Introduction to Harvard Referencing

R22–0983 GEOG70000 —also used by R21–0856 ZNON00856

Library for Educators
9 min readFeb 4, 2022


Supporting materials

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the core principles of critical reading and academic writing and link these together
  • Apply the core skills of critical reading and academic writing to their own writing practice
  • Understand the importance of distinguishing between their own ideas and those of other people
  • To clearly set out in their own writings the ideas of other people and connect these to their own ideas
  • To know how to reference their sources correctly either by using the Library’s referencing pages for guidance or referencing software

Suggested online resources:

Introduction Slides 1–2:

Today’s session will link together for core principles of critical reading and academic writing that will help you understand why it is so important to use the research of other writers and author with great care.

This session will help you to think proactively about why you read and how you write. This will enable you to see the reading and writing process from both the author and writer perspectives and help you understand why it is important to distinguish between your own writing and the sources you have used to inform your own writing

Critical Reading Slides 3–4:

Attendees asked to reflect on why they read and share their thoughts by adding notes to Jamboard — 4 minutes

Assist to share link to Jamboard in chat: Jamboard Slide 1:

Trainer to discuss responses with the group

Introducing Critical Reading

Slide 5: We all do a lot of reading in our day to day lives, but we don’t devote the same time and attention to everything we read.

The way you read a novel will be very different to the way you read a notice board. Your approach varies according to your purpose.

Slide 6: There are three main approaches to reading:

Reading for information:

Overview: looking for specific pieces of data

Examples: getting directions, finding opening hours, looking up an author’s date of birth.

Technique: scanning a text to look for keywords or phrases that answer your question, then moving on.

Reading for understanding

Overview: gaining an overview of an area; gathering general information.

Examples: reading for pleasure, background reading into a topic.

Technique: reading a text once from start to finish, often passively.

Reading for analysis

Overview: engaging your prior knowledge and actively applying it to what you’re reading.

Examples: reading for an essay, dissertation, literature review or thesis.

Technique: reading a text actively multiple times, asking questions of the text. This is critical reading; we will examine a strategy in more detail in this section.

Search Terms — Slides 7–10

Slide 7: Imagine you have an essay question to address…

You need to develop active reading skills …

In this case — What do you already know about environmental issues?

What are the core parts of the questions you need to think about?

Slide 8: Attendees asked to reflect on what other words/phrases could be used when thinking about environmental issues?

Slide 9: Quickly show the “sofa” slide to show that similar terms can be joined by the Boolean search operator OR

Then revert back to Slide 8

Attendees add note to slide 2 of the Jamboard — 4 minutes

Assist to share link to Jamboard in chat: Jamboard Slide 2:

Trainer to discuss responses with the group and use Slide 10 to highlight any other terms. These are just a few examples of words that relate to the question. In your searching, you are already beginning to think of other ways to describe your essay topic and think of related topic areas.

The usage of “quotation marks”, truncation* joinedwords and hyphenated –words can influence the range of results.

Searching for Literature — Slides 11–13

Slide 11: This session is not focusing on the literature searching process. However the literature searching process is an important part of preparing you for your writing because you are beginning to research the topic using your own words and to find related readings in the databases

Further help on constructing literature searches can be found on the My Learning Essentials Webpages and the Specialist Learning Support Webpages

The subject databases for Geography can be found on the databases tab on the Geography Subject guide

Slide 12: These are the core databases that you can use for searching for literature on your subject

Slide 13: This is an example search from GeoBase.. You will need to play around with different search terms that relate to your research question

Critical Reading — Slides 14–16

Slide 14: When you have found some journal articles and other readings;

Think about what you know

What you need to know

How will you retain and test your understanding of this new knowledge? — One idea is to write the information out in your own words! That does not mean copying out other peoples’ words!!!

Slide 15: Read what is written

Think about what is written

Rewrite in your own words what you can remember

Check this against the original text taking care that you have retained the context of the idea but you have explained it in your own words

Slide 16: Form your own opinion

Knowledge is not simply regurgitating someone else’s knowledge

Evaluating Information — Slides 17–19

Slide 17: Create a little checklist or use this one! This will enable you to actively read, not passively read. And prevent you from merely copying chunks of information “just in case “ you need it. This also prevent you from unintentionally appearing to pass it off as your own words later in the assignment process

Slide 18: Think about why you are reading

Be careful with your selection of readings — each reading should add something to your previous reading

You should get into the habit of making accurate notes about what you have read and applying these to the research question. It is important to distinguish the author words and your own words.

Slide 19: Some people fine using the Cornell note-taking framework helpful — these can be found on the internet

However- it’s whatever works for you.. The important thing is that your notes are accurate and clearly distinguish your own thoughts from the words used by the author

Taking Notes — slides 20–21

Slide 20: What pieces of information should you record when you are writing your notes?

Attendees add note to slide 3 of the Jamboard — 4 minutes

Assist to share link to Jamboard in chat: Jamboard Slide 3:

Trainer to discuss responses with the group

Slide 21: Do not be lazy in taking detailed notes! It is much harder to locate information weeks or months after you vaguely remembered reading it!

