Harvard: basics


Cite your sources in two places:

  1. in your text, next to the information that you use (an in-text citation)
  2. in the reference list at the end of your assignment.

In-text citations

An in-text citation usually consists of the surnames of the authors with the year of publication and sometimes the page number.

In this example four different sources are cited:

The left side of the model is supported by the notion that grit evolves from interactions with environments, including the leader (Duckworth, 2016). Conveyed leader grit may be transferred to employees via behavioural modelling (Morgenroth, Ryan and Peters, 2015) and social contagion (Chartrand and Lakin, 2013). For persevering toward long-term goals in spite of obstacles and failures, employees need to develop and replenish relational, emotional, informational, and motivational resources (Hobfoll et al., 2018).
Adapted from: Rego, A. et al. (2021) ‘Gritty leaders promoting employees’ thriving at work’, Journal of Management, 47(5), pp. 1155–1184. Available at:

Reference list

The four sources also appear in the reference list at the end of the article, with all the details:

Chartrand, T. L. and Lakin, J. L. (2013) ‘The antecedents and consequences of human behavioral mimicry’, Annual Review of Psychology, 64(1), pp. 285-308. Available at:

Duckworth, A. L. (2016) Grit : the power of passion and perseverance. New York: Scribner.

Hobfoll, S. E. et al. (2018) ‘Conservation of resources in the organizational context : the reality of resources and their consequences’, Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 5(1), pp.103-128. Available at:

Morgenroth, T., Ryan, M. K. and Peters, K. (2015) ‘The motivational theory of role modeling : how role models influence role aspirants’ goals’, Review of General Psychology, 19(4), pp. 465-483. Available at:

In-text citations

There are two ways of doing an in-text citation:

  1. put the author’s name in brackets (parentheses)
  2. use the author’s name as part of the sentence.

Author’s name in brackets

Use this type of citation when the information is more important than the source. Both the author’s name and the year go in brackets.

Across Europe, the losers of the post-industrial, globalised economy are increasingly associated with the rising popularity and electoral success of Eurosceptic, far right parties (Maronitis, 2017).

The focus here is on the rise of the far-right parties, not on Maronitis.

Author’s name in the sentence

Use this type of citation when the author is important for some reason—perhaps because of their opinion or their discoveries. Their name is included in the normal flow of text, e.g. as the subject of the sentence. The year goes in brackets.

In a similar fashion, Guilluy (2019) views the rise of populism through the prism of social inequality and geographical exclusion.

Here we are interested in what Guilluy thinks.

See Referring to sources for the verbs and nouns you can use with this type of citation.

Page numbers

If you use information from a particular page in a long document (such as a book), include the page number in your in-text citation. This helps your readers find the original source.

According to Enders (2017, p. 101), 10 to 20% of Germans are constipated.

Four or more authors

Use the first author’s name + et al. (= and others).

In-text citations

First author’s surname followed by et al. with year. Optional: page number.

Research by Gao et al. (2022) suggests L. gasseri HMV18 could be used as a probiotic to prevent food-borne diseases.

Reference list

First author et al. (Year) ...

Gao, X. et al. (2022) ‘A new Lactobacillus gasseri strain HMV18 inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria’, Food Science and Human Wellness, 11(2), pp. 247–254. Available at:

No date

In-text citations

Author with ‘no date’

According to Chalkbored (no date), amino acids combine through a peptide bond. ... ‘Hydrolysis is a reaction in which water is one of the reactants’ (Chalkbored, no date).

Reference list

Author (no date) ...

Chalkbored (no date) Naming compounds with functional groups. Available at: (Accessed: 28 May 2021).

No author

In-text citations

Title with year

Ships sometimes transfer their cargos while out at sea, to avoid sanctions (The Economist, 2022).

Reference list

Title (Year) ...

The Economist (2022) ‘Who’s who on the ocean blue’, 443(9292), pp. 75-76.

Same author, same year

In-text citations

Letters a, b, etc. after the year.

The new Afghan government signed the Bilateral Security Agreement with the US and the Status of Forces Agreement with NATO (International Crisis Group, 2014a). However, the Pakistani military high command continues to support the insurgency in Afghanistan (International Crisis Group, 2014b).

Reference list

Author (Year + a/b/c etc.) ...

International Crisis Group (2014a) Afghanistan’s political transition. Available at: (Accessed: 17 December 2014).

International Crisis Group (2014b) Resetting Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan . Available at: (Accessed: 17 December 2014).

Secondary references

👉 See also Secondary referencing

In-text citations

Author and year of primary source, cited in Author and year of secondary source

Shakespeare and the Coconuts discusses how appropriate Shakespeare’s plays still are in post-apartheid South Africa (Diller, 2012, cited in De Waal, 2020).

Reference list

Secondary source details: Author (Year) ...

De Waal, M. (2020) ‘Close encounters: staging Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra in contemporary South Africa’, Shakespeare in Southern Africa, 33, pp. 4–14. Available at: