how to harvard reference in a essay

Harvard Style Citation and Referencing: a Detailed Guide from Experts

how to harvard reference in a essay

Defining What is Harvard Citation Style and Referencing

From the first time we put our pen on paper, we're taught how important it is to give credit where it's needed. Whether a research paper outline or a doctoral dissertation, proper references, and citations are the foundation of academic work in any field. And when it's time to cite sources, there's one style that stands out: Harvard style. In this article, we will explore the nuances of Harvard style citations and help you navigate the complexity of this important academic tool.

Developed by the Harvard Graduate School for Education, the Harvard style citation is a Ferrari of citations designed for the ultimate advantage of your research. Harvard Style, like a sports car, is streamlined, precise, and designed for speed. From its inception at Harvard at the beginning 20th century, this style has become a standard of academic reference and has been praised for its clarity and sophistication.

Intended to be simple and accessible to all, the Harvard style quickly became popular in the mid-20s and is based upon using the date-author citation in the document text, together with the detailed list of references at the document's end. Nowadays that it has gained universal acknowledgment, Harvard referencing is a critical instrument for scientists in multiple disciplines, owing to its simple yet tasteful design that has endured for many years.

Importance of Using Harvard Style Citation Properly

Using Harvard style citations and references correctly is like putting a hidden weapon in the arsenal of your academics. It'll be more than just following rules; it'll be about proving your credibility and that your work is grounded in solid evidence and reliable sources. Therefore, proper citations and references are crucial for a wide range of purposes:

  • First, by acknowledging your sources, you avoid plagiarism and demonstrate that you've taken the necessary precautions and are not attempting to pass on someone else's work as yours.
  • Secondly, Harvard citation style and references allow readers to track their sources and verify their assertions. This is especially relevant in fields in which precision and accuracy are important, e.g., in the fields of science and technology.
  • Thirdly, using Harvard style citations and references shows you belong to a larger academic community and know their standards and norms. By conforming to the customary citation and referencing guidelines, you can communicate that you are a reliable and trustworthy scholar who values their work.

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Key Features of Harvard Style Citation and Referencing

Below are a few of the principal characteristics of Harvard Style that make it such a popular choice among scholars:

Harvard Style Citation

In-text Citation: For in-text citations, the Harvard citation style adopts a straightforward author-date structure, implying that, after a direct quotation or paraphrase, you should provide the author's last name and the date of publication in parenthesis. This way, your readers can quickly identify your sources of information without looking for a specific reference list.

Example 1: There is considerable debate within the literature on sustainable development about the relationship between sustainable development and economic growth (Mitlin, 1992)

Reference List: A full reference list with complete bibliographic details for each work you referenced in your text is included at the conclusion of your paper. Reference lists in Harvard Style must follow a certain structure containing the author's name, the work's title, the year of publication, and other details.

Example: Mitlin, D., 1992. Sustainable development: A guide to literature. Environment and urbanization , 4 (1), pp.111-124.

Consistency : Consistency is one of the hallmarks of Harvard Style, which means you should adhere to the same structure for all citations and references and include any relevant information.

Flexibility : Books, journal articles, web pages, and other sources can all be formatted in Harvard Style. Depending on the kind of source, it also allows differences in the citation style.

How to Use Harvard Style Citation and Referencing

As was already established, references and citations in the Harvard style are commonly accepted. Therefore, you should take the required actions to ensure accurate citation. Let's adhere to these basic guidelines to give credit where credit is due:

Harvard Style Citation

Step 1: Understand the Basics

The Harvard style requires a list of references at the end of the document that contains all the information about the sources and a text citation that includes the author's name and the year of publication. Before you begin, be sure you understand these fundamental principles.

Step 2: Collect Your Sources

Before you begin, gather all the resources you'll need for the paper, such as books and websites. Make sure to write down all the pertinent details for each source, such as the author's name and title, the publication date, and the publisher.

