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Referencing at Newman

Referencing - introduction, in-text citations, reference list examples, RefWorks and how you can get more help

Why reference?

Referencing is a key aspect of good academic practice. By learning how to reference, you will:

  • avoid plagiarism
  • show your lecturers how well you understand your subject
  • find information easily to help your learning
  • be better organised
  • be likely to get better grades

This guide explains how to present references in your assignments.

The Academic Service Librarians run live referencing workshops throughout the academic year. You can see what is coming up and book a place on our Workshops page.

You can also watch our Introduction to Newman Harvard referencing video (note: you may need to log in to Panopto to view the video).

Referencing styles

Referencing styles are the rules for how you should present references in assignments and reference lists.

Newman uses a number of different referencing styles, depending on your course and level of study:

  • Newman Harvard – for most courses1
  • OSCOLA (Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities) – for Law programmes2
  • SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) – used by some Postgraduate researchers in Theology

Our referencing guide explains how to use the Newman Harvard style of referencing. Along with this guide, the Library can offer you support with the general principles of referencing, and we can help you with further questions you may have about the Newman Harvard system.

If you don't know which style to use, or if you need help with another style of referencing, ask your Module Leader.


1 Psychology students at level 5 and above will continue to use APA until the end of their course. All new level 4 Psychology students will use Newman Harvard from the start of the 2022-23 Academic Year.
2 Law students who have been instructed to use Newman Harvard should continue to do so. All new Level 4 (first year) students from September 2022 should only use OSCOLA.

Work placements and ethical referencing

If the modules you are studying involve working with children, young people or families, or in schools, education or health and social care settings, this may have an impact on the way you reference some sources.

You will find details of how to cite people and sources anonymously, and the use of code names for ethical purposes, in the guide and examples for in-text citations and reference lists.

Please read these guidelines carefully to make sure you are complying with Newman University's Code of Ethics.

Warning about online referencing 'tools'

If you do an online search for ‘Harvard referencing’, you’ll get a huge amount of hits for sites that say they will show you how to use the Harvard system, or even claim to format your references for you. Some may also offer advice about the validity or quality of sources.

We strongly recommend caution in using these tools!

Remember that any automated system does not 'think' in the same way as humans do: it simply processes data that it is given. If the data that goes in to the processor is messy, incorrect, in the wrong fields or has extra information that is not included in a reference, then the reference the processor will produce is likely to be incorrect.

You should also note that 'Harvard' referencing is not a unified system controlled by one organisation and the references produced may not be the same as 'Newman Harvard'.

Definitions of key words


The sources of information that you’ve used to help you research and write your assignment. Sources can include books and newspapers, online articles and webpages, pictures, videos and many other things. It also includes work that you have previously written and submitted for marking.

Cite, citing, cited

Referring to a source in your assignment.

In-text citation

The shortened details of a source that you give within the text of your assignment. A citation links to the full reference that you give at the end of your assignment.


The full details of a source that you’ve cited in your assignment. It tells you where and how you can access the sources. If you’ve given an in-text citation for a source, you must also give its full details in your reference list. A reference list should contain details of everything that you’ve cited in your assignment, in alphabetical order by author.


A bibliography contains the same details as a reference list, but in addition lists any other sources that you’ve read but not cited in your work. It can show your lecturers the range of reading that has helped you to make your argument.

At Newman, you usually only need to include a reference list. However, lecturers sometimes use the terms ‘reference list’ and ‘bibliography’ interchangeably. If you’re not sure which one is expected of you, ask your Module Leader.

Quotation, quote, quoting

Using words or sentences from a source in your own work without changing them.

Paraphrase, paraphrasing

Putting words and ideas from a source you’re using into your own words. Paraphrasing is an important way that you can show your lecturers you have understood what you have read.

Summary, summarise, summarising

Giving a brief description of what a particular source or part of a source is about.

You can get help with these skills from the Learning Development Tutors in Student Support.

Further help

This guide and referencing examples show you how to reference most of the sources you’re likely to use in your work.

If there isn’t an example that fits what you’re trying to use, try 3 things:

1. Use the book

Our referencing style is based on the principles in Cite them right by Richard Pears and Graham Shields. This book is available from the Library, and we have both print copies that you can borrow as well as an e-book.

CIte them right also contains examples for APA 7th Edition and OSCOLA referencing.

You may find yourself using this book enough over your time with us that it is worth buying your own copy. If you wish to do this, the details are:

Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2022) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 12th edn. London: Bloomsbury Study Skills. ISBN: 9781350933446.

2. Ask an Academic Service Librarian

You can ask Academic Service Librarians for advice on referencing by:

3. Ask your Module Leader

If a particular reference is causing you trouble, your Module Leader should be able to tell you how they would like you to present it.

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