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Harvard Referencing - SETU Libraries Waterford Guide: SETU Waterford Libraries Harvard Referencing Basics


What is Referencing:

Referencing is the standardised system for acknowledging the information you use in your assignments. 

References help readers to locate the source of the information you have used in your assignment.

Reasons for Referencing:

•To acknowledge the sources you use in your research
•To lend credibility to your work and strengthen your arguments
•To show the breadth and depth of your reading
•To safeguard yourself against charges of plagiarism

What is Plagiarism?

It is standard practice at third-level to include references in all of your assignments. Referencing acknowledges the sources you have used and gives authority to the points you are making. It shows the depth and breadth of your reading and protects you from any charges of copying or plagiarism. 

Plagiarism is using other people's work or idea's without acknowledging the source of the information.

It is considered stealing somebody else’s words or ideas and is a serious academic offence.

SETU Policies

Academic Integrity

Refer to SETU's Academic Integrity policy.

Generative Artificial Intelligence (Gen AI)

Refer to the SETU Student Guidelines on the use of Gen AI. SETU's Student Hub for Generative AI is available on Moodle.

How Do I Reference?

All sources you use in your writing must be acknowledged by providing references to them.

This is done by citing them in the text of your assignment (in-text citations) and referencing them at the end of your assignment (reference list).

In-Text Citation

The citation is inserted into your text where you have quoted from, or referred to, someone else’s work.

It consists, in brackets, of the surname of  the author(s) or editor(s) of the work followed by the year of publication.

A page reference should be included where you have quoted directly.

Reference List

The reference list is located at the end of your assignment and gives the full details of works which you have cited (direct quotation or paraphrase).

The list is arranged alphabetically by author.

Example of in-text citations matching to a reference list:

Please note: In this example bold is used for emphasis only. You should not use bold in your assignment.

Dublin is the capital of Ireland. The Discover Ireland website (Fáilte Ireland, 2013) outlines some of the main tourist attractions in Dublin. The city is ‘small, easy to get around and offers no greater challenge than struggling to be cultural the morning after the night before’ (Davenport, 2010, p. 16). Dublin aims to encourage sustainable tourism and members of the public can help by altering behaviour patterns (Miller et al., 2010).

Note: If there are four or more authors, use et al., meaning ‘and others'.

Reference list

Davenport, F. (2010) Dublin: city guide. London: Lonely Planet.

Fáilte Ireland (2013) Discover Ireland. Available at: (Accessed: 18 October 2014).

Miller, G., Rathouse, K., Scarles, C., Holmes, K. and Tribe, J. (2010) ‘Public understanding of sustainable tourism’, Annals of Tourism Research,37(3), pp. 627 - 645. doi:10.1016/j.annals.2009.12.002.


It lists the full details of all items which you have read, including items which you have not referenced in your assignment.

Check with your lecturer/supervisor to see if they require a reference list or bibliography or both.

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