Step 3: Create In-Text Citations

In-text references must be used when using someone else's words or ideas in your writing. Usually, the cited passage or paraphrase is followed by a Harvard style in text citation. As long as it is obvious to whom it refers, it comes at the conclusion of the pertinent phrase. For example, (Neal, 2022).

Step 4: Create a Reference List

Make a list of references towards the conclusion where you can discover all the information about each source. The author's last name and first initial appear at the top of the reference entry. Only the first word of the title and any proper nouns are capitalized. Similar to in-text citations, only the first author should be listed when there are four or more; beyond that, add 'et al.' to the end of the list.

Step 5: Check Your Formatting

Make sure your references are properly formatted in accordance with Harvard Style Guidelines. This may include:

  • Use a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial in size 12.
  • Set margins to 1 inch on all sides.
  • Use double spacing throughout the document, including the reference list.
  • Place a header on each page, which should include the title of your paper and the page number, located in the top right-hand corner.
  • Make sure to include a title page with your paper title, your name, the name of your institution, and the date of submission. Or you can always find out more on how to title an essay from our expert writers!
  • Use headings as a way to organize and simplify your paper with bold or italic letters.
  • Include in-text citations
  • Include a reference list at the end of your paper.

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Common Errors and Pitfalls in Using Harvard Style

While the Harvard Style citation may seem straightforward, there are several common errors and pitfalls that students and researchers should be aware of to ensure they are using the style correctly.

One common error is forgetting to include page numbers when referencing a source. Harvard style requires that page numbers be included when citing a direct quote or paraphrasing from a source. Failing to include page numbers can make it difficult for readers to locate the information being cited and can result in lost points on an assignment or paper.

Another pitfall is the improper formatting of references. Harvard style requires specific formatting for different types of sources, such as italicizing book titles and using quotation marks for article titles. Failure to follow these guidelines can result in a loss of points and confusion for readers.

Another common mistake is inconsistency in formatting and citation styles. It is important to use the same style throughout a document, including in-text citations and the reference list. Mixing different styles can make the document difficult to read and may result in a lower grade. And, if this problem sounds familiar and you wish 'if only somebody could rewrite my essay ,' get our essay writing help in a flash!

Finally, another pitfall to avoid is relying too heavily on online Harvard referencing generator tools. They can be useful for creating references, although they are not always reliable and might not adhere to the exact rules of Harvard style. To guarantee that the references produced by these tools are accurate and in the right format, it is crucial to carefully review and adjust them.

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Key Takeaways

In conclusion, knowing what is Harvard citation style and how to properly cite sources using this style is an essential ability for any student or researcher writing academically. The main lesson to be learned is that accurate citation not only shows academic honesty but also strengthens the authority of your work and backs up your claims. You may make sure that your writing is correctly referenced, structured, and accepted in the academic world by including these important lessons in it.

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To be made up of:

  • Student name.
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  • Module code: module title (in italics).
  • Institution.
  • Unpublished essay/assignment.

In-text citation:

(Jubb, 2014)

Reference List:

Jubb, A. (2014). 'Did the Allies win the battle of the Atlantic because of superior air power?',  L252: War Studies . University of Birmingham. Unpublished essay. 

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Write it Right - A guide to Harvard referencing style

  • Referencing

The Harvard Referencing Style

What is citing, citing page numbers in text - some rules, using direct quotations, how to cite in the body of your text, secondary referencing, using charts, images, figures in the body of your text.

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The Harvard referencing style (also known as ‘author-date’) is commonly used at TUS Midwest. There are two elements to the Harvard referencing style. This means when you reference using the Harvard system, you have to do two things: 

  • Include an author-date citation each time you refer to a source in the body of your essay. Note: also, include the page number if it is a direct quotation.
  • Compile a complete reference list of all the sources that you cited throughout your essay on a separate page at the end of your essay. Note: this list must be in alphabetical order according to the first author's surname.

In summary, when you are writing up your college projects, you must remember to acknowledge the other authors you are using in two places:

  • in the text of your assignment (in-text citations), and,
  • at the end of your assignment (reference list).

