You’ve probably heard that there are pieces of software you can use to help with referencing and you might even have used some of them, but which one is best for your assignment? Well, it depends what you’re working on. We recommend two tools.
Word referencing tool
If you’re writing an essay and need something to help you with your citations and reference list, the referencing tool built into Microsoft Word will probably do everything you need. You’ll have to download some extra files to add the SHU-Harvard referencing style, but they’re available on the Microsoft Word tool tab of our referencing softwareguide with instructions on what to do, so it shouldn’t take long. One disadvantage of Word referencing tool is that it won’t put your reference list into alphabetical order by author, but you can do that manually.
If you’re working on a longer assignment or your dissertation, it’s definitely worth using RefWorks. It’s slightly more complicated than the Word tool because you’ll need to create a RefWorks account online first, but there are full instructions on the RefWorks tab of the referencing software guide. RefWorks is an online tool, which means you log in through your web browser to add your references. Then, to create citations and reference lists, you need to install an add-in for Microsoft Word called Write-N-Cite (again, there are instructions to follow). RefWorks is great for building up a database of references, so you can keep track of useful things you’ve read for future assignments.
So, why these two tools?
Crucially, they can help you create references in the SHU-Harvard style that we use at Sheffield Hallam. Other applications (like the online favourite Neil’s Toolbox) give you generic Harvard references, which aren’t exactly the same.
Finally, remember that all referencing tools are just there to help – they can’t do the job for you! Make sure you check your citations and references against our comprehensive Guide to Harvard referencing and citations.
And do let us know if you’re trying to reference something and can’t find an example in this guide. Go to the library helpdesk or get in touch.