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LSBU Harvard Referencing: In-text citations

When you refer to someone’s work in your essay, you need to include an in-text citation. This is normally the surname(s) of the author(s) and the year their work was published.

The citation usually comes at the end of a sentence in brackets:


…although other authors have denied this (Hartley, 2019).

Or, if you include the author’s name as part of the sentence, put the year of publication immediately after in brackets:


… Hartley (2019) declared that …

Citing a direct quote

If you quote the exact words directly from a text you must use quotation marks to indicate this. The author(s) and date must be stated, and if available the page number.


… Jackson (2020, p. 575) declared that “This is the finest example of postmodernism …”

For a long quote (over 40 words), indent the text and leave a line space before and after the quote rather than using quotation marks.


Pears and Shields provide the following definition:

Plagiarism is a term that describes the unacknowledged use of someone’s work. This includes material or ideas from any (published or unpublished) sources, whether print, web-based (even if freely available) or audio-visual. Using the words or ideas of others without referencing your source would be construed as plagiarism and is a very serious academic offence (Pears and Shields, 2018, p. 1).

You can leave out any section of a quote as long as you make this clear by inserting an ellipsis (…).


Flinders (2019, p. 71) comments that, “When MPs had an operational grievance they were encouraged to direct their question … directly to the agency”.

Work by a corporate author (for example, an organisation)

If the work is written by a corporate author, include the name of the corporation:


(Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2017)

Work with multiple authors

If there are one or two authors, then you need to mention one or both names in the in-text citation.


 ………(Patel and Jones, 2019).

For three authors or more, put et al. after the name of the first author in the in- text citation.


… Anderson et al. (2018) concluded that …

Et al. is an abbreviation of the Latin et alia meaning “and others”.

You will still need to reference all authors in your reference list at the end of your work.

Multiple references with the same author and publication year

Documents with the same author and publication year can be distinguished from each other by putting a letter after the year in both the in-text citations and reference list.


… (Williamson, 2019a), (Williamson, 2019b) etc. …

Multiple references for the same idea or concept

When you use multiple references to back up an idea the in-text citations should be written in chronological order and separated with a semi-colon.


… as multiple authors confirm (Brown, 1998; Chandra, 2001; Smith, 2009; Yates, 2019) …

Citing the title of a book, play or production

To indicate the title of a book, play or production within your assignment, italicise it.


Peter Weiss’s Marat/Sade is a play within a play.

The works which did most to disseminate Aristotle’s ideas on poetry in the ancient world were the three books On Poets.

Citing Verse Play Texts

If you want to quote just a few lines from a verse play, you should do so within your sentence, using slashes as line-break indicators. Be careful to reproduce the capitalisation and punctuation of the original exactly.


On her arrival in Aulis, Racine’s Iphigenia describes her father as “This ardent lover, all importance, whom/Even the Greeks could not tear from these shores,/.” (Racine, 2004, 2.3: pp.598-599)

A long quotation from a verse play should be indented and must observe the line breaks and punctuation exactly.


When facing her father after her secret marriage to Othello has been revealed, Desdemona dramatically proclaims her love for her husband:

That I did love the Moor to live with him,

My downright violence and storm of fortunes

May trumpet the world. My heart’s subdued

Even to the very quantity of my Lord.

I saw Othello’s visage in his mind

And to his honours and his valiant parts

Did I my soul and fortunes consecrate.

(Shakespeare, 1984, 1.3: pp.245.251)


If you wish to quote dialogue then you need to state the characters speaking and, again, set out the line breaks exactly.


Duke:                                                If you please,

Be’t her father’s.

Brabantio:                                         I’ll not have it so.

Othello: Not I.

                                                         (Shakespeare, 1984, 1.3: pp.237-239)

Citing Prose Play Texts

The rules for quoting from prose play texts are exactly the same for verse texts but you do not have to follow the line endings, only the punctuation. When referencing the prose play, treat it the same way as a book.


Though Billy is unaware of the ultimate rejection of his own parents, he feels his inability to get hired as an actor in Hollywood keenly. “I’d hoped I’d disappear forever to America. And I would’ve too, if they’d wanted me there.” (McDonagh, 1997, p.69)