If you have used the author’s exact words (direct quotation) or the author’s ideas (paraphrasing) from a book, journal article, etc. you must acknowledge this in your text. This is referred to as in-text citing:

In-text citations give the brief (abbreviated) details of the work that you are quoting from, or to which you are referring in your text. These citations will then link to the full reference in the reference list at the end of your work, which is arranged in alphabetical order by author (Pears and Shields, 2019, p.7).

Author prominent citing  This citation method gives prominence to the author’s surname (family name) as part of your sentence with the date and page number in parentheses (round brackets).  Note : The page number is necessary if you are quoting directly. 

Information prominent citing This citation method gives prominence to the information with the required referencing details in parentheses at the end of the citation.

Author(s) name

  • For one author, use surname of author only. There is no need to include initials. Example - (Barr, 2016, p. 22)
  • For two authors, use both authors’ surnames linked by ‘and’.  Example - (Tabrizi and Rahmani, 2021, p. 13).
  • For three or more authors, use the first author’s surname and et al.   Example - (O'Neill  et al ., 2019, p. 120). 
  • Give full four digits for the year.

Quotations should be used sparingly, selected carefully, used in context, integrated into your text, and reproduced exactly (including the words, spelling, punctuation, capitalisation and paraphrasing of the original writer).  Short quotations Short quotations (fewer than 30 words) should:

  • be incorporated into your sentence without disrupting the flow of your paragraph,
  • have single quotation marks,
  • have the full stop after the citation, and,
  • keep the same font size.

Long quotations   Long quotations (more than 30 words) should:

  • be introduced in your own words,
  • begin on a new line,
  • be fully indented by default (i.e. 1.27 cm) from the left margin,
  • be in single line spacing.

Separate the quotation from the lead-in statement with one blank line. The lead-in statement ends with a colon(:). Separate the quotation from the text that follows it with one blank line.

Quotation marks

  • Quotation marks are not used for longer quotations.
  • When using an information prominent long quotation, the full stop is included after the last sentence of the quotation after the citation.

Words omitted from quotations

  • To omit unnecessary words from quotations, use an ellipsis … (3 dots). Note: Make sure the quotation still has the same meaning.
  • If the quotation does not begin at the start of a sentence, an ellipsis should be used to convey this.

When you cite someone else’s work, you must state the author/editor and the date of publication. If the work has two authors/editors, you must cite both names. Don't forget to include page numbers for direct quotations.  There is no need to include the title, place of publication etc. These details are listed in the reference list at the end of your essay .  

For a work that has three or more authors/editors, the abbreviation, et al . is used after the first author’s name. 

For a work that has the same author/editor, and was written in the same year as an earlier citation, you must use a lower case letter after the date to differentiate between the two. 

Citing from books with chapters written by different authors  Some books may contain chapters written by several different authors. In this case the author who wrote the chapter should be cited not the editor of the book.

If you are reading a source by one author, for example, Garvey (2019) and he cites or quotes the work of another author, for example, Taylor (1996) you may cite or quote the original work, Taylor (1996) as a secondary reference. Note: It is always best practice to try and locate the original reference and secondary references should only be used if it is difficult to access the original work

Example In-text citation: Taylor’s observations (1996, cited in Garvey, 2019) are based on a genuine respect for nature.  OR  ‘Every living thing has a good of its own’ (Taylor, 1996, quoted in Garvey, 2019, p. 53).

Reference List: Garvey, J. (2019) The ethics of climate change: right and wrong in a warming world . London: Continuum.

Charts, images, figures etc. should be treated as direct quotations in that the author/editor, year and page number should be acknowledged in-text, and the full reference to the item should be listed in the reference list. 

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Harvard Referencing

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Harvard Referencing: Getting started with Harvard referencing


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In-text reference

All sources of information such as quotes or borrowed ideas must be acknowledged in your work.

