What Is Harvard Referencing Style? Formatting, Tips, and Examples

Matt Ellis

Harvard-style referencing may seem intimidating—after all, Harvard (the university) is not known for being easy. But the truth is, the Harvard citation format is fairly straightforward. Once you get the hang of it, using it will become second nature.

In this article, we teach you the ins and outs of Harvard-style referencing so that you can make it a part of your academic writing . We’ll cover how to make a Harvard reference list and where to use parenthetical citations. We’ll also share other tidbits to help you write perfect citations every time.

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What is Harvard-style referencing?

Harvard-style referencing is a type of international citation format for academic papers, with a focus on parenthetical citations . It is commonly used for educational assignments like research papers, as well as scientific papers.

Don’t let the name fool you though—Harvard-style referencing is not officially associated with Harvard University, although it was first seen in the work of someone affiliated with the school. It was (likely) first used by Edward Laurens Mark, a director of the zoological laboratory at Harvard. More interestingly, Mark’s paper, and Harvard-style referencing in general, is probably the first recorded use of the parenthetical citation as a whole.

Harvard-style referencing vs. MLA, APA, and Chicago

The Harvard citation format is in the same league as the other popular styles for academic writing: APA format , MLA format , and the Chicago Manual of Style format .

Because it uses parenthetical citations with the author’s last name (surname) and the date of publication, the Harvard citation format is considered an author-date format . As such, it’s similar to APA style, although there are some minor differences in the content and punctuation of the full citation.

Harvard citation format: In-text citations

The Harvard citation format uses parenthetical author-date citations embedded within the text. In this style, the citation places the last name of the author and the year of publication within parentheses . Keep in mind, you’ll also need a full citation at the end of the paper in the reference list.

In-text citations come after a sentence, clause, or paragraph using that source’s information. The citation comes at the end of a passage but before punctuation marks like periods or commas.

The Harvard citation format uses the author’s last name and the year of publication. If the page number is relevant, as in citations for a direct quote, you can include it with the abbreviation p. , for one page, or pp. , for a page range.

Humans use one type of thinking for instinctive, emotional decisions, but a different type of thinking for slower, more strategic decisions (Kahneman, 2011).

“The attentive System 2 is who we think we are [ . . . ] but it often endorses or rationalizes ideas and feelings that were generated by System 1” (Kahneman, 2011, p. 406).

Like other styles, the Harvard citation format also allows narrative citations , where the author and/or year is mentioned directly in the text. In this case, repeating that information in the citation is redundant, so it can be omitted. In other words, the parenthetical citation should include only information not mentioned in the text.

As Daniel Kahneman says on page 406, System 2 “often endorses or rationalizes ideas and feelings that were generated by System 1” (2011).

Harvard citation format: Reference list citations

Like most academic writing formats, Harvard-style referencing requires a bibliography at the end of the work that contains full citations for all sources used. This bibliography is known as the reference list, and it’s similar to APA’s reference page and MLA’s works cited page .

Each source entry contains (if applicable):

  • the name of the author, inverted with the last name first and with an initial for the first name
  • the year of publication
  • the full title, including subtitles
  • the edition number
  • the place of publication (usually a city)
  • the name of the publisher
  • the name of the journal, with volume and page numbers
  • the URL and accessed date for online materials

Each piece of information is presented in a specific way, with unique rules for punctuation and capitalization. You can see examples of the Harvard citation format below.

All entries are placed on the reference list page in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. Multiple works from the same author(s) are organized by date. The reference list should be a separate piece of paper and double-spaced, with the title “Reference List” at the top.

Harvard citation format for multiple authors

Most style guides have their own particular rules about citing sources with multiple authors, and Harvard-style referencing is no different. We’ve already explained the guidelines for sources with one author, but here are the rules for two or more authors. If you’re including the page numbers, you can simply add a comma after the year and write it there, inside the parentheses.

Keep in mind that, as with other narrative citations, if you mention all the authors in the text itself, you can omit them from the parenthetical citation.

Harvard referencing: Book

Book citations in the reference list follow a very specific formula. Pay close attention to the punctuation and italics in the following example.

Last name of author, Initial of first name. (Year of publication) Title in sentence case. #th edn. Place of publication: Publisher name.

Here’s a specific example of Harvard referencing for books with the source used above:

Kahneman, D. (2011) Thinking, fast and slow . 2nd edn. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Harvard referencing: Article

For journal articles in Harvard-style referencing, you need to include the same information as with other sources, plus the journal’s name, volume, issue, and page numbers. If you read the article online, you also need the URL or DOI and the date you accessed it, plus the word online written in brackets.

Here’s the formula for citing articles in Harvard style:

Last name, Initial. (Year of publication) ‘Title of article,’ Title of journal, volume #(issue #), #–# [online]. Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: Day Month Year).

Put it all together, and your full citation should look like this:

Lu, T. and Chen, F. (2011) ‘Multiwfn: A multifunctional wavefunction analyzer,’ Journal of Computational Chemistry , 33(5), pp. 580–592 [online]. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jcc.22885 (Accessed: 27 August 2023).

Remember that if you use a print source, you don’t need the “online” tag, URL, or access date.

Lu, T. and Chen, F. (2011) ‘Multiwfn: A multifunctional wavefunction analyzer,’ Journal of  Computational Chemistry , 33(5), pp. 580–592.

Harvard referencing: Website

Websites in Harvard-style referencing are fairly simple, especially compared to other types of sources. For publication information, you need only the name of the web page and the author (or organization that published it). However, you also need to include the URL and the date you accessed it, as well as the word online in brackets.

Plug in your source’s information to this formula to cite websites in Harvard style:

Last name, Initial. / Name of organization. (Year of publication) Title of page/site  [online]. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).

A real-life citation example would look like this:

Grammarly. (2023) A guide to in-text citations: APA, MLA, and Chicago [online]. Available at: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/in-text-citations (Accessed: 2 August 2023).

Harvard-style referencing FAQs

Harvard-style referencing is a type of international citation format for academic papers, with a focus on parenthetical citations. It is commonly used for educational assignments like research papers, as well as scientific papers.

What are the parts of the Harvard citation format?

For in-text citations, Harvard-style referencing follows an author-date format, which uses the author’s last name and the year of publication within parentheses. This parenthetical citation goes at the end of each sentence, clause, or paragraph with the source’s information. At the end of the paper or work, you also need a reference list with a full citation for each source.

How do you write a full citation in Harvard-style referencing?

In the reference list at the end of your paper or work, you need a full citation for each source with the author’s name, year of publication, and title. Depending on the type of source, you may also need the publisher’s name and location, the URL or DOI, and the date you accessed the source for online documents. Journal articles also require the volume, issue, and page numbers.

how to reference harvard style example

Harvard Citation Style: All Examples

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In-text citations

Two or more works cited at one point in the text

If two or more works by different authors or authoring bodies are cited at one point in the text, use a semi-colon to separate them:

(Larsen 2000; Malinowski 1999)

The authors should be listed in alphabetical order.

Two or three authors or authoring bodies

When citing a work by two or three authors or authoring bodies, cite the names in the order in which they appear on the title page:

(Malinowski, Miller & Gupta 1995) 

In-Text & Reference List Examples

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Format Your Paper & Cite Your Sources

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What is Harvard Style?

What you need to know, harvard style tutorial.

  • Other Styles
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Harvard Style

The Harvard referencing system is known as the Author-Date style . It emphasizes the name of the creator of a piece of information and the date of publication, with the list of references in alphabetical order at the end of your paper.

Unlike other citation styles, there is no single, definitive version of Harvard Style. Therefore, you may see a variation in features such as punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and the use of italics. 

Always check with your instructor and follow the rules he or she gives you.

  • Harvard Style Guidelines Your class handout
  • Harvard Referencing Quick Guide From Staffordshire University

Harvard Style will affect your paper in two places:

  • In-text citations in the body of your paper, and
  • The reference list at the end of your paper
  • All in-text citations should be listed in the reference list at the end of your paper.
  • Reference list entries need to contain all the information that someone reading your paper would need in order to find your source.
  • Reference lists in Harvard Style are arranged alphabetically by first author.
  • Begin your Reference list on a new page after your text and number it consecutively.

