A Beginner's Guide To Harvard Referencing

In academic writing, it is important to cite your sources so that the reader knows the context of your written work and can verify it accordingly. There are many different referencing styles present, including Harvard, MLA, APA, etc. The citation style you use depends on factors such as the requirements of your institution and subject.

A Beginner's Guide to Harvard Referencing

In the UK, the most commonly used referencing style is the Harvard referencing style, where you cite the author and the year in-text and provide full details later in the referencing list.

In this comprehensive blog, we have provided a complete Harvard referencing guide that can help beginners master the craft of citations.

What Is Harvard Referencing Style?

Before learning how to cite using the Harvard referencing style, let’s first dive into what Harvard referencing is.

Harvard referencing style is a system for acknowledging the sources of information used in academic writing. It is also known as the author-date referencing style, as it requires the author's name and the publication date to be included in the citation. This referencing style is widely used in academic writing, particularly in social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences.

The Harvard referencing style has a set of guidelines for formatting in-text citations, reference lists, Harvard referencing videos, and bibliographies. The Harvard referencing style aims to provide readers with accurate and complete information about the sources cited in a text, enabling them to locate and verify the information.

Harvard In-Text Citations

The Harvard in-text citations come beside the source, in brackets or parenthesis. It contains the author’s last name, the publication year, and the page number. The standard Harvard in-text citation example is:

(Kelly, 2023, p.4)

When citing a reference from a single page, you use ‘p.’ However, you will use ‘pp.' when the source is from multiple pages.

(Kelly, 2023, pp. 4-7)

Harvard in-text citations usually come right after the phrase or the end of the sentence. A few variations of Harvard in-text citations are discussed below.

Single Author

For a source written by a single author, the in-text citation should include the author's surname and the year of publication, separated by a comma.

For example:

According to (John, 2023), climate change is a major environmental threat.

Two Authors

For a source written by two authors, both surnames should be included in the in-text citation, separated by an ampersand (&).

For example:

Recent studies (John & Terry, 2015) have shown that exercise can improve mental health.

Three or More Authors

For a source written by three or more authors, only the first author's surname should be included in the in-text citation, followed by "et al." (meaning "and others").

For example:

The effects of sleep deprivation on cognitive function have been well documented (Mary et al., 2020).

Multiple Sources

If you cite multiple sources in the same sentence, list them alphabetically by author's surname, separated by semicolons. For example:

For example:

Several studies have suggested that meditation can reduce stress (Kelly, 2023; John & Terry, 2015; Mary et al., 2018).

No Author

If a source has no author, use the work's title in the in-text citation, followed by the year of publication.

For example:

(‘Harvard referencing style,’ 2020)

Electronic Sources

For electronic sources, such as websites or online articles, include the author's surname, the year of publication, and the specific page number or section, if available. Use the paragraph number instead if no page number or section is available.

For example:

According to a recent study (Jenna, 2019, para. 4), social media use can lead to increased feelings of loneliness.

Secondary Sources

If you are citing a source that you found within another source (a secondary source), including the original author's surname and the year of publication, followed by "as cited in" and the surname of the author of the secondary source, and the year of the secondary source.

For example:

According to Kelly (2010, as cited in Jenna, 2015), climate change is a major environmental threat.

Has a difficult essay got you down? No problem!

With EssaysUK you get:

  • Expert UK Writers
  • Plagiarism-free Content
  • Timely Delivery
  • Thorough Research
  • Rigorous Quality Control

Harvard Reference List

The Harvard reference list comes at the end of your text. You have to list your sources in alphabetical order by the last name of the author. In the reference list, you provide detailed information about your source. Let’s look further into our Harvard referencing guide and learn how to make a Harvard referencing list.

Here is a step-by-step guide to creating a Harvard reference list along with the Harvard referencing examples:

Step 1: Start With The Author's Name

Begin with the last name, followed by a comma, and then the first and middle initials (if available). If there are multiple authors, separate their names with commas. If there are more than three authors, list the first three followed by "et al."

Kapur, L. D.

Kapur, L. D., Maria, A. B., & Steven, C.

Step 2: Add The Year Of Publication

Immediately following the author's name(s), include the year of publication in parentheses.

Kapur, L. D. (2018)

Kapur, L. D., Maria, A. B., & Steven, C. (2020)

Step 3: Include The Title Of The Work

Capitalize only the first word of the title, the first word after a colon, and proper nouns. Italicize the title.

Kapur, L. D. (2018). The history of the world.

Kapur, L. D., Maria, A. B., & Steven, C. (2020). The role of technology in politics.

Step 4: Indicate The Type Of Work

After the title, specify the type of work being referenced (e.g., book, journal article, website).

Kapur, L. D. (2018). The history of the world. Book.

Kapur, L. D., Maria, A. B., & Steven, C. (2020). The role of technology in politics. Journal article.

Step 5: Provide Publication Information

For books, include the city of publication and the publisher's name. In the case of journal articles, include the journal name, volume number, and issue number (if applicable), while for websites, include the website name and URL.

Kapur, L. D. (2018). The history of the world. London, UK: Random House.