In the Harvard  'author/date' style an in-text reference consists of the surname of the author/authors or name of the authoring body and year of publication.  C lick on the 'Sample In-Text References' tab above for examples of how to use in-text citations in your work.

An in-text reference will consist of:

how to harvard reference in a essay

If you quote directly from an author or to cite a specific idea or piece of information from the source, you need to include the page number of the quote in your in-text reference.

how to harvard reference in a essay

Your Reference list should be located on a separate page at the end of your essay and titled: References. It should include the details of all your in-text citations,  arranged alphabetically A-Z by author surname , click on the 'Sample Reference List' tab above for more details. The terms ‘Bibliography’ and ‘References’ are often used interchangeably, however a Reference list only includes items you have referenced in your assignment whereas a Bibliography also includes items used to prepare your assignment. Check with your lecturer or tutor which one they require.

Reference List entry for a book         

how to harvard reference in a essay

Reference list entries contain all the information that someone needs to follow up your source. Reference lists in Harvard are arranged alphabetically by author. If there is no author, use the title of the resource.

How to use quotes in Harvard

Direct quotes under 25 words are included in the body of your essay enclosed in single inverted commas and followed immediately by your in-text citation, e.g.  

in recent years this has become more apparent. As Jennifer Craik notes 'at best, an Australian sense  of style is regarded as anything that is practical, informal and casual' (Craik  2010, p. 158) .

If a direct quote is 25 words or more it is called a block quote. For block quotes, omit the quotation marks, start the quote as a new paragraph on a new line and indent the whole quote 1  cm  from the left-hand margin of the page. Don't indent from the right hand margin. Introduce the quote with a colon. As a rule block quotes should be used sparingly in your essay. As for a short quote your in-text citation is added immediately after the quote, e.g.

The Australian cultural renaissance of the post-war era is well documented but it is debatable whether the  concept of an Australian fashion identity has permeated beyond our shores:   

The idea of "fashion" as being a characteristic of Australian culture is frequently regarded as a  non sequitur.  Fashion is seen as belonging to far-flung cosmopolitan sites elsewhere while Australia is a far-flung site cut off from the trappings of civilization. Equally, Australia has long been regarded as being cut off from the "finer things" of civility, fashion,and good taste. At best, an Australian sense of style is regarded as anything that is practical, informal, and casual—T-shirts, practical footwear, moleskin trousers, and wide-brim hats; as an outfit thrown together without much thought (Craik  2010, p. 158) .

Secondary Sources: or what if I want to reference a quote that someone else has referenced?

If you read an article or book which references a quote that you want to reference, always refer to the source where  you  found the information, not the original source. For example:

Sue reads a book by J Benjamin Hurlbut  in which he cites or refers to statements made by Laura Stark. Sue wants to refer to Stark's statement in her assignment. Sue would acknowledge Stark in her text but  her reference is to the source (book) where she saw the information . Sue might write as her in-text reference: '…new forms of oversight and ethical review were integrated into growing bureaucracies of big bioscience’ (Stark, cited in Hurlbut 2017, p.3) In her Reference List Sue would write a reference for Hurlbut's book because that's where she sourced the information. The entry in her Reference List would be: Hurlbut, JB 2017,  Experiments in democracy: human embryo research and the politics of  bioethics , Columbia University Press, New York. 
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Harvard Referencing Style Guide

Harvard Referencing Style

how to harvard reference in a essay

Did you know that the Harvard Referencing Style was initially inspired by the book? In 1881, a professor named Edward Laurens Mark noticed that his students struggled with proper citation and referencing. Determined to provide them with a solution, Mark turned to a book titled 'The American Diary of a Japanese Girl' by Yei Theodora Ozaki. He used the book as a reference point to create a standardized citation format that would enable scholars to accurately attribute their sources. Little did he know that his innovative approach would evolve into the widely recognized and respected Harvard Referencing Style we know today, guiding generations of students and researchers in their academic endeavors.