Sample References List:

Example of Harvard References List

Click on the Links Below to See Additional Examples:

  • Sample Paper Paper provided by Kurt Olson
  • Harvard Citation Examples Document created by The University of Western Australia

Click on the image below to launch this tutorial that was created by the University of Leeds. The section on Citing in Text is especially useful.

how to reference harvard style example

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Quick guide to Harvard referencing (Cite Them Right)

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There are different versions of the Harvard referencing style. This guide is a quick introduction to the commonly-used Cite Them Right version. You will find further guidance available through the OU Library on the Cite Them Right Database .

For help and support with referencing and the full Cite Them Right guide, have a look at the Library’s page on referencing and plagiarism . If you need guidance referencing OU module material you can check out which sections of Cite Them Right are recommended when referencing physical and online module material .

This guide does not apply to OU Law undergraduate students . If you are studying a module beginning with W1xx, W2xx or W3xx, you should refer to the Quick guide to Cite Them Right referencing for Law modules .

Table of contents

In-text citations and full references.

  • Secondary referencing
  • Page numbers
  • Citing multiple sources published in the same year by the same author

Full reference examples

Referencing consists of two elements:

  • in-text citations, which are inserted in the body of your text and are included in the word count. An in-text citation gives the author(s) and publication date of a source you are referring to. If the publication date is not given, the phrase 'no date' is used instead of a date. If using direct quotations or you refer to a specific section in the source you also need the page number/s if available, or paragraph number for web pages.
  • full references, which are given in alphabetical order in reference list at the end of your work and are not included in the word count. Full references give full bibliographical information for all the sources you have referred to in the body of your text.

To see a reference list and intext citations check out this example assignment on Cite Them Right .

Difference between reference list and bibliography

a reference list only includes sources you have referred to in the body of your text

a bibliography includes sources you have referred to in the body of your text AND sources that were part of your background reading that you did not use in your assignment

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Examples of in-text citations

You need to include an in-text citation wherever you quote or paraphrase from a source. An in-text citation consists of the last name of the author(s), the year of publication, and a page number if relevant. There are a number of ways of incorporating in-text citations into your work - some examples are provided below. Alternatively you can see examples of setting out in-text citations in Cite Them Right .

Note: When referencing a chapter of an edited book, your in-text citation should give the author(s) of the chapter.

Online module materials

(Includes written online module activities, audio-visual material such as online tutorials, recordings or videos).

When referencing material from module websites, the date of publication is the year you started studying the module.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication/presentation) 'Title of item'. Module code: Module title . Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

OR, if there is no named author:

The Open University (Year of publication/presentation) 'Title of item'. Module code: Module title . Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

Rietdorf, K. and Bootman, M. (2022) 'Topic 3: Rare diseases'. S290: Investigating human health and disease . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1967195 (Accessed: 24 January 2023).

The Open University (2022) ‘3.1 The purposes of childhood and youth research’. EK313: Issues in research with children and young people . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1949633&section=1.3 (Accessed: 24 January 2023).

You can also use this template to reference videos and audio that are hosted on your module website:

The Open University (2022) ‘Video 2.7 An example of a Frith-Happé animation’. SK298: Brain, mind and mental health . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=2013014&section=4.9.6 (Accessed: 22 November 2022).

The Open University (2022) ‘Audio 2 Interview with Richard Sorabji (Part 2)’. A113: Revolutions . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=1960941&section=5.6 (Accessed: 22 November 2022).

Note: if a complete journal article has been uploaded to a module website, or if you have seen an article referred to on the website and then accessed the original version, reference the original journal article, and do not mention the module materials. If only an extract from an article is included in your module materials that you want to reference, you should use secondary referencing, with the module materials as the 'cited in' source, as described above.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of message', Title of discussion board , in Module code: Module title . Available at: URL of VLE (Accessed: date).

Fitzpatrick, M. (2022) ‘A215 - presentation of TMAs', Tutor group discussion & Workbook activities , in A215: Creative writing . Available at: https://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/forumng/discuss.php?d=4209566 (Accessed: 24 January 2022).

Note: When an ebook looks like a printed book, with publication details and pagination, reference as a printed book.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) Title . Edition if later than first. Place of publication: publisher. Series and volume number if relevant.

For ebooks that do not contain print publication details

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) Title of book . Available at: DOI or URL (Accessed: date).

Example with one author:

Bell, J. (2014) Doing your research project . Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Adams, D. (1979) The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy . Available at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/kindle-ebooks (Accessed: 23 June 2021).

Example with two or three authors:

Goddard, J. and Barrett, S. (2015) The health needs of young people leaving care . Norwich: University of East Anglia, School of Social Work and Psychosocial Studies.

Example with four or more authors:

Young, H.D. et al. (2015) Sears and Zemansky's university physics . San Francisco, CA: Addison-Wesley.

Note: You can choose one or other method to reference four or more authors (unless your School requires you to name all authors in your reference list) and your approach should be consistent.

Note: Books that have an editor, or editors, where each chapter is written by a different author or authors.

Surname of chapter author, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of chapter or section', in Initial. Surname of book editor (ed.) Title of book . Place of publication: publisher, Page reference.

Franklin, A.W. (2012) 'Management of the problem', in S.M. Smith (ed.) The maltreatment of children . Lancaster: MTP, pp. 83–95.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Journal , volume number (issue number), page reference.

If accessed online:

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Journal , volume number (issue number), page reference. Available at: DOI or URL (if required) (Accessed: date).

Shirazi, T. (2010) 'Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks', European Journal of Teacher Education , 33(3), pp. 323–326.

Shirazi, T. (2010) 'Successful teaching placements in secondary schools: achieving QTS practical handbooks', European Journal of Teacher Education , 33(3), pp. 323–326. Available at: https://libezproxy.open.ac.uk/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/log... (Accessed: 27 January 2023).

Barke, M. and Mowl, G. (2016) 'Málaga – a failed resort of the early twentieth century?', Journal of Tourism History , 2(3), pp. 187–212. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/1755182X.2010.523145

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Newspaper , Day and month, Page reference.

Surname, Initial. (Year of publication) 'Title of article', Title of Newspaper , Day and month, Page reference if available. Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Mansell, W. and Bloom, A. (2012) ‘£10,000 carrot to tempt physics experts’, The Guardian , 20 June, p. 5.

Roberts, D. and Ackerman, S. (2013) 'US draft resolution allows Obama 90 days for military action against Syria', The Guardian , 4 September. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/04/syria-strikes-draft-resolut... (Accessed: 9 September 2015).

Surname, Initial. (Year that the site was published/last updated) Title of web page . Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Organisation (Year that the page was last updated) Title of web page . Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Robinson, J. (2007) Social variation across the UK . Available at: https://www.bl.uk/british-accents-and-dialects/articles/social-variation... (Accessed: 21 November 2021).

The British Psychological Society (2018) Code of Ethics and Conduct . Available at: https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/bps-code-ethics-and-conduct (Accessed: 22 March 2019).

Note: Cite Them Right Online offers guidance for referencing webpages that do not include authors' names and dates. However, be extra vigilant about the suitability of such webpages.

Surname, Initial. (Year) Title of photograph . Available at: URL (Accessed: date).

Kitton, J. (2013) Golden sunset . Available at: https://www.jameskittophotography.co.uk/photo_8692150.html (Accessed: 21 November 2021).

stanitsa_dance (2021) Cossack dance ensemble . Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/COI_slphWJ_/ (Accessed: 13 June 2023).

Note: If no title can be found then replace it with a short description.

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Citation Styles Guide | Examples for All Major Styles

Published on June 24, 2022 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on November 7, 2022.

A citation style is a set of guidelines on how to cite sources in your academic writing . You always need a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize a source to avoid plagiarism . How you present these citations depends on the style you follow. Scribbr’s citation generator can help!

Different styles are set by different universities, academic associations, and publishers, often published in an official handbook with in-depth instructions and examples.

There are many different citation styles, but they typically use one of three basic approaches: parenthetical citations , numerical citations, or note citations.

