Harvard Referencing Format

Harvard referencing format is also called an author-date referencing style. The two fundamental aspects of this format are in-text citations and a reference list.

Harvard Essay Format

Citation has been widely used as a means through which a writer has read a certain publication that makes it possible for him/her to put across an idea and it is also a fundamental source of relevant literature. It stamps some level of authority in the use of certain statements in the course of your work.

The Harvard referencing format has not been commonly used by a majority of scholars when compared to other methods of referencing. A different name that is used to refer to the above method of citation is called an author-date referencing style. As an independent method of referencing, Harvard referencing can be distinguished from other methods of citation. The two fundamental aspects that make up the Harvard method of referencing include the in-text citations and a reference list that usually appears at the end of the paper.

In-Text References

The author-date system is adopted to refer to Harvard referencing because of the importance the system places in using the name, year of publication and the author who carried out the publication:

(Bauer and Mulder 2013, p.125).

The Author name can also be included in the sentence where it is omitted from the brackets

i.e. Bauer and Mulder (2013, p.125) agrees that…

The author name and the year of publication are the only items that are included in the publication if the whole piece of information is being referenced. If only part of the work is being referenced, it is important to make use of the page number or their equivalent. There are cases in which a writer needs to reference a source she/he hasn’t read about but that source has been acknowledged by someone different, the method that can be used in such a case is

Hunter (as cited in Gregory 2014, p.78) stated that…

It is important to note that Gregory will be cited in the reference list but not Hunter. Preference of citation, however, needs to be placed on the source used.

The reference list will always appear at the end of your work usually on a different page. The reference list should be inclusive of all the work that has been cited in the process of coming up with your work. The listing of the references needs to be done alphabetically, and there is also need to use hanging indentations. There are minimal changes that usually occur depending on the type of publication, and they include aspects such as the type of publication which include books, journals, government publications, websites, newsletter articles, and newspapers. Changes can also occur basing on the number of authors that have been used in that publication.


In the case where more than 30 words are quoted in your publication, the material need to be quoted from the next line and all lines that have been quoted need to be indented by using five spaces. The specific page number where the quotation has been taken need to be included. The indented quote needs to be single spaced whereas as the text need to be double spaced. It is also important to omit the quotation marks.

Formatting in MLA Style | Formatting in APA Style | Formatting in Chicago Style

The original version of the quote needs to be maintained in the same way it was taken. Where there is the use of more than three authors, the name of the first author is used in in-text citation followed by et.al but all the names are to be included in the reference list.

Newspaper, journals, and newsletter articles

The issue number is included in the case where each issue begins on a new page for the case of a journal. It is important to note that continuous paging is used in the case where multiple authors have been used in a journal and if there is a continuous running of the journal page numbers. The issue number is not supposed to be included in the reference list.

The distinguishing aspects of the Harvard system of referencing are regarding the in-text citation and the nature of the reference list that will be adopted at the end of the publication. It is evident that priority needs to be given to the year when the publication was carried out, the specific page the quote is to be taken and the author of the publication. There is, however, other methods of referencing that can be adopted in academic work that includes Chicago, MLA and APA methods of referencing.

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