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Harvard Referencing Style Guide: Overview

Reference Overview

In any assignment, the correct use of the style of referencing is important in order to avoid plagiarism. There are many styles available. However, the style used in this college is the Harvard Referencing Style. You are required to follow this style, unless otherwise stated by your lecturer. An assignment should contain appropriate in-text citation and a list of references (in alphabetical order).

Referencing is a way of demonstrating the ideas or information from a number of sources you have used in your assignments or written work to avoid plagiarism. Usually there are two parts:

In-text citation

  • The brief information appears in the text of the paper, normally include the author's surname and the year of publication, for example: (Smith 2017).
  • Each in-text citation in your writing must also have a corresponding entry in your reference list.

Reference list

  • A list includes the complete formatted detail about the source at the end of the paper.
  • To avoid plagiarism.
  • To acknowledge the source.
  • To show evidence of the breadth and depth of your reading.
  • To support your work with the authoritative work of another author.
  • To enable readers of your work to trace the original source of information or ideas that you have used.

A reference or citation is required when you:

  • Directly quote another person word for word.
  • Paraphrase or summarise ideas or data obtained from another source.
  • Use statistics in your work obtained from another source.
  • Use tables, figures, diagrams or images created by someone else.
  • Use theories, controversial facts, opinions or dates from another source.

Citation elements for print and online sources

Citation Elements


Journal Article


Author X X X
Year X X X
Title X X (of the article) X (of the page)
X (of the journal)
Site X (the website it belongs to)
Volume X
Issue X
Pages X
Publisher X
Place X
URL X (if applicable) X (if applicable) X
Date X (if applicable) X (if applicable) X (date viewed)

Sample (in-text citation and list of references)


Educators are like orchestra conductors, keeping the tempo and rhythm of a lesson. Just like an orchestra consists of many different types of musical instruments, any class is a potpourri of students. The purely traditional teacher-centered mode of teaching is not always effective in imparting knowledge to a diversity of learners. In this mode of teaching, the students become passive learners. To encourage students to become active learners, student- centered teaching is preferred. This paper focuses on classroom discourse and technology use.


‘A strong relationship exists between language and thinking…’ (Arends 2012, p.432). Kosminsky and Kosminksky (2003, cited in Arends 2012) noted that classroom discussion, where by there is social interaction, helps students learn how to think, analyse and solve problems. Similarly, for Kolb (1984), ‘learner-centered learning’ is student participation in the learning and teaching process, where students themselves engage with and, to an extent, create their own learning experience. Rowe (1986, p.43) summarised it as follows:

To grow, a complex thought system requires a great deal of shared experience and conversation. It is in talking about what we have done and observed, and in arguing about what we make of our experiences, that ideas multiply, become refined and finally produce new questions and further explorations.

Technology could be in the form of calculators, computers and others. Researchers such as Law et al. (2000) discovered that technology becomes a useful tool for teachers in the delivery of the subject.

The paper will be based on other similar research as well as the authors’ reflections on past and present experiences teaching Mathematics and English to MUFY and Diploma students, successes and challenges, to class sizes of 35 on average.

Results and Discussion

Classroom participation and technology promote interaction, clarify issues and provides hands on environment. Their importance is evident in the final results of students.


Arends, RI 2012, Learning to teach, 9th edn, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Kolb, DA 1984, Experiential learning: experience as the source of learning and development, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, viewed 2 January 2012, <>.

Law, N, Yuen, H, Ki, W, Li, S, Lee, Y & Chow, Y 2000, Changing classrooms: a study of good practices in using ICT in Hong Kong schools, Hong Kong Centre for Information Technology in School and Teacher Education, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Rowe, MB 1986, ‘Wait time: slowing down may be a way of speeding up’, Journal of Teacher Education, vol. 37, no. 1, p. 43.


Examples on slides




Examples of tables or diagrams

If an entire table or diagram were taken, the reference should be as follows:

  • (Source:
  • Author(s)' surname
  • Year
  • Page number with the use of p. or pp.)

Note: If the table or diagram has been modified or extracted from a source, then the word Source: should be changed to Adapted from:

Table 1: Frequencies and Percent Frequencies for the Exchange Variable
Exchange Frequency Percent Frequency
New York Exchange (NYSE) 3 12
American Stock Exchange (AMEX) 4 20
Over-the-counter (OTC) 17 68
Totals 25 100

(Source: Sweeney, Williams & Anderson 2006, p.12)

Avoid citing unreliable sources in your assignment. Even if they are very informative, they are deemed to be untrustworthy. Evaluate the reliability and credibility of the source before deciding whether to cite any source.

Example of potentially unreliable sources:

  • Personal blog
  • Wikipedia
  • Yahoo! Answers
  • Scribd
  • wiseGEEK 
  • Anti
  • Ezine Articles
  • UK Essays
ed. or eds editor or editors
edn edition
et al. This means 'and others'; used in in-text citations when there are more than three authors
n.d. no date
n.p. no place of publication
no. issue
p. page
pp. pages
trans. translator or translated by
vol. volume

Citation Guide

Correct referencing is an essential way to avoid plagiarism. Harvard referencing style is used in the college. Students are required to follow the guide below to prepare citation for their assignments.

Sunway JB Guide to Harvard Referencing


Citation Generator

MyBib is a free, no-ads citation tool that allows users to generate in-text citations and bibliographic references for books, articles and etc. You can paste in a book ISBN, journal DOI or website address and have the fields populate automatically over 9,000 citation styles available including Sunway College Johor Bahru Harvard Referencing Style.

Please check the referencing format to ensure it follows the College guidelines.



Citefast is a user-friendly citation generator that supports APA, MLA and Chicago formatting.You could generate in-text citation and reference in four easy steps and create an account to manage your bibliographies.

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