Parenthetical citations

  • Chicago (Turabian) author-date

CSE name-year

Numerical citations

CSE citation-name or citation-sequence

Note citations

  • Chicago (Turabian) notes and bibliography

Table of contents

Types of citation: parenthetical, note, numerical, which citation style should i use, parenthetical citation styles, numerical citation styles, note citation styles, frequently asked questions about citation styles.

The clearest identifying characteristic of any citation style is how the citations in the text are presented. There are three main approaches:

  • Parenthetical citations: You include identifying details of the source in parentheses in the text—usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if relevant ( author-date ). Sometimes the publication date is omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: You include a number in brackets or in superscript, which corresponds to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: You include a full citation in a footnote or endnote, which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

Citation styles also differ in terms of how you format the reference list or bibliography entries themselves (e.g., capitalization, order of information, use of italics). And many style guides also provide guidance on more general issues like text formatting, punctuation, and numbers.

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In most cases, your university, department, or instructor will tell you which citation style you need to follow in your writing. If you’re not sure, it’s best to consult your institution’s guidelines or ask someone. If you’re submitting to a journal, they will usually require a specific style.

Sometimes, the choice of citation style may be left up to you. In those cases, you can base your decision on which citation styles are commonly used in your field. Try reading other articles from your discipline to see how they cite their sources, or consult the table below.

The American Anthropological Association (AAA) recommends citing your sources using Chicago author-date style . AAA style doesn’t have its own separate rules. This style is used in the field of anthropology.

APA Style is defined by the 7th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association . It was designed for use in psychology, but today it’s widely used across various disciplines, especially in the social sciences.

Generate accurate APA citations with Scribbr

The citation style of the American Political Science Association (APSA) is used mainly in the field of political science.

The citation style of the American Sociological Association (ASA) is used primarily in the discipline of sociology.

Chicago author-date

Chicago author-date style is one of the two citation styles presented in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). It’s used mainly in the sciences and social sciences.

The citation style of the Council of Science Editors (CSE) is used in various scientific disciplines. It includes multiple options for citing your sources, including the name-year system.

Harvard style is often used in the field of economics. It is also very widely used across disciplines in UK universities. There are various versions of Harvard style defined by different universities—it’s not a style with one definitive style guide.

Check out Scribbr’s Harvard Reference Generator

MLA style is the official style of the Modern Language Association, defined in the MLA Handbook (9th edition). It’s widely used across various humanities disciplines. Unlike most parenthetical citation styles, it’s author-page rather than author-date.

Generate accurate MLA citations with Scribbr

The American Chemical Society (ACS) provides guidelines for a citation style using numbers in superscript or italics in the text, corresponding to entries in a numbered reference list at the end. It is used in chemistry.

The American Medical Association ( AMA ) provides guidelines for a numerical citation style using superscript numbers in the text, which correspond to entries in a numbered reference list. It is used in the field of medicine.

CSE style includes multiple options for citing your sources, including the citation-name and citation-sequence systems. Your references are listed alphabetically in the citation-name system; in the citation-sequence system, they appear in the order in which you cited them.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ) provides guidelines for citing your sources with IEEE in-text citations that consist of numbers enclosed in brackets, corresponding to entries in a numbered reference list. This style is used in various engineering and IT disciplines.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) citation style is defined in Citing Medicine: The NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers (2nd edition).

Vancouver style is also used in various medical disciplines. As with Harvard style, a lot of institutions and publications have their own versions of Vancouver—it doesn’t have one fixed style guide.

The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation is the main style guide for legal citations in the US. It’s widely used in law, and also when legal materials need to be cited in other disciplines.

Chicago notes and bibliography

Chicago notes and bibliography is one of the two citation styles presented in the Chicago Manual of Style (17th edition). It’s used mainly in the humanities.

The Oxford University Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities ( OSCOLA ) is the main legal citation style in the UK (similar to Bluebook for the US).

There are many different citation styles used across different academic disciplines, but they fall into three basic approaches to citation:

  • Parenthetical citations : Including identifying details of the source in parentheses —usually the author’s last name and the publication date, plus a page number if available ( author-date ). The publication date is occasionally omitted ( author-page ).
  • Numerical citations: Including a number in brackets or superscript, corresponding to an entry in your numbered reference list.
  • Note citations: Including a full citation in a footnote or endnote , which is indicated in the text with a superscript number or symbol.

Check if your university or course guidelines specify which citation style to use. If the choice is left up to you, consider which style is most commonly used in your field.

  • APA Style is the most popular citation style, widely used in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • MLA style is the second most popular, used mainly in the humanities.
  • Chicago notes and bibliography style is also popular in the humanities, especially history.
  • Chicago author-date style tends to be used in the sciences.

Other more specialized styles exist for certain fields, such as Bluebook and OSCOLA for law.

The most important thing is to choose one style and use it consistently throughout your text.

A scientific citation style is a system of source citation that is used in scientific disciplines. Some commonly used scientific citation styles are:

  • Chicago author-date , CSE , and Harvard , used across various sciences
  • ACS , used in chemistry
  • AMA , NLM , and Vancouver , used in medicine and related disciplines
  • AAA , APA , and ASA , commonly used in the social sciences

APA format is widely used by professionals, researchers, and students in the social and behavioral sciences, including fields like education, psychology, and business.

Be sure to check the guidelines of your university or the journal you want to be published in to double-check which style you should be using.

MLA Style  is the second most used citation style (after APA ). It is mainly used by students and researchers in humanities fields such as literature, languages, and philosophy.

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  • Harvard Style Bibliography | Format & Examples

Harvard Style Bibliography | Format & Examples

Published on 1 May 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on 7 November 2022.

In Harvard style , the bibliography or reference list provides full references for the sources you used in your writing.

  • A reference list consists of entries corresponding to your in-text citations .
  • A bibliography sometimes also lists sources that you consulted for background research, but did not cite in your text.

The two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. If in doubt about which to include, check with your instructor or department.

The information you include in a reference varies depending on the type of source, but it usually includes the author, date, and title of the work, followed by details of where it was published. You can automatically generate accurate references using our free reference generator:

Harvard Reference Generator

Table of contents

Formatting a harvard style bibliography, harvard reference examples, referencing sources with multiple authors, referencing sources with missing information, frequently asked questions about harvard bibliographies.

Sources are alphabetised by author last name. The heading ‘Reference list’ or ‘Bibliography’ appears at the top.

Each new source appears on a new line, and when an entry for a single source extends onto a second line, a hanging indent is used:

Harvard bibliography

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Reference list or bibliography entries always start with the author’s last name and initial, the publication date and the title of the source. The other information required varies depending on the source type. Formats and examples for the most common 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 without DOI
  • General web page
  • Online article or blog
  • Social media post

Newspapers and magazines

  • Newspaper article
  • Magazine article

When a source has up to three authors, list all of them in the order their names appear on the source. If there are four or more, give only the first name followed by ‘ et al. ’:

Sometimes a source won’t list all the information you need for your reference. Here’s what to do when you don’t know the publication date or author of a source.

Some online sources, as well as historical documents, may lack a clear publication date. In these cases, you can replace the date in the reference list entry with the words ‘no date’. With online sources, you still include an access date at the end:

When a source doesn’t list an author, you can often list a corporate source as an author instead, as with ‘Scribbr’ in the above example. When that’s not possible, begin the entry with the title instead of the author:

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.

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. ’

In Harvard style referencing , to distinguish between two sources by the same author that were published in the same year, you add a different letter after the year for each source:

  • (Smith, 2019a)
  • (Smith, 2019b)

Add ‘a’ to the first one you cite, ‘b’ to the second, and so on. Do the same in your bibliography or reference list .

To create a hanging indent for your bibliography or reference list :

  • Highlight all the entries
  • Click on the arrow in the bottom-right corner of the ‘Paragraph’ tab in the top menu.
  • In the pop-up window, under ‘Special’ in the ‘Indentation’ section, use the drop-down menu to select ‘Hanging’.
  • Then close the window with ‘OK’.

