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This guide introduces the Harvard referencing style and includes examples of citations.

Page numbers and punctuation

As with any referencing style, there are lots of rules or conventions that you should follow under various circumstances. This page explains when you should use page numbers in your in-text citation, and what punctuation to include in your full reference. 

Page numbers

When do I need to include page numbers?

With any in-text citations, you must include a page number/s when you cite a source and are either:

  • Directly quoting
  • Paraphrasing

You must include the specific page (using p.) that the quote is located in the source.  For example:   

The findings that value conflicts are the 'very things that keep people awake at night or drive them away from the profession' (Skelton, 2011, p.266) should be hugely concerning for policy makers ...

Alternatively, you will identify a page range (using pp.) if the quote runs across two pages:

The research included questions that asked participants 'why they wanted to work in a university and what educational values underpinned their teaching' (Skelton, 2011, pp.259-260) in order to identify important internal motivations ...

What about in my References list?

In the References section of your work, you do not include the specific page number/s that you have quoted, because this list is identifying information about the source as a whole.

Your references list will only include page numbers for sources that are 'part of' a larger work, and indicates the first and last page numbers that your source occupies in the original source.  This is helpful for your reader to locate the item, should they wish to go back and read the original.  For example:


Skelton, A. (2011). ‘Value conflicts in higher education teaching’, Teaching in Higher Education, 17(3), pp.257-268. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2011.611875.

From the information in the reference we know that the following article begins on page 257 and ends on page 268 of the journal it appears in.  We also know that it was originally printed in issue 3, of volume 17, of the journal Teaching in Higher Education.  These details are important when trying to locate the article, whether online or in hard-copy.

Some source-types that this includes are:

  • Journal article - appears in an issue of a journal.
  • Newspaper article - appears in an issue of a newspaper.
  • Chapter of an edited book - appears in a book that incudes further chapters written by other authors.


You will notice that within a single reference there are commas and full-stops, spaces, ellipses and italics in particular places.  Due to the differences between different sources, and the specific information needed for each type, there is no single rule that can be applied across all references for when to use which specific punctuation, so it is important to follow the guidance and examples for each type and replicate this in your references. 

However, there are some things to look out for that stay fairly consistent that we can illustrate in three examples:


Great Britain. Department of Education Science. (1991). History in the national curriculum (England). London: HMSO. (DES circular no. 4/91).

Guy, J. (2001). The view across the river: Harriette Colenso and the Zulu struggle against imperialism. Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia.

Skelton, A. (2011). ‘Value conflicts in higher education teaching’, Teaching in Higher Education, 17(3), pp.257-268. doi: 10.1080/13562517.2011.611875.

Commas break up some parts of the reference.

Full-stops are used at the end of particular parts including author's names, year of publication. 

The title of a source is italicised. However, if a source (journal or newspaper article, chapter of an edited book) is part of a larger work , then the title of the larger work (journal, newspaper, or book) is italicised and the title of the part (article or chapter title) is within single quote marks.