Harvard Referencing Style: Short Description

If you came here because you found Harvard referencing confusing, fret no more! In this comprehensive article, we'll walk you through the process of including in-text citations and crafting reference lists correctly. Additionally, the experts at our writing essay services will highlight the distinctions between citing different types of sources, such as books, articles, and online sources, to help you understand the specific formatting rules. To assist you in managing your references more efficiently, the article will also introduce various reference management tools. By the end, you'll have the confidence and know-how to tackle the Harvard referencing format like a pro. Say goodbye to referencing worries and hello to credible and top-notch work.

What is Harvard Citation Style: A Brief Overview 

Accurate citation is crucial in academic writing as it allows readers to locate and verify the sources used in a particular piece of work. Citations also give credit to the original authors and demonstrate the breadth of research conducted to support an argument or idea. One popular and widely-used citation style is the Harvard Referencing Style.

The Harvard citation style, also known as the author-date system, is a citation style widely used in various disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. This style originated at Harvard University and has since become one of the most popular referencing styles globally.

Here are some key characteristics of the Harvard Referencing Style:

  • Author and date : In-text citations include the author's last name and the publication year in parentheses. For example, (Smith, 2021).
  • Reference list : At the end of the document, a reference list is provided, which includes detailed information about each source cited in the text. The Harvard referencing list is organized alphabetically by the author's last name.
  • Variations : Harvard style referencing allows for variations in citation format depending on the type of source being cited. This includes books, journal articles, websites, and more.
  • Direct quotations : When directly quoting a source, the page number should be included in the in-text citation. For example, (Smith, 2021, p. 45).
  • Multiple authors : When a source has multiple authors, all authors' last names are included in the in-text citation for the first instance. Subsequent citations can be shortened to the first author's last name, followed by et al. For example, (Smith et al., 2021).

Elements of Harvard Referencing Style

As previously stated, the Harvard Referencing system is widely employed in the academic community, especially in the fields of social sciences and humanities. Familiarizing yourself with its components is vital for mastering accurate citation techniques. Here are some fundamental elements to take into account:


In-Text Citations

In-text citations are used to acknowledge the source of information within the body of your work. They typically include the author's last name, the publication year, and the page number (if applicable). In Harvard Referencing Style, in-text citations are usually placed in parentheses at the end of a sentence or paragraph.

It is important to note that there are different ways to format Harvard Style in text citation depending on the number of authors, whether the source is a direct quote or paraphrase, and if it includes page numbers. Familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines of Harvard style referencing to ensure accurate and consistent citations.

Reference List Format

The reference list is a comprehensive list of all the sources cited in your work. It is typically placed at the end of your document and arranged alphabetically by the author's last name. Each entry in the reference list should include specific information, such as the author's name, publication year, title of the work, and publication information.

The format of the reference list entry may differ depending on the type of source (e.g., book, journal article, website), so it is important to consult the specific guidelines of Harvard Referencing Style for each source type.

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Citation of Various Sources

Harvard Referencing Style provides guidelines for citing a wide range of sources, including books, journal articles, websites, and more. Each type of source has its own citation format, and it is crucial to follow the correct format to ensure accurate referencing.

When citing books, for example, you would typically include the author's name, publication year, title, publisher, and location. Journal articles, on the other hand, may require additional information like the article title, journal name, volume, and page numbers.

Basic Rules and Guidelines

When it comes to using the Harvard referencing style, there are certain rules and guidelines that you need to follow. These rules ensure that your citations are accurate and consistent throughout your academic work. Here are some of the basic rules and guidelines for the Harvard style citation:

Formatting Requirements 

  • The text should be in Times New Roman or Arial font, with a size of 12 points.
  • The entire document should be double-spaced, including the reference list.
  • Use one-inch margins on all sides of the page.

Use of Punctuation and Italics

  • Use a comma to separate the last name and initials of authors.
  • Use an ampersand (&) instead of 'and' to separate multiple authors in an in-text citation.
  • Italicize the titles of books, journals, and websites.
  • Use quotation marks for the titles of articles, chapters, and other shorter works.

