Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Coventry Harvard Referencing Style

The Harvard reference system is the acknowledged referencing guide for Coventry University. For most international students, this might be seen as a big deal. I was confused at some point. The whole thing looked very strange and to worsen the case, we were being told about the power and wonders of the Almighty TURNITIN. But please don’t be scared. It’s quite simple. One mistake most of us make is not recording majority of our sources when we assess them. I will like to advise you guys to always try and write them down immediately. For this article I have consulted some sources including school’s referencing guide.
To start with, some things are essential when compiling and making the reference list. These are the things you should put down or record:

For books:
  • ·         The author’s or editor’s name (names)
  • ·         The year the book was published
  • ·         The title of the book
  • ·         If it’s an edition other than the first (write down the particular edition)
  • ·         The city the book was published
  • ·         The name of the publisher

For articles in journals:
  • ·         The author’s name (names)
  • ·         The year in which the journal was published
  • ·         The title of the article
  • ·         The title of the journal
  • ·         The page number(s) of the article

·         Other important things about the journal like the volume and issue number
For electronic sources, you should endeavour to record the information on the left if it is possible, you should record these as well:
  • ·         The date you accessed the information or source
  • ·         The electronic address or email
  • ·         The type of electronic source it is e.g. (email, WWW page etc.)

 One other essential thing is that when you are quoting directly or paraphrasing you should remember to note down the page you got it. 


In Coventry University you are required to acknowledge the source you got your information from. Except for some  statements that are very popular like adage or quotes.  For example you will not need to reference if you state that Barack Obama is the president of America.
Direct quotation: if you are quoting directly you need to put it in the inverted comma (“” or ‘’). Also note that when you do this, it must be exactly as the author or the person with the original idea has stated it. (Even with the mistakes).
Paraphrasing: this is when you state the author’s work in your own ideas or words. Please note that giving synonyms of the author’s word is still plagiarism and not paraphrasing. TURNITIN will catch you. You don’t need to put inverted comma, all you need to do is to indicate the original source.


Let’s look at different examples of how to reference quotations and paraphrased words and sentences in your assignment.  The things required are: the author(s) or the editor(s) name, the year of publication and the page number. When you paraphrase the summary of a whole piece of work you don’t need to include the page number.
For example, Donald Wood might have written a work in 1956 about the First World War, the reference will be like this
Donald (1956) suggests that the world war one was total propaganda.
For other circumstances it should be as follows, also note the use of punctuation, space and the order in which the information follows:

Quoting directly from a book or journal with a single author

In consumer profiling, Benson (1998: 67) states that “psychographics is the ultimate and most important”.
In consumer profiling, “psychographics is the ultimate and most important” (Benson, 1998: 67)
In these examples “Benson” is the author, “1998” is the year of publication and “67” is the page number where the direct quote is taken.

Quoting directly from a book or journal with two authors

Johnson and Gosford (1757: 55-56) emphasised that with writing “simplicity and clarity is key”.
With writing “simplicity and clarity is key” (Johnson and Gosford, 1757: 55-56).
From the stated examples, the quotation extended over two pages, so the page numbers were noted as 55-56, instead of a single number. You should also note that the full stop comes after the inverted comma.

Quoting directly from a book or journal with three authors

Clifford, Godfrey and Theodore (1989: 47) suggest that for wars to be successful “propaganda must triumph”. For example
“Propaganda must triumph” for wars to be successful (Clifford, Godfrey and Theodore,  1989: 47).
For more than four authors, e.g. Solomon, Bamossy, Askegaard and Hogg, a direct quote will be like this. Note that “et al” means others.
Solomon et al (2010: 66) suggest that “many consumers believe they are more pressed for time than ever before”.
In paraphrasing, it will have the same meaning as stated in the original source but it is going to be without the inverted comma. E.g. if we paraphrase from the example stated above it will be like this
Nowadays the feeling that there is little or no time is more prominent than ever (Solomon et al, 2010: 66).
The main gist is that when you are paraphrasing you will use the normal referencing format or style only but you will put it in your own words, I mean the way you understand it and the inverted commas will not be included.

Quoting directly from a source with a “corporate” or government author

The ministry of education (2009:5) suggest that the “level of literacy in Nigeria has increased by 3.2%”.
The level of literacy in Nigeria has increased by 3.2% (the ministry of Justice, 2009; 5)
One thing worthy of mention is the case in which an author has produced two books in the same year. All you need to do is to place a small letter ‘a’ in the first one and small letter ‘b’ in the second one.
In some other cases, you might want to quote some specific words but those words too were quoted in the source, you just do it this way
Anderson and Ferguson (in Thomas, 2005: 45) concluded that “consumer behaviour is a phenomenon that can be likened to a drama”.
As seen above, Thomas in his 2005 book quoted Anderson’s and Ferguson’s work to communicate his idea better.
If the author’s name is not available, replace it with the title of the publication containing the reference. E.g.  “the emergence of hybrid cars is due to the popular movement to go green” (Technology Journal, 2012: 25)
For electronic sources, it’s more like the way you reference the books and the journals, but without page numbers. The author’s name, publication date ( if it is not indicated put “n.d.” meaning No date).


All of the sources you have referred to in your work should be listed at the end of your assignments.  This must be arranged in alphabetical order. If the name of the author is not available replace it with the title of the publication. Don’t separate journals, books and electronic data. Put them together.

Book with one author

Benson, G. (2001) Typewriting Made Easy. London, Fair Way Press.

Book with two authors

Thatcher, T. and Perry, F. (2007) Rural Newspaper Production, Atlanta: Beeman press.

Book with three authors

Ferguson, Y., Percy, H., and Wood, T. (2009) Relationship Without Tears, 2nd edition, Lagos: Spectrum Publishers.

Book with an editor

Hanabel, B. (ed.) (1995) Towards Conflict Resolution, Wolverhampton: Push Press.
What if you have used a chapter written by another person other than the editor?
Thompson, D. (1867) “coping with stress”, in Godfrey, H. and Wilson, C. (ed.) Psychological Warfare, Brooklyn: Mainpool Press.

Journal article

Verra, E. (2008) “The Top 100 Brands of 2008”, The Consumer behaviour Journal, Vol. 17, December, pp. 107-116.

Journal article from CD-ROM, electronic database, or journal

Skargen, E.I & Oberg, B. (1998) “Predictive factors for 1-year outcome of low-back and nbeck pain in patients treated in primary care: Comparison between the treatment startegies chiropractic and physiotherapy”, Pain[Electronic], vol. 77, no. 2, pp. 201-208, Available: Elseiver/ScienceDirect/ 0304-3959(98)00101-8, [8 Feb 1999].
In this example, ‘electronic’ refers to the type OF MEDIA THAT YOU found the source on. If you found the source on a CD-ROM, you would put [CD-ROM] in the square brackets instead of ‘electronic’. As with normal journal example, the volume number, issue number and page numbers are listed. Note that at the end of the example, the number of the article, and an access date (in square brackets).

World Wide Web page

Collins, D. (2007) online buying behaviour: trend challenges and benefits, [online], Available:     [15 March 2009].
If the author’s name is missing use the web page name. Also make sure you put the day you accessed it.

For in-depth clarification, please consult the school’s manual on referencing or visit the Centre for Academic Writing.
I hope have been able to help you guys in my own little way. All the best.

I would like to acknowledge that certain citation and reference examples were taken from the following publications and these publications influenced the way the whole information has been arranged and structured.

University of Exeter, Department of lifelong learning: study skills centre (2001) Referencing – the Harvard system, [Online], Available:   [19 February 2013]

Central Queensland University ESLS Unit (2001) Referencing: The Harvard referencing
system, [Online], Available: [14 Aug 2001]

Lewis, D. (ed.) (1999) The written assignment , Brisbane: QUT Publications.

Wells, D. (2001) Harvard referencing, [Online], Available: [14 Aug 2001].
(Samantha Dhann, 2001).

No comments:

Post a Comment