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Social Work: Referencing

Social Work

Why reference?

It is important to learn the scholarly practice of citing other people’s research, and referencing the material you have used. 


  • Enables your reader to find the material you have referred to  

  • Demonstrates your breadth of reading about the subject 

  • Supports and/or develops your argument

  • Avoids plagiarism: using somebody else’s work without acknowledging the fact is plagiarism. It is important to always reference when quoting or paraphrasing another person’s work 

Your Department Style: APA


Harvard is a commonly used, flexible author-date style and which is the style adopted by your department. There is no prescribed form of Harvard used across institutions, rather different institutions and departments within institutions specifiy their own form. The differences between various Harvard styles relates to which parts of the reference are put into capitals, brackets, bold and italics and the punctuation used. The order in which you cite the different parts of the reference remains the same.
This means that there will be slight differences between your department's version of Harvard and those that you may find elsewhere, on the internet or in generic referencing tools.

There are some published guides to help you with referencing using the Warwick Harvard Style (Sociology):

Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing (Library) (PDF)


Referencing ebooks

Referencing Moodle

Introduction to Referencing.

Learn what referencing is, why it is important and when you need to use it.

Note that this course uses examples in the Harvard referencing style, not your departmental style.

Avoiding Plagiarism

This course will help you understand how plagiarism is defined, identified and its potential consequences. It will also provide you with clear tips on how to avoid plagiarism and build good academic practice.

Referencing Software

Referencing software allows you to manage references, insert citations and create a bibliography, in your referencing style. It is particularly useful for students writing  dissertations and theses.

EndNote icon


EndNote is referencing software from Clarivate. EndNote is available  from Warwick IT Services, and is supported by Warwick Library. Please see the EndNote LibGuide for further information.