How To Find Out What Refrerencing Style Has Been Used How to Reference Your Sources Using Harvard Referencing

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How to Reference Your Sources Using Harvard Referencing

It’s no secret that a rather alarming number of UK students are referencing their homework incorrectly. An article in the Sunday Times (Jones, 2006) states that up to 10% of all degree submissions commit some form of plagiarism – the act of copying or ripping off someone else’s work. That’s a significant amount of cheaters, but here’s the deal: most of the 10% did it unintentionally. What happens is that they are not properly referencing their sources, and while it is a harsh result, this is considered plagiarism.

There are several ways to reference the sources of your research, but the main method in the UK, and the one used by 95% of universities, is the Harvard system. This is a style that gives importance to the author of the information and the date it was made public. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple: more information about the source is needed and the order in which it appears is important. To get an idea, see the following examples of the most popular referral types:

Book

Formula: Author’s last name, initial. (Anus) Title of the book, CityPublished: Publisher, p. pages

Example: Rowling, JK. (2006) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, p. 24-25

website

Formula: website (year) Title of the page, [online] Available at: URL [Accessed: date].

Example: BBC News (2009) Apple’s iPhone overtakes Blackberry as smartphone sales soar, [online] Available from: http://news.bbc.co.uk [Accessed: 12 Oct 2010].

Newspaper

Formula: Author’s last name, initial. (Year) Title of the article, Title of the newspaper, Day and month published, p. pages

Example: Smith, J. (2008) The market falls as inflation rises, The Guardian, June 7, p. 45.

Also, they have to be sorted alphabetically by author and also require italic styles in some places. It is not simple. However, it is a necessity: Oxford Brookes University has its own team of 14 academic misconduct officers who investigate cases of plagiarism caused by poor or no referencing (Jones, 2006), and automated software such as Copycatch and Turn It In will also detect a fault. reference in seconds. If caught, students could face failure or expulsion.

So what is the answer? Fortunately, for those who don’t have an extreme memory for boring formulas, there are websites that can prepare your entire reference list in the correct style and format for you; all you need to provide are the details that are easily found in the source of the information itself. There are several feature-rich tools available on the Internet, including Neil’s Toolbox, Scotchbib, and CiteThisForMe. They all follow the Harvard referencing style and will produce a correctly formatted reference if you enter the relevant data.

In conclusion, do not underestimate the importance of the reference: it seems like a trivial section at the end of a paper, but without it the mass of your work cannot be worth anything, and do not wait to find this out first-hand.

JONES, S. (2006) On the prowl for copycats, The Sunday Times, June 2006

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