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Harvard Style & Format: A 5-Minute Guide + Samples

Harvard referencing style

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The Harvard referencing style is a widely used system for citing and referencing sources in academic writing. It provides a consistent and standardized format for acknowledging the works of others that you have used in your research.

Struggling to remember tricky peculiarities of Harvard style referencing and formatting? Don’t worry, you have come across a helpful material. In this article, you will find the basics of Harvard style formatting which would be useful for your academic progress. This easy but detailed Harvard style guide contains all format requirements for a paper and some structural tips. Besides, it covers general rules on how to cite your sources properly in your text. Feel free to use these guidelines for your academic endeavors. Let us go through details of Harvard style referencing and formatting together!  

Reference Harvard Style: Basics

Harvard style is an author-date system of referencing. It’s similar to an  APA paper format  in terms of general formatting of pages and text. But this style follows its own rules for bibliography and in-text citations formatting. Harvard style is typically used for essays in such academic disciplines:  

  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Philosophy.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t use this paper format in other areas of study. The general rule is to put references to your sources in round brackets. Specify author’s name and publication year. These references should come after your quotes (direct or indirect) in the end of a respective sentence or paragraph. Full details about all sources you have used should be provided at the end of your work. This section should be named ‘Reference List’. Buy coursework or any other type of research paper that will be referenced for you by our experts. 

Harvard Format: General Requirements

Let us explore some general rules for Harvard formatting:

  • Font: Times New Roman or Arial
  • Size: 12 pt
  • Text: double-spaced and left-aligned
  • Indent: first line of a paragraph has indent of 0.5 inch
  • Margins: 1 inch from each side

A Harvard style citation  must have a Title page, header (or running head), headings and Reference list. We will take a closer look at formatting each section down below.  

Harvard Style Title Page

What are the requirements for a Harvard style cover page? Title page is otherwise known as front page. This is the first page of your paper to be observed by your reader, i.e. your teacher first of all. Therefore, it is highly important to format it properly. Formatting rules for Harvard Title page:  

  • Paper title is fully capitalised and centered. Should be placed at approximately 33% of your page counting from its top.
  • Your name as an author, centered and placed at the middle of your page.
  • Course name at approximately 66% of the page.
  • Instructor’s name on a new line.
  • University’s name.
  • Submission date.

See the sample of a Harvard title page down below.

Example of Harvard  title page

Formatting a Header in Harvard

An important detail: you are required to use a header in  Harvard referencing  format. This section is repeatedly shown on all pages of your paper except the title page. You have to configure it once. Then, headers will get automatically added on each new page. Headers in Harvard referencing format contains such information:  

  • Page number, right aligned
  • Shortened title of your paper, not capitalized, right-aligned, to the left of page number.

It is important to use shortened title because there is not too much space in any header. Also, another requirement is putting exactly 5 spaces between your title and a page number in headers.

Harvard Style Heading

Now let us explore some rules of using subheadings in Harvard style, in detail. Typically there are 2 levels of section headings recommended for use in such papers. They have different formatting. This helps to tell one from another, without using different font sizes for them.

  • Level-1 subheadings for a bigger section. They must be centered, capitalized, but at the same time not indented, not bold, not underscored, not italicized.
  • Level-2 subheading for any subsection, typically 1-2 paragraphs. They must be capitalized, left-aligned, not indented. Besides, they should be italicized.

The plain text of any paragraph should go on a new line after subheadings in Harvard style, be it Level-1 or Level-2 subheading.

Harvard Reference List

Listing all sources you have used for your research in a proper order is a core element of Harvard style. Reference list should be the last part of your paper but absolutely not the least. Now let us explore some critical rules for a reference list formatting. The Harvard-style reference list section has its own subtitle, namely ‘Reference List’. Similarly to a Level-1 subheading, it should be capitalized and centered. The rest of your content in this section goes from a new line after your title. No extra empty lines are to be added. Your references in this list are numbered and sorted alphabetically. No lines are indented. Each item in this list starts from a new line. Below we will describe a format for referencing in detail.  

Harvard Style Bibliography

Sometimes your professor or instructor might ask you to create a Bibliography section instead of a common Reference list. So what is the Harvard Bibliography format? Harvard style bibliography includes not only those sources you have cited in your text but also. It also includes materials which you have read to get ideas for your research and to better understand the context of a selected problem. So, such section would contain more items than a Reference list. Apart of that, the general Harvard Bibliography format is the same:  

  • Heading, ‘Bibliography’ is formatted the same way as a Level-1 subheading
  • Sources are put into alphabetical order
  • List is double-spaced
  • Lines do not have any indent
  • Each item of this list starts from a new line.

Harvard Style Citations: General Rules

Another crucial element of Harvard style is referring to your sources inside your essay. That’s why you should know how to cite in Harvard style. Keep in mind that the main purpose of a proper format is to ensure your paper is plagiarizm-free. Sometimes, you should cite ideas from books, magazines or newspapers. But you can only refer to such ideas, otherwise it will be considered a form of plagiarism. Below we will show you how to cite in Harvard style, providing general information about published sources. So let us proceed and learn more about shortened quotes and full references.  

How to Quote in Harvard Style

Here are the rules of Harvard format in-text citation:

  • Add them in parentheses, usually at the end of quotes.
  • Put an author’s last name and a publication year into round brackets, add page number if needed.

Example of in-text citation a quote in Harvard style

  • When quoting a web page, give a paragraph number instead of a page since many websites don’t divide text into pages.
  • Direct citation requires quotation marks and a page number is mandatory in parenthesis
  • If you have mentioned an author’s name in your quote, do not include it into brackets, just leave a year and a page numbers there.

Example of Harvard style citation a quote with author’s name

  • Sometimes you might need to quote two different sources at once. In such case include both into the same parenthesis and divide them by a semicolon.

Example of Harvard style citation a quote from two different sources

Creating References in Harvard Style

And this is how you should be referencing in Harvard style, providing full descriptions of the sources you have used. Let us start with the general book format:

  • Last name of the author followed by comma and initials
  • If there are multiple authors, their names are separated with comma, except the last one which must be separated by ‘&’
  • Year of publication follows, without a comma
  • A full title of the book is given, italicized
  • Publisher name
  • City and country where this book was published are the last to be provided.

Example of Harvard style citing  references

Here are several Harvarvard referencing rules for other source types:

  • Refer to an edited book by putting ‘(ed.)’ or ‘(eds)’ after the editor name(s)
  • If a book was translated, add ‘trans. I Lastname’
  • Refer to an article in any book or journal by adding an article name in quotation marks but not italicized
  • Refer to a website by adding ‘viewed’ and the date when you’ve opened it, followed by the URL in angle brackets.

Bottom Line

In this article we have explored the Harvard referencing guide, one of the most popular ones for students in the UK. Feel free to use these tips and proceed to writing a winning essay with flawless formatting! Just keep in mind the following key concepts of the Harvard style:

  • Title or cover page
  • Headers and their contents
  • Subheadings of two levels with different formatting
  • Reference list with full-detailed description of sources
  • In-text citations with lots of different forms for various quote types.

In conclusion, consider our  custom term paper writing solution if you lack the time or got into writer's block.

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FAQ About Harvard Format

1. is harvard reference style used in colleges.

The Harvard style can be used in colleges as well as in other educational institutions and even by professional researchers. While it is relatively popular in many countries for research paper referencing, Harvard style is most widespread in universities of the UK nowadays. Other styles (APA, MLA and Chicago) dominate the US educational institutions.

2. What is the difference between Harvard and Oxford referencing styles?

The Harvard style format is a typical example of an author-date system as it requires using author’s names and publication dates for in-text referencing. You should create a complete reference list as a separate section in the end of your research paper. The Oxford style on the contrary uses numbered footnotes for citing sources used on your page. In-text citations on this page consist just from numbers of respective notes.  

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Harvard Referencing Style Guide: All examples

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  • Journal articles
  • Lecture notes
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  • All examples

In-text citations

Two or more works cited at one point in the text

If two or more works by different authors or authoring bodies are cited at one point in the text, use a semi-colon to separate them:

(Larsen 2000; Malinowski 1999)

The authors should be listed in alphabetical order.

