In-text Referencing and Reference Lists

This course offers a practical how-to on using the Harvard referencing system. This course aims to introduce the Harvard referencing system, offer practical guidelines on how to implement it and an appreciation of the importance of referencing. 

The value of Referencing

So why should you cite your references?

Why do I need to reference?

•Need to identify your own words or the words of another author. 

•Failure to properly reference using the Harvard system may make the reader think that you are cheating by claiming someone else’s work as your own.  In the academic environment, we call this plagiarism and it is seen as a very serious offence.

We reference in order to 

-Avoid plagiarism – or the sanctions associated with plagiarism 

-To demonstrate that you have read widely on a topic.  

 -To support your hypothesis with comments from expert authors- which lends credibility to your own work. 

-You are also allowing the reader to follow-up your references and to check the validity of your arguments for themselves.  This is an important part of making a logical argument as it leads to accountability.

- referencing also allows you to keep track of where you have found information in case you need to go back and verify something

What is a citation?

citation is a reference to a published or unpublished source. Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is commonly thought of as a citation (whereas bibliographic entries by themselves are not).

The Harvard Referencing System

How to cite authors in-text Part 1

An in-text citation requires:

  • Author's name, year of publication and the page number for direct quotations.
    • For example (Brown, 2008:1)
  • If its a direct quote it needs to be placed in inverted commas. 
  • For more than two authors use the surname of the first author only, followed by et al.
    • For example Lipsey et al (1996:6)



Books and Journals with One Author

The format is author, publication date: page number. This can be placed within parenthesis or the author can be referred to in the sentence and only the date and page number is used in parenthesis. 

  • "...there appears to be no correlation between the size of the state ... and the performance of the economy..." (Wilson, 1990:232). 
  • Sloman (1997:5) defines opportunity cost as "the cost of any activity measured in terms of the best alternative foregone".

Books and Journals with Two Authors

Refer to both authors and use 'and'.

  • According to Lipsey and Chrystal (1999:166) "cartels tend to be unstable".


  •  "Cartels tend to be unstable" (Lipsey and Chrystal, 1999:166).

Books or Journals with More than Two Authors


  • A similar definition used by Lipsey et al (1999:15) is "the benefit given up by not using ... (resources) in the best alternative way."

Books by Same Author/s more than one article or book published in a year.

Especially with journal articles or other source material like newspapers, magazine you may need to source the same author/s in the same year, as they have written more than one book or article. this is done by including a letter by the date starting at a for the first mentioned source in the report or chapter:

  • (Visser, 1997a:15) 
  • (Visser, 1997b:98)

1. Test Your Knowledge: In-text Citations

The following is an excerpt from page 386 of Whose Mecca? Divergent experiences of Post Productivism and tourism in Nieu-Bethesda, South Africa, by P.M. Irvine, T. Kepe, D.T. de Wet and N.P. Hamunime from the South African Geographical Journal, 2016, vol 98, number 2, pages 386 -401. 


Tourism has, indubitably, brought about the economic revival of an isolated and declining Karoo town. It is clear, however, that some compromises need to be made for the betterment of the community as a whole. After all, the poorest of the poor bear the burden of the cost of the isolation of the village with travel so expensive and a lack of essential services, amenities and goods nearby. The fact that leakage of income to larger urban centres is so high limits the local economic multipliers and, therefore, the positive effects that tourism can bring.

Please complete the in-text citation for this sentence:

stated that the "poorest of the poor bear the burden of the cost of isolation".

How to cite authors in-text Part 2

When there is no author

Some publications don't cite an author. When no author is indicated use the publication name or the name of the organisation. Use the full publication date in the reference list.

  • Always remember to use credible sources 
  • Example: (Business Day, 1997:2)
  • (The Economist, 2017:1)
  • (The World Bank, 2007:25)

Internet References

When citing material found on a website, you should cite it like any other source, usually the author surname in brackets and the date. Do not include the URL of the website in your citation. 

If there is no obvious author of a document use the organisation's name as the author.

The publication date of websites can often be found at the bottom of a webpage.

If you are citing specific information from a website that does not have page numbers, you do not need to include anything to indicate this in the in-text citation.


Cite sources from an e-book reader in exactly the same way as any other source, usually by the author's surname and year of publication.

In your reference list or bibliography, you need to indicate in your reference that you were using an e-book formatted for a particular e-reader.

You should include page numbers if you quote directly from the text. If there are no page numbers, include chapter, section and paragraph number, if available, following the format given in the example below:

Example: (Smith, 2013, Chapter 2, Section 1, para. 8)

Sometimes there may only be limited information available, such as the chapter number. If that is the case, just include the information that is available to you:

Example: (Smith, 2013, Chapter 2)

If none of this information is available, use (no pagination):

Example: (Smith, 2008, no pagination)

A Chapter from an Edition

Use the author of the chapter in your citation, then give the full reference to the chapter in your bibliography (again, under the author of the chapter's name).


