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Harvard referencing quick guide: Sample assignment

An online guide to referencing and citing using the Harvard style

Citing and reference list example

The text to the right shows how citations and the reference list are typically written in the Harvard referencing style.

Note: the text itself is not designed to be a proper example of academic writing and does not use information from the sources cited; it is for illustrative purposes only.

Sample assignment

Sample assignment

The purpose of this assignment is to show common elements of the Harvard style of referencing in Dundalk Institute of Technology. It is not intended to be an example of good quality academic writing, and indeed may not make sense in general, but it should show you how citations and a reference list are formed in the Harvard style of referencing (Dooley 2012).  If you include a “direct quotation from a book you have read” (Byrne 2014, p.25) you should include the relevant page number.

You don’t always have to write the author and year in brackets. Drury (2013) states that if the author’s name occurs naturally in the text then the year follows it in brackets. If there are two authors you should include both of them in the citation (Rucki and Rice 2012). If there are three or more authors you don’t have to list all of the names in the citation but you should include them all in the reference list (Torrington et al. 2014). The reference list should appear at the end of your assignment and be in alphabetical order based on the first author’s surname (Theaker 2012) rather than the order in which they appear in your assignment (Browne 2011). If you are using a citation for a second time you do not need to include it twice in the reference list (Drury 2013).

Referencing an academic journal that you find online requires more information in the reference list but is the same as referencing a book in-text (Wirth 2018). If citing a source from a library database you say from which database you found it (Parker et al. 2019).

Don’t forget that websites need to be cited too (Dundalk Institute of Technology 2015). We recommend you look at the full version of DkIT’s Harvard referencing guidelines, and contact the Library if you have any questions. Good luck.


Reference list

Browne, K. (2011). An introduction to sociology [online]. Cambridge: Polity. Available from: [accessed 22 October 2018].

Byrne, D. (2012). How music works. Edinburgh: Canongate.

Dooley, D. (2012). Nursing ethics: Irish cases and concerns. 2nd ed. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.

Drury, C. (2013). Management accounting for business. 5th ed. Andover: Cengage Learning.

Dundalk Institute of Technology. (2015). Graduate research [online]. Available from: [accessed 24 February 2016].

Parker, L., Halter, V., Karliychuk, T. and Grundy Q. (2019). How private is your mental health app data? An empirical study of mental health app privacy policies and practices. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry [online], 64, pp.198-204. Available from: Science Direct [accessed 8 July 2019].

Rucki, J.D. and Rice, T. (2012). The individual in musical ethnography. Ethnomusicology, 56(2), pp.299-327.

Theaker, A., ed. (2012). The public relations handbook. Abingdon: Routledge.

Torrington, D., Hall, L., Taylor, S. and Atkinson, C. (2014). Human resource management. 9th ed. Harlow: Pearson.

Wirth, N. (2018) Hello marketing, what can artificial intelligence help you with? International Journal of Market Research [online], 60(5), pp.435-438. Available from: [accessed 2 July 2019].


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