Order and Arrangement of Elements in Citations

The order and arrangement of elements in citations may vary depending on the type of source being cited. However, in general, the basic elements included in a Harvard citation are as follows:

  • Author's Last Name, Author's First Initial. (Year). Title of the work.
  • Title of the container (such as a book, journal, or website).
  • Edition (if applicable).
  • Place of publication: Publisher.
  • Page numbers (for articles or chapters).

It's important to note that different types of sources have specific rules for citing. For example, for a journal article, you would include the volume number, issue number, and page range. Similarly, for a website, you would include the URL and the date of access.

how to harvard reference in a essay

Examples of Harvard Referencing: In-Text Citations

When using the Harvard style citation, it is important to properly cite your sources within the text of your paper. Here are some examples of how to do so:


1. Citing a book : According to Smith (2019), 'Harvard referencing is essential for maintaining academic integrity' (p. 25).

2. Citing a journal article : Recent studies have shown that climate change is a pressing issue (Johnson et al., 2021).

3. Citing a website : The World Health Organization (2020) states that regular exercise is important for overall well-being.

In-text referencing Harvard citations should include the author's last name, the publication year, and the page number (for direct quotes) or paragraph number (for online sources) where the information can be found.

Examples of Reference List Entries

The reference list is an essential part of Harvard citation style and should include detailed information about each source cited in your paper. Here are some examples of how to format reference list entries:

Smith, J. (2019). 'The Importance of Harvard Referencing.' Publishing Company.

2. Journal article :

Johnson, A., Wilson, B., & Thompson, C. (2021). 'The Effects of Climate Change on Biodiversity.' Journal of Environmental Studies, 35(2), 100-115.

3. Website :

World Health Organization. (2020). 'Importance of Exercise for Overall Health.' Retrieved from [insert URL]

In reference list entries for books and articles, include the author's last name followed by their initials, the publication year in parentheses, the title of the source in italics, and the publication information (e.g., publisher of journal name, volume number, page range). For websites, include the organization or website name, the publication year (if available), the title of the specific webpage or article, and the URL.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Accurate citation in the Harvard Referencing Style can sometimes be challenging, especially when faced with certain scenarios. Here are some common challenges that researchers and students encounter when using this citation style and tips on how to overcome them:

Dealing with Multiple Authors

Challenge : When citing a source with multiple authors, it can be difficult to properly format the citation.

Solution : Follow these tips to overcome this challenge:

  • For sources with two authors, include both names in the citation.
  • For sources with three or more authors, include only the first author followed by 'et al.' This signifies that there are additional authors.
  • If citing different sources with the same first author, use a lowercase letter after the publication year to differentiate the sources (e.g., Smith, J. (2019a); Smith, J. (2019b)).

Citing Indirect Sources

Challenge : Sometimes, you may come across a source that cites another source, and you want to cite the original source directly.

Solution : The following tips can help you overcome this challenge:

  • If possible, try to locate and cite the original source directly. This ensures accuracy and allows readers to access the complete information.
  • If the original source is not accessible, you can use the phrase 'as cited in' followed by the author and publication year of the indirect source.

Handling Missing Information

Challenge : It is common to come across sources with missing information, such as missing page numbers or publication dates.

Solution : Here are some strategies to handle this challenge:

  • For missing page numbers, use the abbreviation 'p.' or 'pp.' followed by the nearest known page number(s) or, if applicable, specify the section or chapter.
  • If the publication date is not provided, use 'n.d.' (no date) in its place.
  • If other essential information is missing, such as the author's name or title, it is advisable to search for an alternative source with complete information.

By being aware of these common challenges and knowing how to overcome them, you can ensure accurate and consistent citations in the Harvard Referencing Style throughout your academic or research work. However, if you prefer to bypass the challenges of referencing on your own, you can always explore the option to buy essays online at our cheap paper writing service .