Two or three authors or authoring bodies

When citing a work by two or three authors or authoring bodies, cite the names in the order in which they appear on the title page:

(Malinowski, Miller & Gupta 1995) 

Block quotations

A block quote is a longer quote. It consists of more than about 30 words when using the author-date (Harvard) system:

It was stated that:        If any similiar qualitative research is to be undertaken in the future, then stringent controls should be put in place to ensure such statistical anomalies do not occur through lack        of methodological rigor, particularly through corruption of data inadequately stored and processes (Mullane 2006, p.66).

The actual quote is in slightly smaller font and idented from the left hand margin to distinguish it from the surrounding text. 

In-text and reference list examples

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Home / Guides / Citation Guides / Harvard Referencing / How to reference a website using the Harvard referencing style

How to reference a website using the Harvard referencing style

This guide covers how to reference a website in Harvard style. When citing information sourced from the web, it is of paramount importance that you make very clear what it is you are referencing. As sources on the internet can vary widely, your reference should aim to provide a trail that can lead the reader directly to the source. An internet source could be almost anything, including but not limited to scholarly journal articles, newspaper articles, blog posts, and personal web pages. Your reference format for internet sources will vary based on the type of source.

Since most websites are updated from time to time, it is possible that anything you quote may be changed or removed. This means that it is important to record within your citation the date that you last accessed the site.  

Another important fact to be mindful of is that most websites do not have page numbers. If you need to reference a specific location on a website, you can use paragraph numbers in place of page numbers (abbreviated ‘para.’ in your in-text citation).  

Citation styles for different online sources

This section will elaborate on the citation style to be utilized for the following sources, along with examples for each source type.  

Web pages authored by an individual/individuals

Your references for this type of web page will include the following information:  

  • Author’s/Authors’ names
  • The year the site was published or last updated (in round brackets)
  • Title of the web page (in italics)
  • Available at: URL (Accessed: date)  

In-text citation

B. Johnson (2016) made his argument quite clear stating…

Reference list

Johnson, B. (2016) The rise of the Ubermensch. Available at: http://www.bjohnsonsworld.co.uk/theriseoftheubermensch (Accessed: 23 October 2017).

In-text citation (two authors)

After years of research, Russell and Verstappen (2013) found that…

Russell, J. and Verstappen, M. (2013) Rubber compounds and their rate of wear . Available at: http://www.dailysciencefixforyou.com/rubbercompounds (Accessed: 24 November 2019).

Web pages authored by a company or organization

Here’s the information you will need to include for this type of reference:

  • Name of the company/organization
  • Year the site was published or last updated (in round brackets)            
  • Title of the web page (in italics)      
  • Available at: URL (Accessed: date)                          

A patient may suffer mild psychosis (Rural Health Institute, 2018) as a result of…

Rural Health Institute (2018) The effects of shock therapy. Available at: http://www.rhi.co.uk/shocktherapy (Accessed: 31 October 2019).

Web pages with no author  

Citation structure :

  • Title of the webpage (in italics)
  • The year the site was published/last updated (in round brackets)
  • Available at: URL (Accessed: date)          

Renderings of the architect’s master plan can be found online ( Gumpert’s Modernism, 2013) …

Reference List

Gumpert’s Modernism (2013) Available at: https://www.stellararchitecture.com/modernism/ (Accessed: 24 July 2020)

Web pages with no author or title

Citation structure:

  • URL of the page
  • (Accessed: date)        

In-text citation    

Salt dough cookies (http://www.wholesomerecipes.com/saltdough.html, 2018) are a wonderful way to….

http://www.wholesomerecipes.com/saltdough.html (2018) (Accessed: 12 September 2020).

Web pages without a date

Citation information:  

  • Author’s name
  • Mention that no dates were available (use ‘no date’ in round brackets)
  • Title of the web page, if available (in italics)

Cuba struggled through the decade (Banana Republic News, no date) facing a constant onslaught of….

Banana Republic News (no date) The trials and tribulations of Cuba. Available at: https://www.bananafyinews.com/cuba.html (Accessed: 15 July 2019).

Multiple pages from the same website

If you need to cite multiple pages from the same website, and the pages have different authors and/or publication dates associated with them, then you can simply use corresponding individual in-text citations and reference list entries for each page that you cite. In this case, you would also include the unique URL for each page in its corresponding reference list entry. However, if the pages you are citing all have the same author and publication date, you can differentiate between them in both your reference list entries and in-text citations by adding a lowercase letter after the date.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022a)

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022b)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022a)  International travel . Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html (Accessed: 18 July 2022).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022b) Cruise ship travel during COVID-19 . Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/cruise-travel-during-covid19.html (Accessed: 18 July 2022).

Note that if the web page has no date, insert a hyphen between the words ‘no date’ and the lowercase letter to improve readability, for example: (no date-a) or (no date-b).

Web blogs or video blogs

When citing any information from blogs or vlogs, you need to keep in mind that you are treading a very thin line between objectivity and subjectivity. Blogs or vlogs are meant to be informal as most people use them to express their perspectives on issues or topics that are close to their heart, or to comment on issues from the public domain. So, be incredibly careful as most blogs are not very well reasoned or objective in their stance.

  • The year that the blog/vlog was published or last updated (in round brackets)
  • Title of the blog/vlog (in single quotation marks)
  • Title of the site that hosts the blog/vlog (in italics)
  • The day or month the blog/vlog was posted

Note that if you’re trying to cite a vlog that was posted on YouTube, you’ll need to know how to cite a YouTube video in Harvard style .

Engelbert D’Souza (2015) has expounded on the “Mandela Effect” at great length….

D’Souza, E. (2015) ‘The Mandela Effect’, Engelbert’s monthly blog , 6 November. Available at: https://www.engelbertsmonthlyblog/november/mandelaeffect/ (Accessed: 11 September 2016).

Social networking sites  

Citation information:

  • Year (in round brackets)
  • Title of the post (in single quotation marks)
  • [Instagram]
  • Day/month of the post
  • Available at: URL (Accessed: date)    

In-text citation  

Hendrix was a master of distortion and feedback (Casanova, 2018) …

Casanova, G. (2018) ‘Jimi Hendrix: wild blue angel’ [Instagram]. 18 September. Available at: https://www.instagram.com (Accessed: 7 October 2019)

  • Author (if available, otherwise use the title)
  • The year the article was published or last updated (in round brackets)
  • Title of the post (in italics)
  • Day/month the post was uploaded

The Trump rally drew large crowds in South Carolina ( Trump campaign , 2016).

Trump campaign (2016) [Facebook] 24 October. Available at: https://www.facebook.com (Accessed: 28 February 2019).

  • Author of the tweet
  • Twitter handle (in square brackets)
  • The year the tweet was posted (in round brackets)
  • The full body of the tweet (if it is too long, use an ellipsis to shorten it)
  • The day/month the tweet was posted

Jasper Kuhn (2018) was quite critical about the proceedings…

Kuhn, J. [@kuhnper] (2018) It was appalling to see the leaders of the state bicker like rabid dogs in the assembly [Twitter] 31 January. Available at: https://twitter.com/kuhnper/status/161664645.654654.655 (Accessed: 17 July 2018).

Key takeaways

  • While referencing anything from a website, the main aim is to provide a trail that can lead the reader directly to the source.  
  • An important point to keep in mind is that you will need to cite the date you last accessed the site.  
  • Since most websites do not have page numbers, use paragraph numbers to show where you found the information you used.  

Published October 29, 2020.

Harvard Formatting Guide

Harvard Formatting

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  • Direct Quotes
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  • Multiple Authors
  • Page Numbers
  • Writing an Outline
  • View Harvard Guide

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What is the Harvard Referencing System?

The Harvard citation style is a system that students, writers and researchers can use to incorporate other people’s quotes, findings and ideas into their work in order to support and validate their conclusions without breaching any intellectual property laws. The popular format is typically used in assignments and publications for humanities as well as natural, social and behavioural sciences.