It was emphasised that speaking and captivating audience attention required practice (Jones, 1998).

Reference list:

Jones, M. 1998. Speaking to an audience. In: Smith, T. ed. Successful presentations. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, pp.15-27. 

Personal communication

Personal communications may be letters, memos, some electronic communication (e.g., e-mail or messages from non-archived discussion groups or electronic bulletin boards, personal interviews, telephone conversations, and the like.

If you wish to cite someone you interviewed or that you communicated with you use their surname and the year. The reference will be:

Example: McHanic, L.A., 1999. Principal Environmental Officer, Municipality of Grahamstown. personal communication. 28 October. 

Government Publications

  • Can use the department that authored the report as the author.

Example: Education is in the process of transformation (Department of Education, 1995)…

  • When quoting the South African Constitution this can be referenced as follows:

Example: According to The Bill of Rights (1996)... 

Reference list: The Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South African. (1996).Government Gazette. (No. 17678).

GIS Data

You should include proper citations for the following GIS materials in your articles:

  • Printed and digital maps you reference
  • GIS data you use
  • Software you use to create maps
  • Software tools you use

Location maps developed by Urban-Econ staff of generic location information can be referenced under Urban-Econ GIS and year that it was produced. 

under development

2. Test Your Knowledge: In-text Citations other types of texts

The following references are in the reference list, how would you cite them in text? Choose the true and false statements.

LEISTRITZ, F.L. 1995. Economic and Fiscal impact Assessment. in Vanclay, F and Bronstein, D.A. (eds). Environmental and Social Assessment. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. 

  • (Leistritz, 1995)
  • (Vanclay and Bronstein, 1995)

How to direct quote

Direct quotations vs paraphrasing

  • Direct quotations are when you copy another author’s material word-for-word. You should use quotation marks or inverted commas to indicate the quoted text. 
    • Example: When organising our time,  Adair (1988: 51) states that "the centrepiece will tend to be goals and objectives".
  • Paraphrasing is when you take another author’s ideas and put them into your own words.  You are still copying someone else’s work, so you must reference it. 
    • Example: Phillips (1999) suggests that generational change is inevitable and continuous.
  • You can also refer to multiple authors at once; this will not only help to make your writing more succinct, but will also improve the synthesis of sources, research or ideas within your assignments.
    • Example: A number of studies have shown that ... (Chan, 2012; Elston, 2011; Graham, 2009; Richards, 2007)
    • or 
    • Ramirez (2010), Schneider (2011) and Roberts (2013) discuss the challenges faced by...

When to use double or single quotation marks

According to The Economist Style Guide, single commas or quotation markls should only be used for quotations within quotations. Thus:

"When I say 'immediately', I mean some time before April," said the spokesperson. 

Quotations longer than 3 lines

Longer quotations that take up to 3 lines of text, should be italicised and indented from the margin. They should not received inverted commas around the quotation. 


As observed by Comunian (2012:6) in a study of the cultural networks in the creative economy in Newcastle-Gateshead and the North East of England:

    …lots of work goes to people who already know (each other) [sic], so it       is all about networking, what you are willing to do for free, what you         are willing to do for cheap, lots of favors, it is an insular community,         so you have to work hard to get any work at all.

2. Test Your Knowledge: Direct Quotations

Choose the incorrect statement from the list below:

  • Always use single quotation marks for quotations in reports.
  • Only use single quotation marks for quotations within quotations
  • When paraphrasing include the authors name and year of publication
  • When paraphrasing the ideas and concepts of another author, it is important to cite the author.

Reference Lists- Journals and Periodicals

Reference List Order

A list of reference should be included at the end of a report. keep track of references as you go in your research to ensure that developing a reference list isn't an onerous task. Pay close attention to teh order of references. these should be:

  • Alphabetical by author
  • If the same author has written different publications in different years, start with the earliest publication to most recent.


Dollar, E.S.J. 1998. Paleofluvial geomorphology in Southern Africa: A review. Progress in Physical geography, 22, 325-349

Dollar, E.S.J. 2004. Fluvial geomorphology. Progress in Physical Geography, 28, 405-450.

  • List titles by the same author, same year from the first mentioned to the last mentioned in the report. Numbers are included after the date i.e Business Day, 2009a; Business Day 2009b etc

Journals/ Periodicals/ Newspapers

The format of references is as follows:

AUTHOR. Year. title of article. Title of Journal. Volume, No: page numbers.

  • Newspaper / periodical names exclude the definite article (i.e. The) 


Journal example:

NEL, H., 1996. The Term Structure of Interest Rates. South African Journal of Economics. 64,3:161-174.

Magazine / Newspaper example:

SANCTON, T,. 2000. World Economic Forum: a great leap. Time. 155,4:38-42. 31 January.

SIKHAKANE, J. 1999. SADC Free Trade: Growing Together or not at all. Financial Mail. 7 December. pp 16-17.

