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What style should I use?

Subject Style Guidance* Style to use in Mendeley**

English Literature


Creative Writing



Short guide

Full guidance

MHRA (Modern Humanities Research

Association) 3rd edition (fullnote)



Short guide

Full guidance


Physician's Associate MSc

Urgent and Acute Adult Care PGCert

FdSc Dental Technician


Short guide

Full guidance (Cite Them Right Online)




Short guide

UW guide (2015)

Full guidance (latest edition)

APA (American Psychological Association 6th edition)

All other courses

Harvard (Cite Them Right) 10th edition

Short guide

Full guidance (Cite Them Right Online)

Harvard - Cite Them Right 

* If there are any discrepancies between the University’s short guide and the latest edition of the full guidance for your style, please refer to the full guidance as preference.

** Remember that no available style in a reference management tool will format every reference perfectly, especially if you use an in-browser tool to extract reference information from a webpage. You may need to add, amend or remove elements of the reference, either manually within the reference management tool, or once your list is exported to Word. Always proof-read your work before submission. 


What do I need to know about referencing?

Using a specific referencing style to refer to the work of others is an important element of your academic writing. Consistent and accurate citing and referencing also helps you to avoid plagiarism. The key principles underlying referencing are:

  1. Be consistent: you should use the same formatting throughout your piece of work, whatever style you use
  2. Include all the relevant information your reader needs to trace that reference themselves
  3. Understand when to cite and why, i.e. to acknowledge the work of others

The University referencing policy sets out the referencing requirements that all taught students and their tutors are expected to follow. The box above details each of the five styles available, and which courses should use them. Unless otherwise indicated, all taught students at the University of Worcester should use the Cite Them Right version of Harvard.

Continuing students who enrolled on their course prior to 2016/17 may choose to use the Cite Them Right style, or follow the University’s guide for the older, bespoke Harvard style. We have put together a table highlighting the key differences between the two Harvard styles, which you can download here. These differences include: the use of page numbers when paraphrasing as well as directly quoting; and using et al for four or more authors (rather than three), in both the essay and the reference list. 

Joint Honours students studying subjects that use different styles will need to use the referencing style suitable for each subject.  The University recognises that this may result in some stylistic inaccuracies as you learn the two.  Marking (particularly at levels 4 and 5) should focus on the principles of referencing as outlined above, not on stylistic accuracy. You can use reference management tools like RefMe to help you get to grips with both styles.

Academic Liaison Librarians are able to support students and staff in relation to referencing principles and the basic application of a specific style. Further support for academic writing is available elsewhere in the University, including the Language Centre and from the Writers-in-Residence. The University of Worcester's Institute of Health and Society has a referencing page, which includes videos of librarians (and Reffie), tutors and students sharing their top tips and experiences of academic referencing.

The university has a subscription to Cite Them Right Online, available to University of Worcester students and staff. This provides full guidance for Harvard and Vancouver styles, as well as support for other styles, and covers the 'how and why' of referencing and offers advice on avoiding plagiarism.  


What is a reference management tool?

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that RefMe has announced the sale of the tool to a company called Chegg. From March 7th 2017, all accounts will migrate to Cite This For Me. You should be able to log in using your RefMe details, though reports are that the increase in traffic has had an impact on the transition. From June 1st 2017, you will need to take out a paid subscription for some of the features that were free in RefMe, so it is important you back up your references elsewhere as soon as possible.  If you would like any further information, please contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Reference management tools can help you to collect and manage the references you find for your assignments and independent study. You don’t have to use them, but you may find it useful for organising and annotating references for particular modules, topics and assignments. It can also produce lists of references in a selected referencing style.

There are a range of options, many of which are free (with the choice to pay for more features). If you want to know more about reference management tools, see our researcher guide.