It is a parenthetical referencing system that is made up of two main components:

  • In-text citations including the author’s surname and the year of publication should be shown in brackets wherever another source has contributed to your work
  • A reference list outlining all of the sources directly cited in your work

While in-text citations are used to briefly indicate where you have directly quoted or paraphrased a source, your reference list is an alphabetized list of complete Harvard citations that enables your reader to locate each source with ease. Each entry should be keyed to a corresponding parenthetical citation in the main body of your work, so that a reader can take an in-text citation and quickly retrieve the source from your reference list.

Note that some universities, and certain disciplines, may also require you to provide a bibliography. This is a detailed list of all of the material you have consulted throughout your research and preparation, and it will demonstrate the lengths you have gone to in researching your chosen topic.

‘Harvard referencing’ is an umbrella term for any referencing style that uses the author name and year of publication within the text to indicate where you have inserted a source. This author-date system appeals to both authors and readers of academic work. Scholars find the format an economical way of writing, and it is generally more accessible to the reader as there are no footnotes crowding the page. Only the name of the author, the publication date of the source and, if necessary, the page numbers are included in the parenthetical citations, for example: (Joyce, 2008).

Use the Cite This For Me Harvard style referencing generator to create your fully-formatted in-text references and reference list in the blink of an eye. Stop giving yourself extra pain and work for no reason and sign up to Cite This For Me today – your only regret will be that you didn’t use our citation generator sooner!

Popular Harvard Referencing Examples

  • Chapter of a book
  • Conference proceedings 
  • Court case 
  • Dissertation 
  • Encyclopedia article 
  • Image online or video
  • Presentation or lecture
  • Video, film, or DVD

Cite This For Me Harvard Referencing Guide

The following guide provides you with everything you need to know to do justice to all your hard work and get a mark that reflects those sleepless nights. If you’re not sure how to format your Harvard style citations, what citations are, or are simply curious about the Cite This For Me citation generator, our guide will answer all of your questions while offering you a comprehensive introduction to the style. Keep reading to find out why you need to use a referencing system, how to add citations in the body of your assignment, and how to compile a reference list.

Sometimes, students do not encounter citing until they embark on to degree-level studies, yet it is a crucial academic skill that will propel you towards establishing yourself in the academic community. It’s a common mistake to leave citing and creating a complete and accurate bibliography until the very last minute, but with the Cite This For Me Harvard referencing generator you can cite-as-you-go.

So, if you need a helping hand with your referencing then why not try Cite This For Me’s automated citation generator ? The generator accesses knowledge from across the web, assembling all of the relevant information into a fully-formatted reference list that clearly presents all of the sources that have contributed to your work. Using this Harvard reference generator to cite your sources enables you to cross the finishing line in style.

It is important to bear in mind that there is a plethora of different citation styles out there – the use of any particular one depends on the preference of your college, subject, professor or the publication you are submitting the work to. If you’re unsure which style you should be using, consult your tutor and follow their guidelines. If your lecturer or department does not ask you to use a particular style, we recommend using the Harvard referencing system because it is simple to use and easy to learn.

The powerful citation generator above can auto-generate citations in 7,000+ styles. So, whether your professor prefers that you use the MLA format , or your discipline requires you to adopt the APA citation or Chicago citation style , we have the style you need. Cite This For Me also provides citation generators and handy style guides for styles such as ASA , AMA or IEEE . To accurately create citations in a specific format, simply sign up to Cite This For Me for free and select your chosen style.

Are you struggling with citing an unfamiliar source type? Or feeling confused about whether to cite a piece of common knowledge? This guide will tell you everything you need to know to get both your parenthetical Harvard citations and reference list completed quickly and accurately.

Why Do I Need to Cite?

Harvard referencing can be a confusing task, especially if you are new to the concept, but it’s absolutely essential. In fact, accurate and complete referencing can mean the difference between reaching your academic goals and damaging your reputation amongst scholars. Simply put – referencing is the citing of sources you have utilised to support your essay, research, conference or article, etc.

Even if you are using our Harvard style citation generator, understanding why you need to cite will go a long way in helping you to naturally integrate the process into your research and writing routine.

Firstly, whenever another source contributes to your work you must give the original author the appropriate credit in order to avoid plagiarism, even when you have completely reworded the information. The only exception to this rule is common knowledge – e.g., Brazil is a country in South America. While plagiarism is not always intentional, it is easy to accidentally plagiarize your work when you are under pressure from imminent deadlines, you have managed your time ineffectively, or if you lack confidence when putting ideas into your own words. The consequences can be severe; deduction of marks at best, expulsion from college or legal action from the original author at worst. Find out more here.

This may sound overwhelming, but using our Harvard citation generator can help you avoid plagiarism and carry out your research and written work thoughtfully and responsibly. We have compiled a handy checklist to follow while you are working on an assignment.

How to avoid plagiarism:

  • Formulate a detailed plan – carefully outline both the relevant content you need to include, as well as how you plan on structuring your work
  • Keep track of your sources – record all of the relevant publication information as you go (e.g., If you are citing a book you should note the author or editor’s name(s), year of publication, title, edition number, city of publication and name of publisher). Carefully save each quote, word-for-word, and place it in inverted commas to differentiate it from your own words. Tired of interrupting your workflow to cite? Use our Harvard referencing generator to automate the process.
  • Manage your time effectively – make use of time plans and targets, and give yourself enough time to read, write and proofread
  • When you are paraphrasing information, make sure that you use only your own words and a sentence structure that differs from the original text
  • Every quote or paraphrase should have a corresponding reference in the text. In addition, a full reference is needed on the final page of the project.
  • Save all of your research and citations in a safe place – organise and manage your Harvard style citations

If you carefully check your college or publisher’s advice and guidelines on citing and stick to this checklist, you should be confident that you will not be accused of plagiarism.

Secondly, proving that your writing is informed by appropriate academic reading will enhance your work’s authenticity. Academic writing values original thought that analyzes and builds upon the ideas of other scholars. It is therefore important to use Harvard style referencing to accurately signpost where you have used someone else’s ideas in order to show that your writing is based on knowledge and informed by appropriate academic reading. Citing your sources will demonstrate to your reader that you have delved deeply into your chosen topic and supported your thesis with expert opinions.

Here at Cite This For Me we understand how precious your time is, which is why we created our Harvard citation generator and guide to help relieve the unnecessary stress of citing. Escape assignment-hell and give yourself more time to focus on the content of your work by using the Cite This For Me citation management tool.

Harvard Referencing Guidelines by School

  • Anglia University Harvard Referencing
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Bath University
  • Bournemouth University Harvard Referencing
  • Cape Peninsula University of Technology
  • Cardiff University Harvard Referencing
  • City University London
  • Coventry University Harvard Referencing
  • Cranfield Harvard
  • DMU Harvard Referencing
  • Durham University Business School
  • Edge Hill University Harvard Referencing
  • European Archaeology
  • Imperial College University Harvard Referencing
  • Institute of Physics
  • Leeds University Harvard Referencing
  • King’s College London
  • LSBU Harvard Referencing
  • Manchester Business School
  • MMU Harvard Referencing
  • Newcastle University
  • Northwest University
  • Oxford Brookes University
  • Oxford Centre for Mission Studies
  • SHU Harvard Referencing
  • Staffordshire University Harvard Referencing
  • Swinburne University of Technology
  • The Open University
  • UCA Harvard Referencing
  • University of Abertay Dundee
  • University of Birmingham
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Greenwich Harvard
  • University of Hull
  • University of Kent – Harvard
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Sunderland
  • University of Technology, Sydney
  • University of West London
  • UWE Harvard Referencing
  • UWS Harvard Referencing
  • Wolverhampton University Harvard Referencing
  • York University

How Do I Create and Format In-text Harvard Style Citations?

In-text citations are the perfect way to seamlessly integrate sources into your work, allowing you to strengthen the connection between your own ideas, and the source material that you have found, with ease. It is worth noting that in-text citations must be included in your assignment’s final word count.

When adopting Harvard style referencing in your work, if you are inserting a quote, statement, statistic or any other kind of source information into the main body of your essay you should:

  • Provide the author’s surname and date of publication in parentheses right after the taken information or at the end of the sentence

There are many assumptions when it comes to the information processing approach to cognition… (Lutz and Huitt, 2004).

