Referencing: an introduction

Why reference?

Referencing is an important part of your degree for many reasons:

  • to acknowledge the ideas of others
  • to add credibility to your work
  • to demonstrate how widely you have researched your topic
  • to show that your research includes academic sources
  • to avoid plagiarism.

Which type of referencing does NUA use?

NUA uses Harvard referencing, which contains two parts:

  1. In-text citations

An in-text citation shows the author’s surname, the copyright year and (if applicable) the page number(s) of the resource you used. They are inserted into the main text of your essay.

For example: (Smith, 2017, p. 10).

  1. A bibliography

The bibliography is a  list of all the resources you have used in your essay. It should contain enough information for your lecturer to find the original resource. The bibliography appears at the end of your report, in alphabetical order by surname.

Which version of Harvard referencing should I use?Cite them right

NUA uses the Harvard version detailed in the book ‘Cite them right’ (Pears and Shields, 2019). You can borrow the book from the Library but you should find help with most of your referencing questions within this guide.

While there are many different versions of Harvard the most important thing is to make sure your referencing is consistent.

How can I get help with referencing?

Take a look at the NUA Harvard leaflet which demonstrates the most common forms of referencing.

For a more detailed guide, have a look at the NUA Harvard referencing guide.

For a more detailed list of the resources you may need to reference, use the table of references.

We have also provided a short sample bibliography so that you can check the layout.

We’re here to help – please get in touch if you would like more support. Email us at or pop into the library and ask your librarian.