Tools and Resources for Harvard Referencing

When it comes to mastering the Harvard referencing style, having access to the right tools and resources can make the process much easier and more efficient. Here are some valuable resources from our business essay writing services that can assist you in accurate citation techniques:

Online Referencing Generators

Using an online Harvard referencing generator can be a lifesaver when it comes to creating accurate Harvard references. These tools allow you to input the necessary information about your source, such as the author's name, publication date, title, and URL, and automatically generate a properly formatted reference in Harvard style. Some popular online referencing generators include: Cite This For Me; EasyBib; Scribbr APA Citation Generator .

Reference Management Software

Reference management software can greatly simplify the process of managing and organizing your references. These tools allow you to create a library of references, automatically generate citations in various styles, and even insert citations directly into your documents. Some popular reference management software options for Harvard referencing include: Mendeley; Zotero; EndNote .

Style Guides and Handbooks for Further Reference

For those who prefer referencing manually or want to gain a deeper understanding of the Harvard style citation, consulting style guides and handbooks can be highly beneficial. These resources provide detailed instructions, examples, and guidelines for properly citing different types of sources. Some recommended Harvard referencing style guides and handbooks include:

  • Harvard Referencing Guide by Lancaster University Library
  • Harvard Citation Style Guide by University of Pittsburgh
  • Citing Your Sources Harvard Style Guide by Princeton University Library

By making use of these tools and resources, you can guarantee the accuracy, completeness, and correct formatting of your Harvard references. It is crucial to double-check your citations consistently to uphold academic integrity and professionalism in your writing. Alternatively, you have the option to buy term paper online from our experts, who will ensure that your referencing guidelines are met with precision!

Concluding Thoughts

As we reach the end, we have overcome the confusing realm of Harvard referencing. With the insights gained from this detailed guide, you now have the skills to handle in-text citations and reference lists. Embrace your newfound abilities and confidently navigate the world of academic writing. Remember, Harvard referencing is not just about citing sources; it's about showing your credibility as a scholar!

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how to harvard reference in a essay

Example essay extract with citations and references list: Home

Example essay extract with citations and references list.

Below is an example essay, complete with citations and references.

Please remember this is a fictional essay purely designed to demonstrate how and when to reference. 

Embedding experiences and voices in research can “challenge [the] studied ignorance” around race (Arday and Mirza, 2018, p.v) and the academy’s role as gatekeeper of what is considered “relevant knowledge” (Lillis, 2003). Academic conventions around skills such as writing can be excluding, forming “constructions of difference […] that deepen misrecognitions and inequalities” (Burke, 2018, p.366). Lillis (2003) and Arday et al. (2021) both use narrative to listen to the ways in which black students’ experiences are ignored and the marginalising effect of a refusal to validate multiple ways of knowing.


Arday, J., Belluigi, D. Z. and Thomas, D. (2021) Attempting to break the chain: reimaging inclusive pedagogy and decolonising the curriculum within the academy.  Educational Philosophy and Theory .  53 (3), pp.298-313.

Arday, J. and Mirza, H. S. (eds.) (2018) Dismantling race in higher education:  racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy . London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Burke, P. J. (2018) Trans/forming pedagogical spaces: race, belonging and recognition in higher education. In: Arday, J. and Mirza, H. S. (eds.) Dismantling race in higher education: racism, whiteness and decolonising the academy . London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.365-382.

Lillis, T. (2003) Student writing as ‘academic literacies’: drawing on Bakhtin to move from critique to design. Language and Education. 17 (5), pp.192-207.

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A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples

Published on 14 February 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 15 September 2023.

Referencing is an important part of academic writing. It tells your readers what sources you’ve used and how to find them.

Harvard is the most common referencing style used in UK universities. In Harvard style, the author and year are cited in-text, and full details of the source are given in a reference list .

Harvard Reference Generator

Table of contents

Harvard in-text citation, creating a harvard reference list, harvard referencing examples, referencing sources with no author or date, frequently asked questions about harvard referencing.