  • If you have already mentioned the author in the sentence, Harvard referencing guidelines require you to only enter the year of publication in parentheses, directly after where the author’s surname is mentioned.

In the overview of these developmental theories, Lutz and Huitt (2004) suggest that…

  • If you are quoting a particular section of the source (rather than the entire work), you should also include a page number, or page range, after the date, within the parenthetical Harvard citation

“…the development of meaning is more important than the acquisition of a large set of knowledge or skills …” (Lutz and Huitt, 2004, p.8), which means that …

  • Note that if the source has four or more authors, you do not need to write out all of their surnames; simply use the first author’s surname followed by the abbreviation ‘et al.’ (meaning ‘and others’).

The results showed that respondents needed to reach out to multiple health agencies in order to cover the costs of their services (Wolbeck Minke et al., 2007).

  • If you are reading a source by one author and they cite work by another author, you may cite that original work as a secondary reference. You are encouraged to track down the original source – usually this is possible to do by consulting the author’s reference list – but if you are unable to access it, the Harvard referencing guidelines state that you must only cite the source you did consult as you did not actually read the original document. Include the words ‘cited in’ in the in-text citation to indicate this.

Fong’s 1987 study (cited in Bertram 1997) found that older students’ memory can be as good as that of young people…

(Fong, cited in Bertram 1997)

Why use a Harvard referencing tool? As well as saving you valuable time, the Cite This For Me generator can help you easily avoid common errors when formatting your in-text citations. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to credit your source material, simply login to your Cite This For Me account to copy, save and export each in-text Harvard citation.

How Do I Format My Reference List?

Utilizing and building on a wide range of relevant sources is one way of impressing your reader, and a comprehensive list of the source material you have used is the perfect platform to exhibit your research efforts. A reference list is always required when you cite other people’s work within your assignment, and the brief in-text Harvard style citations in your work should directly link to your reference list.

As a general rule a reference list includes every source that you have cited in your work, while a bibliography also contains any relevant background reading which you have consulted to familiarise yourself with the topic (even those sources that are never mentioned in the narrative). Your Harvard referencing bibliography should start on its own page, with the same formatting as the rest of the paper and aligned to the left with the sources listed alphabetically. Certain fields ask you to provide an annotated bibliography that includes your full citations with the addition of notes. These notes are added to further analyze the source, and can be of any length.

Many people use the terms ‘reference list’ and ‘bibliography’ interchangeably, and if you are using the Harvard reference style you may be required to provide a bibliography as well as a reference list, so be sure to check this with your tutor.

Follow these guidelines when compiling your reference list:

  • Start your reference list on a new page at the end of your document
  • General formatting should be in keeping with the rest of your work
  • Use ‘Reference List’ as the heading
  • Copy each of your full-length Harvard citations into a list
  • Arrange the list in alphabetical order by the author’s last name (titles with no author are alphabetized by the work’s title, and if you are citing two or more sources by the same author they should be listed in chronological order of the year of publication)
  • When there are several works from one author or source, they should be listed together but in date order – with the earliest work listed first
  • Italicize titles of books, reports, conference proceedings etc. For journal articles, the title of the journal should be printed in italics, rather than the title of the journal article
  • Capitalize the first letter of the publication title, the first letters of all main words in the title of a journal, and all first letters of a place name and publisher

Creating and managing your reference list with the Cite This For Me Harvard referencing generator will help improve the way you reference and conduct research.

Reference list / bibliography examples:

  • Book, one author:

Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project . 5th edn. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

  • One author, book, multiple editions:

Hawking, S.W. (1998) A brief history of time: From the big bang to black holes . 10th edn. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.

  • Chapter in an edited book:

Jewsiewicki, B. (2010). ‘Historical Memory and Representation of New Nations in Africa’, in Diawara, M., Lategan, B., and Rusen, J. (eds.) Historical memory in Africa: Dealing with the past, reaching for the future in an intercultural context . New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 53-66.

If all information resembles a book, use the template for a book reference

If a page number is unavailable, use chapter number. URL links are not necessary, but can be useful. When including a URL, include the date the book was downloaded at the end of the Harvard citation:

Available at: URL (Downloaded: DD Month YYYY)

  • More than three authors, journal article*:

Shakoor, J., et al. (2011) ‘A prospective longitudinal study of children’s theory of mind and adolescent involvement in bullying’, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry , 53(3), pp. 254–261. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02488.x.

  • Conference papers:

Drogen, E. (2014) ‘Changing how we think about war: The role of psychology’, The British Psychological Society 2014 Annual Conference . The ICC, Birmingham British Psychological Society, 07-09 May 2014.

  • Web page, by an individual:

Moon, M. (2019) Ubisoft put an official video game design course inside a video game . Available at https://www.engadget.com/2019/09/25/ubisoft-video-game-design-course/ (Accessed 19 November 2019).

  • Web page, by a company or organization:

RotoBaller (2019) NFL player news . Available at https://www.rotoballer.com/player-news?sport=nfl (Accessed 17 September 2019).

For both types of web page references, the date the page was published or updated is placed in parentheses immediately following the author information. If a date is missing from the source, place (no date) next to the author’s name and make sure to include an accessed date at the end of the reference.

Are you struggling to find all of the publication information to complete a reference? Did you know that our Harvard citation generator can help you?

Time is of the essence when you’re finishing a paper, but there’s no need to panic because you can compile your reference list in a matter of seconds using the Cite This For Me Harvard style citation generator. Sign in to your Cite This For Me account to save and export your reference list.

Harvard Referencing Formatting Guidelines

Accurate referencing doesn’t only protect your work from plagiarism – presenting your source material in a consistent and clear way also enhances the readability of your work. Closely follow the style’s formatting rules on font type, font size, text-alignment and line spacing to ensure that your work is easily legible. Before submitting your work check that you have formatted your whole paper – including your reference list – according to the style’s formatting guidelines.

How to format in Harvard referencing:

  • Margins: 2.5cm on all sides
  • Shortened title followed by the page number in the header, aligned to the right
  • Double-space the entirety of the paper
  • ½ inch indentation for every new paragraph (press tab bar)
  • Suggested fonts: Times New Roman, Arial and Courier New for Windows; Times New Roman, Helvetica and Courier for Mac, 12pt size. Ensure that all Harvard citations are in the same font as the rest of the work
  • Reference list on a separate page at the end of the body of your work

Even when using a Harvard citation generator, always check with your professor for specified guidelines – there is no unified style for the formatting of a paper. Make sure that you apply the recommended formatting rules consistently throughout your work.

A Brief History of the Harvard Reference Style

The author-date system is attributed to eminent zoologist Edward Laurens Mark (1847-1946), Hersey professor of anatomy and director of Harvard’s zoological laboratory. It is widely agreed that the first evidence of Harvard referencing can be traced back to Mark’s landmark cytological paper (Chernin, 1988). The paper breaks away from previous uses of inconsistent and makeshift footnotes through its use of a parenthetical author-date citation accompanied by an explanatory footnote.

  • Parenthetic author-year citation, page 194 of Mark’s 1881 paper:

[…] The appearance may be due solely to reflection from the body itself. (Comp. Flemming, ‘78b, p. 310.*)

  • Mark’s rationale for his Harvard citational scheme:

*The numbers immediately following an author’s name serve the double purpose of referring the reader to the list (p. 591) where the titles of papers are given, and of informing him at once of the approximate date of the paper in question.

A tribute dedicated to Mark in 1903 by 140 students credits Mark’s paper with having ‘introduced into zoology a proper fullness and accuracy of citation and a convenient and uniform method of referring from text to bibliography’ (Parker, 1903). Today Harvard referencing is widely considered one of the most accessible styles and, although it originated in biology, these days it is used across most subjects – particularly in the humanities, history and social science.

The Evolution of the Harvard Referencing Style

Due to its simplicity and ease of use, the format has become one of the most widely used citation styles in the world. Unlike many citing styles there is no official manual, but institutions such as colleges offer their own unique Harvard reference style guide, and each has its own nuances when it comes to punctuation, order of information and formatting rules. Simply go to the Cite This For Me website to login to your Cite This For Me account and search for the version you need. Make sure you apply consistency throughout your work.