Identifying Knowledge Gaps — slides 22–23

Slide 22: Reciting lots other sources in your assignment may well use up your word count but it does not hide the gap in your own knowledge and arguments

Think about how you are going to address those knowledge gaps

Remember — the point of the assignment is to demonstrate your own learning, understanding, and application of knowledge

It is important that you identify gaps or weaknesses in your knowledge so that you can take steps to address these.

Slide 23: Outline coursework grade description

Connecting Critical Reading with Academic Writing — slides 24–28

Slide 24: I have talked a lot about reading and you may wonder why when this session is focusing on writing and more pertinently — referencing. This is because the three components are inextricably linked.

If you think more intensively about why and how you read. You will realise that the writing process is not that different. You will begin to evaluate your own writing from the reader’s point of view

Slide 25–26: Writing has three processes;

1 — for you to formulate and articulate your initial knowledge

2 — to research a topic in more detail

3 — to formulate , develop and present your ideas and findings

Slide 27: RAFT (Role, Audience, Format, Topic) is a writing strategy which will help you to understand your role as a writer and to communicate clearly

When you are writing it is useful to think about:

your role as a writer in each situation,

who your audience is,

the best format for you to use,

And your topic, e.g. what you want to say.

Slide 28: A research plan allows you to structure any earlier notes. It allows you to identify duplicate information, conflicting information and missing information. The plan can help you decide when you need to directly quote an idea and where you can put that idea into your own words …

Building your critical argument — slides 29–32

Slide 29: When you come to writing your first paragraphs think about the following components needed to build your critical argument/s

What is the Main Idea?

What evidence is used?

Where is analysis being demonstrated?

How do the ideas link together in line with the whole?

Slide 30: Topic sentence: What will the paragraph be about? Where are you taking the reader? Why?

Evidence: Who says? Anything you present (+/-) MUST relate back to the title of your topic. Choose the right type of source.

Analysis: What is your interpretation of the evidence you have just presented? Back this up with evidence from further reading or research

Why does your interpretation matter?

Transition: This should connect paragraphs and prevent the essay from jumping around or springing a surprise — Should help a new idea to follow on from the previous

Slide 31: Highlight Academic Phrasebank to help construct paragraphs and create transition sentences

Slide 32: It should be clear to your reader;

1 — what the evidence appears to say

2 — what I think about that evidence

3 — how the evidence and your ideas bring something fresh to the discussion. — Please note: this does not mean you have to arrive at a conclusion or different opinion — you are showing that you are engaged in the topic and you understand the topic.

Using sources and plagiarism — slides 33–36

Slide 33: This is an example of Plagiarism. If you took this sentence from a source and included in your work as it is presented in this slide you are in danger of plagiarism. This is because you have not acknowledged the person/s who identified the problems and inconsistencies within Kolb’s learning styles. You may agree with this argument but you did not originate it.

Slide 34: Often you do not intend to break any rules! As tie goes by it is easy for any of us to say something as though we were the first to say it, when we have echoed something we have heard others says or we have read

However in academia it is very important that academic integrity is maintained.

Plagiarism is a form of stealing. You have used someone else’s words and research findings without their permission

Slide 35: This shows how you would correctly attributing the source and incorporating it into your work — It was not your idea. Someone else came up with the idea…

In this case you are borrowing an idea. You are acknowledging the source where you borrowed that idea from

Slide 36: This is how you may incorporate an idea into your own work

Incorporating the work of others smoothly — slides 37–41

Slide 37: You can incorporate other people’s ideas into your work in 3 ways

Slide 38: (Citation) Ask the class what this is. Possibly in Chat

Slide 39: (Quotation) Ask the class what this is. Possibly in Chat

Slide 40: (Summary) Ask the class what this is. Possibly in Chat

Slide 41: The reference lists contains all the references you have cited in your assignments. You may have several items by the same author. You must be clear which you have used at any given point so that your reader could refer to these references if they chose to do so. If you have used two pieces of work by an author that were published in the same year, you can distinguish between these by adding a letter at the end of the year and referring to them as 2009a, 2009b etc…

Referencing Activity — slides 42–44

Slide 42–43: What is the purpose of referencing:

For the reader?

For the writer?

Attendees add note to slide 4 of the Jamboard — 4 minutes

Assist to share link to Jamboard in chat: Jamboard Slide 4:

Trainer to discuss responses with the group

Slide 44: These are the core reasons to practice good referencing

Harvard Referencing — slides 45–46

Slide 45: If you are unsure how to layout your references, there is a Library Referencing Guide that contains details of the most commonly used referencing styles used at the University of Manchester. Each style page gives an example of each of the most common information sources used in an assignment;

Slide 46: You may want to look at this MLE resource too

Referencing software — slide 47

Slide 47: As well as showing the manual referencing styles, the Library Referencing Guide also give details of referencing software that you may choose to use. The most common reference software packages are EndNote Desktop and EndNote Online

Further support — slides 48–52

Slide 48: These are the resources embedded in your Geography PGT Community Space

Slide 49: You will find support for your academic skills development in the Libraries My Learning Essentials pages — there are online resources that cover the topics from today’s session and they will be embedded in your Blackboard space.

Slide 50: The Specialist Support pages can give you further help with advanced searching, referencing and copyright

Slide 51: There are a number of ways to seek support after the session so please get in touch

Will this be useful?

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Internal ID: R21–0856

Created 26 November 2021

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