"Please Use the Harvard Style ..."What do you need for your essay?
- Have you been recommended to use the Harvard style of referencing, with an in-text reference matched with a bibliography at the end? Eg, "McGonnigal (2016) asserts that all pigs are capable of flying ..."
- Or do you need footnotes with full details at the bottom of the page?
- Or endnotes at the end of the essay?
Referencing (bibliographic, citation) software
Using referencing (also called 'bibliographic' or 'citation') software makes sure all your references are consistent and have the right information, so that your teachers can follow what you've been reading and where you're quoting from. The RCS generally asks for the Harvard style.
The Performing Arts Librarians often tell people about referencing software. There are various free versions available (and others that you have to subscribe to). Basically, they all have two main functions - collecting and sorting your references, and then formatting them to insert into your writing.
Now, you don't have to use referencing software. It's helpful and effective, but it's perfectly possible to do your references without it. However, if you're completely turned off by having to quote references in the right order with appropriate punctuation and all the relevant details, then referencing software will definitely make things easier for you. And if you embed referencing software into your Word programme, then you can choose whichever form output you like. You might need different formats for different purposes - Harvard here, but some other referencing style for a journal article, for example.
Alternatively, you might like using this kind of software just for keeping track of what you've been reading.
Find Quick Intros on YouTube!
.What are your options?
The four most mentioned are:-
- Endnote (okay if your institution subscribes, but unfortunately we don't. However, our doctoral students can access it at the University of St Andrews) And you can get a free trial, so if you're curious, maybe watch this YouTube video - How to Use EndNote in 5 Minutes (Windows) or other videos on the Endnote training page.
- Mendeley (free, very usable, excellent if you use different devices at different times and need to synch across them) - take a look at Get Started With Mendeley (5 minute YouTube). Follow up with Referencing in Microsoft Word with Mendeley Desktop, but this takes 15 minutes)
- RefME (very, very easy, but you need the latest version of Word if you want to embed RefME into Word. Also, importing references doesn't always go to plan on Android devices). Here's a 3-minute YouTube video on How To Use RefME to Create Bibliographies
- Zotero (great, but not quite as transferable across devices as Mendeley). Here's a YouTube Tour of Zotero. It's really good if you need to cite a wide variety of references.