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I read somewhere that you can reference, the Harvard way, by stating the author, before ending the sentence with a date - like so:

Author said this bla bal blabd bdalab d... (2017).

But, after reading through my dissertation, my teacher told me this was invalid Harvard referencing; and, he said I should cite the author like this:

Author said this bla bal blabd bdalab d... (Author, 2017).

Is this true, or can I indeed use the proposed method?

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There can be disagreement on how to reference correctly within a style. I have referenced in both ways that you cite, with no complaints from my tutors. I have also had papers published using both methods of citation with no corrections from the copy editors.

However, I think what we are experiencing here is your tutor's preference. He clearly wants you to do things in method B rather than method A, for whatever reason. I am sure he has read through multitudinous publications, some of which use method A, though his own preference is B.

When I wrote my first essay for my master's I used footnotes for referencing. My tutor wrote on the paper that in-text citations were much better: neither was wrong, but my tutor was specifying a preference and recommending a better habit to get into. Similarly, seeing as yours is the one marking your papers, I would just go with it.

  • Are you sure that this is really ambiguous? Note that the OP specifically stated that this was to follow the Harvard style, not just some style. – Tobias Kildetoft Jan 30 '17 at 18:47
  • @TobiasKildetoft yes, both are accepted as Harvard style. Maybe I should have rephrased my first sentence, I will do so for clarity. libweb.anglia.ac.uk/referencing/files/… – C26 Jan 30 '17 at 19:02
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I am in one of the fields where author-date (Harvard) referencing is common, and I have not seen the style that you describe. Normally, it's either:

Author (2017) finds xyz.

or

Xyz (Author 2017).

Of course I do not know all the citation formats in all different fields, so it is possible that such style exists in some fields I don't know. However, based on some common style guides, I believe such style, if exists, is not common. For example, the Oxford Style Guide (New Hart's Rules), which covers a few different common reference styles, only gives author-date examples similar to what I've given here. The same is true for the APA Manual, which is a widely used style guide that prescribes the author-date system.

In some contexts (including some educational institutions), authors are expected to (at least roughly) follow a particular citation style. In such case, you can consult the reference guide.

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