Skip to Main Content

Write it Right - A guide to Harvard referencing style

What is Referencing?

Referencing is defined as: 

the process of acknowledging other people’s work when you have used it in your assignment or research. It allows the reader to locate your source material as quickly and easily as possible so that they can read these sources themselves and verify the validity of your arguments. Referencing provides the link between what you write and the evidence on which it is based (Pears and Shields, 2019, p. 1).

It is standard practice at third-level to include references to academic sources in your projects and assignments. You are expected to reference every time you use someone else’s words or ideas in your own work

What should you reference?

The following is a list of examples of the types of resources you might use for your references: 

  • Books; 
  • eBooks;
  • Chapters in books; 
  • Journal articles;
  • Online journal articles;
  • Conference papers and reports;
  • Government publications;
  • Legal documents;
  • Theses, dissertations and other academic work;
  • Webpages;
  • Newspapers; 
  • Paintings, images, drawings and diagrams;
  • YouTube videos;
  • Podcasts;
  • Lecture notes;
  • Dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

Why should you reference?


  • provides the link between what you have read and what you have written;
  • shows that you have researched and read around your subject area;
  • shows that you have considered and evaluated the work of others;
  • acknowledges the sources you have used, and, most importantly;
  • protects you from any charges of copying or plagiarism.

The Library, Technological University of the Shannon: Midwest