Harvard referencing style is one of the formats used in academic writing. It is commonly referred to as an author/date style, which assumes providing bibliographic information about the sources and a reference list as the last page of the essay. If you write a research paper in Harvard style, you basically have to provide headings for each section of the paper (which should not be long, but specific) to clearly show which information will be presented. Below you will find the list of recommendations for those who have to hand in a paper with Harvard style referencing.


Referencing in  Harvard Style

  • If you provide an in-text citation in Harvard style, it should look in the following way: “Stevenson (2013) stated that the use of gadgets negatively influences educational achievements of students.” This is so called author/date referencing. However, if you present a direct quotation, you have to indicate a page number as well. For instance, Stevenson (2013, p. 45) stated that “the use of gadgets negatively influences educational achievements of students.”

  • Reference list should be as detailed as possible. You should present the details about the sources in such sequence: name of the author, year of publication, title of the source (usually italicized), name of the publishing, and place of publication. Such kind of documentation is typical for the printed materials, but not for those that can be found online. However, sometimes you will have to use different approach for listing information about the sources as there may be several editors or authors, books without authors, etc.

  • When you have to provide details about a thesis, you should do it in a similar way: last name and first name of the author, year of submission, thesis title, scientific degree, institutional affiliation, and city.

  • If you have to mention an article in the reference list, the writing format will be the following: name of the author, year of publication, article’s title, periodical, volume, issue number, and pages. Referencing an article will look in such a way: Stevenson, FS (2013) “Gadgets and Students’ Educational Achievements,” Educational Journal, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 24-25.

  • In the body of the paper, references are usually presented at the end of the sentence. For instance, Stevenson believes that students should not use all possible technological advancements for their own benefit (Stevenson, 2013). However, another way of referencing may be “Stevenson (2013) believes that students should not use all possible technological advancements for their own benefit.” It is up to you which way of referencing in-text citations to choose.

  • Students have to be attentive whether they have to present references of bibliographic information. Reference list should include only those sources that are documented in the text, whereas bibliography can provide other sources which writer has read as background information.

  • Reference list or bibliography should present sources arranged alphabetically, starting with the last name of the author. If a publication does not have the author, then the title should go first. If you are not sure how to appropriately indicate a source, consult a sample Harvard paper.

Harvard Style Peculiarities

Harvard writing style is known for its author/date referencing system. It is adapted to meet the needs of various disciplines. However, one may find some changes in the Harvard referencing style, namely in capitalization, abbreviation, and punctuation. However, the most important rule of this style is to present explicit information about the sources.

Presentation in Harvard Style

Usually, instructors ask students to prepare a presentation on the information used in the essay or research paper. Presentation should define the key arguments and ideas that were incorporated in the paper as well as lead to the conclusion. Moreover, it should state the key aim you were supposed to achieve while writing the paper. If you included statistics data, you can provide it in the form of a diagram or a table on the screen.

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