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Political Sciences: Referencing - Harvard

Welcome to the Political Sciences subject guide. This guide will introduce you to valuable information sources that are tailor-made for the subject, as well as services and facilities offered by the UP DLS

Plagiarism Prevention

Referencing with Harvard

  • Give credit to the author(s) in text
  • Make a corresponding entry in the reference list with more information about the source
  • The reference list must start on its own page.
  • Do not number the reference list.
  • Do not put bullets on the reference list entries.
  • The reference list is listed alphabetically according to author surnames and or corporate authors/organisation
  • Do not put edition statement unless it is the second edition going up.
  • Remember the 4 Ws in your reference list:

A text reference can be made in one of two ways:

1. As part of a sentence, example:

In his account of the welfare state in Botswana, Stretton (1980: 23) makes a distinction between
'universalists' and 'selectivists'

2. At the end of a sentence, example:

This point had been made earlier by another commentator (Stretton 1980: 23).



Sources with multiple authors

Number of authors In-text citation example

1 author 

(Mbenga 2016:7)
2 authors Ndlovu and Cheng (2009:28)       or           (Ndlovu & Cheng 2009:28)
3 authors and more

The first citation, list all authors as they appear in the source. Subsequent citations of this source, use only the first author's surname followed by et al.

Higgs, Moletsane and Harris (2021:4) 

(Higgs et al. 2021:4)

Organisation or website (African Union 2022)


Examples of how to write In-Text References and Bibliography:



Author. Year of publication. Title of book: subtitle. Place of publication: Publisher

For example:

Serote, P. 1999. Development in Context: South African case studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Calvert, S. & Calvert, P. 1996. Politics and Society in the Third World: an introduction. Harvester Wheatsheaf: Prentice Hall.

Chapters in a book


Author(s) of chapter. Date. Name of chapter. In Name of book, edited by Name of editor(s). Place of publication: Publisher.

For example:

Cowen, M.P. & Shenton, R.W. 1995. The Invention of Development. In Power of Development, edited by J. Crush. London & New York: Routledge.

Journal Article


Author of article. Date of publication. Name of article. Name of Journal, volume (number): page numbers or article.

For example:

Sagar, A. D. & Najam, A. 1999. Shaping Human Development: which way next? Third World Quarterly, 20 (4): 743-751.

Newspaper article


Name of writer(s). Date (just the year). Name of article. Newspaper, day month: page number.

For example:

Seepe, S. 1999. Mbeki and leadership. Mail & Guardian, 14 September: 13.

Government Publications


South Africa. Date. Name of publication. Pretoria: Government Printers.

For example:

South Africa. 1996. White Paper on Environment. Pretoria: Government Printers.



Name of organisation/writer of article/person who gave speech. Date (on which article was written/speech was given). Name of article/speech/webpage, etc. Internet: address. Access: date of access.

For example: 

Mbeki, T. 2001. State of the Nation Address, 6 February 2001. Internet: Access: 7 January 2002.

Source: Political Sciences Undergraduate Manual.