A Harvard in-text citation appears in brackets beside any quotation or paraphrase of a source. It gives the last name of the author(s) and the year of publication, as well as a page number or range locating the passage referenced, if applicable:

Note that ‘p.’ is used for a single page, ‘pp.’ for multiple pages (e.g. ‘pp. 1–5’).

An in-text citation usually appears immediately after the quotation or paraphrase in question. It may also appear at the end of the relevant sentence, as long as it’s clear what it refers to.

When your sentence already mentions the name of the author, it should not be repeated in the citation:

Sources with multiple authors

When you cite a source with up to three authors, cite all authors’ names. For four or more authors, list only the first name, followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Sources with no page numbers

Some sources, such as websites , often don’t have page numbers. If the source is a short text, you can simply leave out the page number. With longer sources, you can use an alternate locator such as a subheading or paragraph number if you need to specify where to find the quote:

Multiple citations at the same point

When you need multiple citations to appear at the same point in your text – for example, when you refer to several sources with one phrase – you can present them in the same set of brackets, separated by semicolons. List them in order of publication date:

Multiple sources with the same author and date

If you cite multiple sources by the same author which were published in the same year, it’s important to distinguish between them in your citations. To do this, insert an ‘a’ after the year in the first one you reference, a ‘b’ in the second, and so on:

Prevent plagiarism, run a free check.

A bibliography or reference list appears at the end of your text. It lists all your sources in alphabetical order by the author’s last name, giving complete information so that the reader can look them up if necessary.

The reference entry starts with the author’s last name followed by initial(s). Only the first word of the title is capitalised (as well as any proper nouns).

Harvard reference list example

Sources with multiple authors in the reference list

As with in-text citations, up to three authors should be listed; when there are four or more, list only the first author followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Reference list entries vary according to source type, since different information is relevant for different sources. Formats and examples for the most commonly used source types are given below.

  • Entire book
  • Book chapter
  • Translated book
  • Edition of a book

Journal articles

  • Print journal
  • Online-only journal with DOI
  • Online-only journal with no DOI
  • General web page
  • Online article or blog
  • Social media post

Sometimes you won’t have all the information you need for a reference. This section covers what to do when a source lacks a publication date or named author.

No publication date

When a source doesn’t have a clear publication date – for example, a constantly updated reference source like Wikipedia or an obscure historical document which can’t be accurately dated – you can replace it with the words ‘no date’:

Note that when you do this with an online source, you should still include an access date, as in the example.

When a source lacks a clearly identified author, there’s often an appropriate corporate source – the organisation responsible for the source – whom you can credit as author instead, as in the Google and Wikipedia examples above.

When that’s not the case, you can just replace it with the title of the source in both the in-text citation and the reference list:

Harvard referencing uses an author–date system. Sources are cited by the author’s last name and the publication year in brackets. Each Harvard in-text citation corresponds to an entry in the alphabetised reference list at the end of the paper.

Vancouver referencing uses a numerical system. Sources are cited by a number in parentheses or superscript. Each number corresponds to a full reference at the end of the paper.

A Harvard in-text citation should appear in brackets every time you quote, paraphrase, or refer to information from a source.

The citation can appear immediately after the quotation or paraphrase, or at the end of the sentence. If you’re quoting, place the citation outside of the quotation marks but before any other punctuation like a comma or full stop.

In Harvard referencing, up to three author names are included in an in-text citation or reference list entry. When there are four or more authors, include only the first, followed by ‘ et al. ’

Though the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a difference in meaning:

  • A reference list only includes sources cited in the text – every entry corresponds to an in-text citation .
  • A bibliography also includes other sources which were consulted during the research but not cited.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the ‘Cite this Scribbr article’ button to automatically add the citation to our free Reference Generator.

Caulfield, J. (2023, September 15). A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing | Citation Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved 8 December 2023, from

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Other students also liked, harvard in-text citation | a complete guide & examples, harvard style bibliography | format & examples, referencing books in harvard style | templates & examples, scribbr apa citation checker.

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how to harvard reference in a essay


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