Magazine / Newspaper where there is no specified author example:

BUSINESS DAY, 2000a. Oil heads up as mercury drops. Business Day. 24 January. pg 12.

BUSINESS DAY, 2000b. Black market bale-out revealed. Business Day. 4 February. pg 9.

ECONOMIST, 2000. The world's view of Multinationals. The Economist. 29 January. pp 19-20. 

Reference Lists- Published and unpublished materials

Sourcing other materials

the general format is to include the author's affiliation and city, the format and source type and include the title in bold. 

Unpublished report

ANTROBUS, G.G. and KOEN, J. 1998. The present nature and future expansion potential of accommodation at the Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown. Unpublished report for the Grahamstown Accommodation Guild. Grahamstown: Department of Economics, Rhodes University. 


AUTHOR, date. Title of thesis. Degree for which the thesis is submitted. Location: Institution name.  


CATTANEO, N.S., 1998. The Theoretical and empirical analysis of trade integration among unequal partners: implications for the Southern African development community. Unpublished MSc Thesis. Grahamstown: Rhodes University. 

Personal Communication

The reference needs to include the respondent's profession or position and affiliation. The date of the communication should be included.

RESPONDENT NAME, YEAR. Position, Affiliation, Personal communication. date. 


Mc HANIC, L,A., 1999, Principal Environmental Officer, Municipality of Grahamstown, Personal communication. 28 October. 

Email Communication

You may wish to reference email correpondence specifically and this can be done using teh following format:

SENDER (sender’s e-mail address). Day month year). Subject of message. E-mail to recipient (recipient’s e-mail address).

LOWMAN, D. ([email protected]). (4 April 1996). RE: ProCite and Internet Refere. E-mail to Cross, P. ([email protected]).

Reference Lists- Internet and Electronic Sources

Internet Sources

The basic format is as follows:

AUTHOR, Year of posting or update. Title of page. Name of Organisation. [Type of medium]. Available: electronic address or URL. [Date accessed]. 


DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE, 1999. Budget Review 1999. [Online]. Available: [Accessed 7 February 2000]. 

WORLD BANK, 1999. Global economic prospects and the developing countries 2000. [Online]. Available: www. Washington, D.C.:World Bank. [Accessed 11 February 2000]. 

Internet document with no author

GVU’s 8th www user survey (n.d.). Available from: [Accessed 25 November 1998].

e-book reader format, eg Kindle

NAME, INITIAL(S). Year. Title. Edition (if not first edition). [Name of e-book reader]. Place of publication: Publisher.


WU, T., 2010. The master switch: the rise and fall of information empires. [Kindle DX e-book]. London: Atlantic Books

Reference Lists- Books

Referencing Books 

The basic format of this reference is:

AUTHOR/EDITOR, Date. Title (edition). Place of publication: Publisher's name.

A book with one author:

ROSE, L., 1977. Crime and Punishment. London: Batsford.

A book with two authors

GORDON, E.W. and ROURKE, A., 1966. Compensatory education for the disadvantaged. New York: College Entrance Examination Board.

A book with three or more authors

MEYER, B.S., ANDERSON, D.P., Bohning, R.H. & Fratanna, D.G., Jr., 1973. Introduction to plant physiology. New York: Van Nostrand.

An edition of a book

LIPSEY, R.G.; COURANT, P.N. and RAGAN, C.T.S., 1999. Economics (12e). Reading Mass: Addison-Wesley Longman.

Chapter within an Edition

AUTHOR(s) of chapter/article. Year. Chapter no and title of chapter/ title of article. In: Authors/Editors. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher.

LEISTRITZ, F.L., 1995. Economic and Fiscal Impact Assessment. In: Vanclay, F. and Bronstein, D.A. (eds). Environmental and social assessment. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. 

3. Test your Knowledge: Reference Lists

Choose the correct reference for the source above. Paying close attention to punctuation.

  • IRVINE, P.M. and KEPE, T. and DE WET, D.T., and HAMUNIME, N.P. 2016. Whose Mecca? Divergent experiences of Post-productivism and tourism in Nieu Bethesda, South Africa. South African Geographical Journal. 98,2: 386-401.
  • IRVINE, P.M. et al. 2016. Whose Mecca? Divergent experiences of Post-productivism and tourism in Nieu Bethesda, South Africa. South African Geographical Journal. 98,2: 386-401.
  • SOUTH AFRICAN GEOGRAPHICAL JOURNAL. 2016. Whose Mecca? Divergent experiences of Post-productivism and tourism in Nieu Bethesda, South Africa. 98,2: 386-401.


The course objectives were as follows:

  • To introduce the importance of referencing
  • To learn how to cite in-text.
  • To learn the Harvard method of referencing and citation
  • To understand how to paraphrase and direct quote in reports

After completing the course how well equipped do you feel to undertake referencing in reports?

  • Below Average
  • Average
  • Above average


Were you satisfied with the course?

How do you feel the course could be improved?