Kapur, L. D., Maria, A. B., & Steven, C. (2020). The role of technology in politics. Educational Technology Research and Development, 68(4), 1875-1892.

Kapur, L. D. (2018). The history of the world.

Step 6: Follow A Consistent Format

Ensure that each entry in your reference list follows the same format and that the information is presented clearly and consistently.

Step 7: Arrange Alphabetically

List the sources in alphabetical order by the author's last name. If there is no author, use the first word of the title.

John, A. (2020). The science of politics.

Jones, B. (2019). The art of painting.

Kapur, L. D. The history of the world. (2017).

How To Do Harvard Referencing In Word?

It is really easy to do Harvard referencing in Word. Just follow these simple steps to create your Harvard referencing list easily.

  • Open a new Word document and select the "References" tab in the ribbon at the top of the page.
  • In the "Citations & Bibliography" group, select the style "Harvard" from the "Style" dropdown menu.
  • Click the "Manage Sources" button to open the "Source Manager" window.
  • In the "Source Manager" window, click the "New" button to create a new source.
  • Choose the type of source you want to cite from the "Type of Source" dropdown menu. Fill in the required fields such as author, title, year of publication, etc.
  • After adding all the necessary information, click "OK" to save the source.
  • Place your cursor where you want to insert the citation in your document.
  • Select the "Insert Citation" button from the "Citations & Bibliography" group and select the source you just created from the "Add New Source" dropdown menu.
  • Word will insert the citation in the correct Harvard format.
  • When you are finished with your document, you can create a bibliography by selecting the "Bibliography" dropdown menu in the "Citations & Bibliography" group and selecting "Bibliography."
  • Word will generate a bibliography based on the sources you have cited in your document.
  • If you are adding block quotes, follow proper block quote formatting guidelines to ensure authenticity in your work.

Tips For Harvard Referencing

Here are some tips for proper Harvard referencing that you can follow to achieve better results.

  • List the author's last name followed by their initials.
  • If there are multiple authors, use an ampersand (&) before the last author's name.
  • Place the year of publication in parentheses, followed by a period.
  • Italicize the title of the work.
  • If it's a book or journal article, only the first word of the title and any proper nouns should be capitalized.
  • For journal articles, include the title of the journal in italics.
  • Include the volume number in italics, followed by the issue number in parentheses (if applicable).
  • Page numbers should follow the volume and issue numbers.
  • For books, include the title of the book in italics.
  • Include the place of publication and the name of the publisher.
  • If the source is retrieved online, include the URL or DOI at the end.
  • If available, include the date of access to show when you retrieved the information.
  • If you are from Manchester, follow the guidelines for MMU referencing.
  • Include the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses within the text for in-text citations.
  • If directly quoting, include the page number after the year, separated by a colon.
  • If citing multiple works by the same author published in the same year, differentiate them with a, b, c, etc., after the year.
  • If citing a source you have not read directly but that was cited in another work, use "cited in" to acknowledge the source you accessed.
  • If there is no author, use the title of the work in place of the author's name.
  • Use a hanging indent for each reference.
  • Double-space the entire reference list.
  • Be consistent in your formatting throughout the document.
  • Consult the specific style guide or manual for additional requirements and examples.
  • Use Harvard reference generator tools where necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Harvard Referencing is a widely used citation style that provides a standard format for acknowledging sources in academic writing. It helps to credit the original author or researcher, avoids plagiarism and allows readers to locate and verify the sources used in a paper.

  • In-text citation: The author's surname and year of publication are included in parentheses within the text.
  • Reference list: A detailed list of sources is provided at the paper's end, arranged alphabetically by author's surname.

Yes, the reference list in Harvard referencing should be arranged alphabetically by the author's surname. This allows readers to locate and verify the sources used in a paper easily. If there are multiple works by the same author, they should be listed in chronological order, with the earliest publication first.

To Harvard reference an image, you need to include the following information in your citation:

  • Creator's name (if available)
  • Year of creation
  • Title of the image
  • Format and/or medium of the image
  • Source of the image
  • The date you accessed the image (if it is an online source)

To Harvard reference a website with no author, you should start with the webpage's title or article. Then include the date the page was published or last updated, the website's name, and the full URL. If the date is not available, use "n.d." instead. This citation should be listed in the reference list.

  • Click on the "References" tab in the top menu bar.
  • Choose the "Style" option and select "Harvard" from the list.
  • Click on "Insert Citation" and choose the type of source you want to cite.
  • Fill in the relevant details, such as the author's name, publication date, title, and page numbers if necessary.
  • Repeat the above steps for any additional sources you want to cite.
  • When you are ready to create your reference list, click on "Bibliography" and choose either "Works Cited" or "References" from the dropdown menu.
  • The reference list will automatically be created using the information you entered for each citation.

Harvard referencing and APA (American Psychological Association) referencing are similar in many ways, but they have some differences in formatting and style. Both styles use in-text citations and reference lists. However, Harvard referencing style usually includes the author's name and publication year in parentheses, while APA uses the author's name and date within the text.