Skip to Main Content

Reference & Citation: Introduction

Help with Reference & Citation, Harvard Style.

Reference & Citation

Citation Guide

Further Examples

An extensive set of Harvard referencing examples is available here


What is referencing and citation?

Referencing and citation refers to the practice of crediting the sources that you have used for an assignment, research or other project. A citation must be given anytime that you use another person's work or ideas in your own writing, research and practice. You must reference all of the sources you have quoted, paraphrased or summarised, including information drawn from print books, magazines and journals, eBooks, online journals and magazines, films, websites and blogs, podcasts, and so on. To do this accurately and comprehensively, it is important to keep a full record of the sources you have consulted from the beginning of your work.

There are many different referencing and citation styles and conventions, created for different subject and disciplinary contexts. NCAD follows the Harvard Referencing Style for all written assignments and projects. 

Citations are used in your written text to give the source of any direct quotation, paraphrasing, or summarising of another writer's work. In Harvard style, these take the format of short, in-text citations which correspond to a long list of references, presented in a list of works cited or bibliography. 

Referencing means acknowledging in detail all of the information sources that you have drawn on: these should include the author(s) and all publication details, as well as any additional information required for a particularly type of source. 


Why is referencing important? 

There are many reasons why accurate citation and referencing are important for your work. For example, it demonstrates that you have read widely on your chosen subject, and that you have given thought to the work of others in this field; it provides evidence for your research and establishes credibility for your own ideas and arguments; and it also allows your reader to locate the original material that you have used. 

Citation of all quotations and instances of paraphrasing or summarising also helps you to avoid plagiarism. Plagiarism is the passing off of someone else's ideas or work as your own: for further explanation, please see the NCAD Plagiarism Policy and Procedures document.