There are a number of different referencing systems used in academic writing. APU and Staffordshire University use the Harvard system which is also known as the author-date method of referencing.

Please click HERE to visit the Quick Harvard Referencing Guide prepared by APU library.

Please click HERE to visit the RefZone for a more comprehensive guide prepared by Staffordshire University.

Note: Harvard referencing style does not dictate any particular style of punctuation (use of comma, full-stop, capitals, italics etc.). The generally accepted rule when using Harvard is to be consistent in your style and use of same punctuation throughout your assignment.


Referencing is a method of acknowledging sources of information that you have used to undertake an assignment. You must acknowledge all information sources you have used while writing your paper. Failure to acknowledge your sources will result in plagiarism.

Referencing is required when:

  • you are quoting directly from another source.
  • you are using specific information from an author, such as tables or statistics.
  • you have summarised ideas and information from someone’s work.
  • you have paraphrased by putting someone else’s ideas in your own words.

There are two parts in referencing:

  1. In-text Referencing: involves citing references within the text of your work where you have used ideas or material from other sources.Example : One possible definition of primary research is….(Mehra, 2009) or Mehra (2009) stated that primary research includes the elements of ….
  2. End-of-text referencing (also known as your Reference List / Bibliography ): includes all materials used in your document. It provides the full information of reference sources necessary for a reader to locate and retrieve them.

Example : Mehra, A. (2009) Advertising management: media approach for market research. 6th Ed. New Delhi: Global India Publications.

You can refer to Mendeley, a free citation software to store, manage and format bibliographic references for your assignments.