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Academic Writing & Thesis

Harvard Citation Format

There are many different citation styles and formats such as APA, CBE, Chicago, Harvard, Vancouver etc. At Arcada the Harvard format is recommended (also called the author-year system). The purpose with each style is to show what and who's ideas is presented and also give the reader a chance to find the source. Learn to indicate references accurately, carefully and logically from the start of your studies.

This example pictures how to refer to a book and to an article:

Here is an example of how to refer to a scientific article and a printed book using the Harvard reference style. When referring to the article, show the name of the author(s), the publication year, and the page numbers put in brackets. The page number can be left out when referring to the entire publication but necessary if referring to a specific part (Hanssen & Alpers 2010, p. 201). When referring to a book use the same system. Check for more details in the Arcada Writing Guide. It is important that you consistently use the same format throughout your text and in your list of references (Hamp-Lyons & Heassley 2006, p. 83).


When writing the list of references the book and the article should be referred to as follows:


List of References

Hamp-Lyons, L. & Heasley, B. 2006, Study writing: a course in writing skills for academic purposes, 2. ed., Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Hanssen, I. & Alpers, L. 2010, Utilitarian and common-sense morality discussions in intercultural nursing practise, Nursing ethics, 17(2), pp. 201-211.


The details included in the book reference are:

  • Hamp-Lyons, L. & Heasley, B. = last name of the authors and initial letters of the first name
  • 2006 = year of publication
  • Study writing: a course in writing skills for academic purposes = title of the book (written in italics)
  • 2. ed = edition of the publication
  • Cambridge University Press = publisher or issuing institution
  • Cambridge = place of publication

The details included in the article reference are:

  • Hanssen, I. & Alpers, L.= last name of the authors and initial letters of the first name
  • 2010 = year of publication
  • Utilitarian and common-sense morality discussions in intercultural nursing practice = name of the article
  • Nursing ethics = name of the journal (written in italics)
  • 17 = volume of the journal
  • 2 = issue of the journal (of volume 17)
  • pp. 201-211 = the page numbers of the article


For further details not mentioned in the Arcada Writing Guide we recommend having a look at these resources:

Reference Management & RefWorks

RefWorks is an online research management, writing and collaboration tool. It is designed to help students and researchers easily gather, manage, store and share all types of information, as well as generate citations and bibliographies. In order to use RefWorks you have to sign up for an individual account with your Arcada e-mail.

Attention! Your password must differ from your Arcada login!

There are other options for reference management available as well, such as Mendeley or Zotero. We recommend that you choose the tools most suitable to your personal preferences.