Brooklands College
Subject Guide
Citation Guide

Citing Your References

You can download a more detailed version of our Harvard Referencing guide here:

If you are an HE student you will need to check the guide of your university.

Why do it?

When you are writing your college work, it is essential that you provide detailed information about all the sources (e.g. websites, books, journals) that you have used to find information.

By referencing your sources you:

  • show your tutor what you have read
  • allow the reader to find the original text and read it for themselves (useful if you need to go back and check something yourself!)
  • acknowledge the work of other people
  • avoid plagiarism by making it clear that you have used someone else’s ideas
Jargon buster

Citation - When you use someone else’s ideas in your assignment you need to mention (or ‘cite’) the author(s) and year of publication of the source you used.  This ‘citation’ in your text tells the reader where to look in the reference list to find the full details of your source. For example:

Research has shown that many people think students are hardworking (Bloggs, 2008).

Reference - A reference is a detailed description of where you found the information and enables the reader to identify your source precisely. For example:

Bloggs, J. (2008) Life as a student. London: Macmillan.

You put a list of references at the end of your assignment, listing all the sources you used.

Quotation - Exact copying of someone else’s work, word for word, is called quotation. Limited amounts of this are usually allowed.

Plagiarism - Using someone else’s words or ideas and pretending they are your own is called plagiarism. It is a form of cheating and can have very serious consequences.

How Do I Reference?

Your references give full details of all the sources you have used. References are listed at the end of your assignment, with all types of resources listed together. List them in A-Z order by first author’s surname. References are written in different ways, depending on the type of resource.


Author/s (Year) Title of book. Edition. Place of publication: Publisher.

Markham, K. and James, S. A. (2008) A history of the English speaking world. 5th ed. London: Squires.

The title of the book is given in italics.
Only include the edition if it is not the first edition.


Author/s (Year) Title of website. Available at: URL (Accessed: Date).

Buckley, S. and Butterly, A. (2011) 100 Women: ‘I dye my hair brown to be taken more seriously at work.. Available at: (Accessed: 14 September 2017).

The title of the web page is given in italics.
Give the URL in full.
As online resources may change you need to state when you accessed the website.

Journal articles

Author/s (Year) ‘Title of article’, Title of journal, Volume(Issue), Pages.

Petersen, V. and James, B.M. (2007) ‘Enhancing strategic management decisions in the motor trade‘, Management Today, 12(3), pp. 23-27.

‘The title of the article is given in quotation marks.’
The title of the journal is given in italics.
The journal may not number its issues, using instead months or seasons, e.g. 12(March)…


If you are using a direct quotation, word for word, or referring to an idea on a specific page in your source, then include page numbers. Use p. for a single page and pp. for several pages.

Short quotations, of up to three lines, can be included in your text and enclosed in ‘quotation marks‘:

Addlestone has been described as ‘the most exciting holiday destination on the planet’ (Mansoor and Cooper, 2006, p.38).

Longer quotations do not need quotation marks. They should be put in a separate paragraph and indented from the main text:

After the fight, Jameson focuses on the young boy‘s actions:

Once everything had gone quiet, he stood up and looked around the room. The cabinet, which had held Mr Quinn’s precious china collection, had been smashed in the struggle. ‘Good riddance’, he thought, ‘it was a pile of junk anyway’. Still with the cricket bat in his hand, he walked calmly across the room and whacked the last remaining jug against the wall … Now his only problem was getting out without the others spotting him. (Jameson, 1998, pp. 145-146)

How to cite

If you use the author’s name in your sentence, put the year of publication in brackets:

Smith (2007) proposed a three stage process to analyse the progress of nurses through their careers.

If you do not use the author’s name in the sentence, the surname and the year go in the brackets:

A similar result was obtained when teachers were questioned (Thomson, 2010).