bibliography’ or ‘References’ and others will just give you headaches to perfect from the start. Therefore we strongly recommend that you use Harvard referencing for your essay.

Of course each University will have different standards of referencing, in the UK, the most common style of referencing is the one mentioned above – Harvard.

Harvard referencing is commonly used by academics and publishers alike as it is very straight forward to use. When you either paraphrase or quote something, you cite the last name of the author, the year it was published and the page reference number in brackets. An example of this is:-

A joke’s a very serious thing.

(Church, 1762: 36)

Right at the end of the essay you must make sure that you include a section called ‘References’ which has to include every item that you have referred to in the essay.

References are written in the following style:

Type of reference: Example of reference:

Church, Charles (1762) ‘The Ghost’, London: Penguin.

Wherever possible make sure that you can identify the author, so that your reference will look like this:

Hones, Ashley (2008), ‘Greenpeace wins award’, at (accessed: 26 November 2009).

Always state the date on which you accessed the website in your reference.

If you are unable to state who the author is, structure your reference like this:

ITV online (2008) ‘Radical winter schedule shake-up at ITV’, at (accessed: 8 December 2009).

So you can see that the Harvard system of referencing is very easy to use and the reader doesn’t have to stop reading to look up references in the page footnotes as they are in the referencing section in the back of the essay.

Instead now if you wish, you can use footnotes to add in bits of information that you may feel are surplus to the requirements of the essay under the Harvard Referencing system without detracting the reader away from the main body of the essay. These extra details could be interesting quotes or just extra detail about the subject. Remember though that when you write these footnotes, just like the main body of your essay writing, you have to draw the relevance of this extra material to the reader. You can use them to increase the impact of your argument for instance.

If you need any help with writing your essay or with academic referencing, please get in contact with us by clicking this link.

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