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Harvard Citation Style

April 23, 2018 Standard Essay Format
Harvard Citation Style

Harvard referencing style uses an author-date approach and does not focus on one specific type of essay. There are some rules related to citations, and they depend on the number of contributors and type of in-text quotation. Harvard style footnotes are cited in short, parenthetical (in brackets) notes within the text.


Table Of Contents

General Reference Guidelines

Harvard writing style has a very distinct set of guidelines that you must follow.

  • Clear font. Recommended: Times New Roman 12pt font
  • Double-spaced
  • Title page
  • Paper’s title in a header
  • Page number
  • Citations page titled “References”
  • 1” margins

Title Page

Harvard formatting requires a specific title page:

  • The title of your essay should be halfway down the page, all letters capitalized;
  • The writer's name should be three lines down (without capital letters);
  • Move four lines down and put the course name;
  • The following line should have the professor's name;
  • Next line is the name of the school, then the city and country/state where it’s located;
  • The date goes at the end.

The header of your essay should contain a short description of the title and a page number. For example, “The Red Scare’s Influence on the Cold War”. A partial title and page number in the Harvard writing style could look like:

Red Scare 1

Note several key components! The header should be:

  • Right justified
  • Express the main idea of the essay in a shortened form
  • Exactly 5 spaces between the header/partial title and the number

In-Text Citation

The Citation “Harvard Style” is another name given to the “Author-Date Style” of referencing and citation.

  • In-text citations in this style usually appear in the following format: (Author’s Last Name Year of publication, Page Number(s))

    • Example: (Gomez 2016, p. 89-91)
  • If you use the author’s name in a sentence, you can omit it from the brackets. The citation should be right next to the name.

    • Example: Gomez (2016, p. 89-91) states that quinoa is a great source of protein (2016, p. 89-91)
  • If you reference an entire work, include the author’s name and the year of publication.

    • Example: Quinoa plantations has brought economic benefits to Bolivia (Gomez 2016).
  • When citing a source that you have not read persoanlly, you should cite the source you read in the reference list and add “as cited by” in your actual essay.

    • Example: Pitt (as cited by Gomez 2016, p. 82) states that “quinoa is the perfect protein meal on a movie set.”
      If a source has two or three authors, all should be listed in brackets.
    • Example: Quinoa is the future of nutrition (Gomez, Summers, and Brinker, 2016)
  • If a source has more than three authors, you need to cite the last name of the first author, followed by an “et al.” as well as the publishing year.

    • Example: A source of protein to replace meat products was a dream for many people for many years, and finally, that dream can be reached (Gomez et al. 2016)
  • In the case there is no author, place the title with the date in parenthesis.

    • Example: Regardless of the environmental damage, people continue to eat meat; up to 50% of the world’s water is consumed by livestock (Quinoa: The Future, 2016).
  • When a date is not included in the source, omit the information when citing it in the essay.

    • Example: 90% of nutritional value that is found in meat is found in quinoa seeds. The remaining 10% can be replaced by eggs: another great source of protein (Gomez).

Outline

An essay outline is a great tool to use if you want to keep track of your sources. You can do so by listing the point and adding information (Author name, Date) in the subheading.
Harvard format template:

  • Your information goes here (Author, Date)

  • While you write an outline in a Harvard citation style, make sure your information has a structure, and your points are of equal importance.

Outline Template

  • Introduction
  • Main point/Thesis
    • Main point of paragraph 1
    • Main point of paragraph 2
    • Main point of paragraph 3
  • Body
  • Main point #1
    • Information (author, date)
    • Information (author, date)
    • Information (author, date)
    • Transition to Main Point #2
  • Main point #2
    • Information (author, date)
    • Information (author, date)
    • Information (author, date)
    • Transition to Main Point #3
  • Main point #3
    • Information (author, date)
    • Information (author, date)
    • Information (author, date)
  • Conclusion
    • Summary of your paper
    • Restate your thesis.
  • Bibliography: Here you can input your bibliographical citations or paste your URLs so you can access pages easier. This is best done in a bullet-point list.

Bibliography

Your reference list appears at the end of your essay (after the conclusion) on a separate page. Harvard style references should be prefaced by “References” on the top and center of the page without quotation marks. While citing, if the name is not available, the title placed in quotation marks would replace it.

Unlike other citation styles, when an author is cited, the 1st initial of the name is listed. The Harvard bibliography style limits the usage to references cited in your work (unlike other citation styles where you cite further reading materials). The sources should be listed in alphabetical order with a hanging indent.

Here are the examples from our professional writer on how to do a Harvard referencing for the most common types of text:

  • Books: Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. (Only include the edition if it is not the first edition) The city published: Publisher, Page(s).

    • Example: Johnson, M. (1839). Birds in Flight. New York: Penguin Publish. 90-104
  • Books with two to three authors: Last name, First initial. and Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. (Only include the edition if it is not the first edition) The city published: Publisher, Page(s).

    • Example: Johnson, M. Peters, K. (1983) Birds in Flight. New York: Penguin Publish. 90-104
  • Book chapters: Last name, First initial. (Year published). Chapter title. In: First initial. Last name, ed., Book Title, 1st ed.* City: Publisher, Page(s).

    • Example: Johnson, M. (1839). Penguins In: Birds in Flight. New York: Penguin Publish. 90-104
  • Journal Articles: Last name, First initial. (Year published). Article title. Journal, Volume (Issue), Page(s).

    • Example: Johnson, M. (1839). A Bird In Flight: Aerodynamics. New York Times, 65(2) 90-104.
  • Newspaper Articles: Last name, First initial. (Year published). Article title. Newspaper, Page(s).

    • Example: Johnson, M. (1839). A Bird In Flight: Aerodynamics. New York Times, 90-104.
  • Websites: Last name, First initial (Year published). Page title. [online] Website name. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].

    • Example: Johnson, M. (1839). A Bird In Flight: Aerodynamics. Birds.org. Available at: birds.org/........ [Accessed 8 Feb. 2017]

Essay Writing Help From Our Writers

When it comes to citing things using Harvard style or author-date style, it is crucial to check the specifics of this style with your instructor. Unfortunately, there is no official way. There are a couple of different schools that cite it such as the University of Western Australia and Cardiff University. In case your instructor is unavailable and can not provide you with the needed information, my advice would be to check out their websites and make sure you’re doing it right. No matter how you decide to do your citations, make sure to stay consistent in your formatting. In the Harvard citation style, you have more freedom to format your work the way you like. Choose the way you want to do it but stick to the point! Make safe choices when it comes to formatting your paper. For example, as the article states, using Times New Roman is recommended, but students can also choose Arial or Calibri. Best of luck with your essay!

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