It is increasingly easy for writers to access information and knowledge via the internet, and in turn both the style’s guidelines and our citation generator are continually updated to include developments in electronic publishing. The Cite This For Me Harvard style citation generator currently uses the Cite Them Right 10th Edition, which has evolved in recent years to match the rapidly advancing digital age. In order to avoid plagiarism, you must be cautious about pulling information from the internet, and ensure that you accurately cite all source material used in your written work – including all online sources that have contributed to your research.

Key differences from previous Harvard referencing Cite Them Right editions:

  • Previous editions required printed books and eBooks to be referenced differently – in the 10th edition, both are now referenced using the same template (if all the necessary information is available). An Ebook is considered to be the digital format of a published book (or a book that is only published in digital format) that is meant for reading on an electronic device.
  • URLs are no longer a requirement for digital media if the information provided in the Harvard citation is sufficient to find the source without it. They should be included if the source is difficult to find, or pieces of source information – such as an author name – are missing.
  • When a source has more than 3 authors, use the abbreviation “et al.” instead of listing each out.

These days students draw on a diverse range of digital sources to support their written work. Whether you are citing a hashtag on Instagram , a podcast or a mobile app, the Cite This For Me generator will take care of your Harvard citations, regardless of the type of source you want to cite. So don’t be held back by sources that are difficult to cite – locating unusual source material will help your work to stand out from the crowd.

How Do I Create Accurate Harvard Citations?

Creating complete and correctly formatted citations can be a challenge for many writers, especially when documenting multiple source types. Our primary goal at Cite This For Me is to offer support to students and researchers across the globe by transforming the way in which they perceive citing. We hope that after using our citation generator and reading this Harvard referencing guide, what was once considered an arduous process, will be viewed as a highly-valued skill that enhances the quality of your work.

Disheartened by the stressful process of citing? Got a fast-approaching deadline? Using the Cite This For Me fast, accessible and free generator makes creating accurate citations easier than ever, leaving more time for you to focus on achieving your academic goals.

Create a free account to add and edit each Harvard citation on the spot, import and export full projects or individual entries. Things get even easier with Cite This For Me for Chrome – an intuitive, handy browser extension that allows you to create and edit a citation while you browse the web. Use the extension on any webpage that you want to cite, and add it to your chosen project without interrupting your workflow.

The Cite This For Me citation management tool is here to help you, so what are you waiting for? Accurate Harvard citations are just a click away!

Reference List

Chernin, E. (1988) The ‘Harvard System’: A mystery dispelled. Available at: http://www.uefap.com/writing/referenc/harvard.pdf (Accessed: 4 July 2016).

Parker, G. (ed.) (1903) Mark anniversary volume. New York: Henry Holt.

how to reference harvard style example

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Harvard referencing quick guide: Sample assignment

  • Introduction
  • General guidelines
  • Citing and referencing material

Sample assignment

  • Referencing software

Citing and reference list example

The text to the right shows how citations and the reference list are typically written in the Harvard referencing style.

Note: the text itself is not designed to be a proper example of academic writing and does not use information from the sources cited; it is for illustrative purposes only.

The purpose of this assignment is to show common elements of the Harvard style of referencing in Dundalk Institute of Technology. It is not intended to be an example of good quality academic writing, and indeed may not make sense in general, but it should show you how citations and a reference list are formed in the Harvard style of referencing (Cameron 2021). If you include a “direct quotation from a book you have read” (Giddens and Sutton 2021, p.117) you should include the relevant page number.

You don’t always have to write the author and year in brackets. Cameron (2021) explains that if the author’s name occurs naturally in the text then the year follows it in brackets. If there are two authors you should include both of them in the citation (Levine and Munsch 2021). If there are three or more authors you don’t have to list all of the names in the citation but you should include them all in the reference list (Robbins et al. 2020). The reference list should appear at the end of your assignment and be in alphabetical order based on the first author’s surname (Bruen 2022) rather than the order in which they appear in your assignment ( Papagiannis  2022). If you are using a citation for a second time you do not need to include it twice in the reference list (Cameron 2021).

Referencing an academic journal that you find online requires more information in the reference list but uses the same format for citing as other sources (Tesseur 2022). If referencing a source from a library database you say from which database you found it (Mayombe 2021).

Don’t forget that websites need to be cited too (Dundalk Institute of Technology 2022). We recommend you look at the full version of DkIT’s Harvard referencing guidelines, and contact the Library if you have any questions. Good luck.

Reference list

Bruen, M. (2020). River flows. In: Kelly-Quinn, M. and Reynolds, J., eds.  Ireland’s rivers . Dublin: University College Dublin Press, pp.39-59.

Cameron, S. (2021). The business student's handbook: skills for study and employment . 7th ed. Harlow: Pearson.

Dundalk Institute of Technology. (2022).  Research support  [online]. Available from: https://www.dkit.ie/research/research-support.html [accessed 25 March 2022].

Giddens, A. and Sutton, P.W. (2021).  Sociology . 9th ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Levine, L.E. and Munsch, J. (2021).  Child development: an active learning approach  [online]. 4th ed. London: SAGE Publications. Available from: https://books.google.ie/books?id=zlrZzQEACAAJ&dq [accessed 25 March 2022].

Mayombe, C. (2021). Partnership with stakeholders as innovative model of work-integrated learning for unemployed youths.  Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning  [online], 12(2), pp.309-327. Available from: Emerald Insight [accessed 25 March 2022].

Papagiannis, N. (2020).  Effective SEO and content marketing: the ultimate guide for maximizing free web traffic  [online]. Indianapolis: Wiley. Available from: EBSCOhost eBook Collection [accessed 25 March 2022].

Robbins, S.P., Coulter, M.A. and De Cenzo, D.A. (2020).  Fundamentals of management . 11th ed. Harlow: Pearson.

Tesseur, W. (2022). Translation as inclusion? An analysis of international NGOs’ translation policy documents.  Language Problems and Language Planning  [online], 45(3), pp. 261-283. Available from: https://doras.dcu.ie/26151 [accessed 25 March 2022].

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  • Free Tools for Students
  • Harvard Referencing Generator

Free Harvard Referencing Generator

Generate accurate Harvard reference lists quickly and for FREE, with MyBib!

🤔 What is a Harvard Referencing Generator?

A Harvard Referencing Generator is a tool that automatically generates formatted academic references in the Harvard style.

It takes in relevant details about a source -- usually critical information like author names, article titles, publish dates, and URLs -- and adds the correct punctuation and formatting required by the Harvard referencing style.

The generated references can be copied into a reference list or bibliography, and then collectively appended to the end of an academic assignment. This is the standard way to give credit to sources used in the main body of an assignment.

👩‍🎓 Who uses a Harvard Referencing Generator?

Harvard is the main referencing style at colleges and universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. It is also very popular in other English-speaking countries such as South Africa, Hong Kong, and New Zealand. University-level students in these countries are most likely to use a Harvard generator to aid them with their undergraduate assignments (and often post-graduate too).

🙌 Why should I use a Harvard Referencing Generator?

A Harvard Referencing Generator solves two problems:

  • It provides a way to organise and keep track of the sources referenced in the content of an academic paper.
  • It ensures that references are formatted correctly -- inline with the Harvard referencing style -- and it does so considerably faster than writing them out manually.

A well-formatted and broad bibliography can account for up to 20% of the total grade for an undergraduate-level project, and using a generator tool can contribute significantly towards earning them.

⚙️ How do I use MyBib's Harvard Referencing Generator?

Here's how to use our reference generator:

  • If citing a book, website, journal, or video: enter the URL or title into the search bar at the top of the page and press the search button.
  • Choose the most relevant results from the list of search results.
  • Our generator will automatically locate the source details and format them in the correct Harvard format. You can make further changes if required.
  • Then either copy the formatted reference directly into your reference list by clicking the 'copy' button, or save it to your MyBib account for later.

MyBib supports the following for Harvard style:

🍏 What other versions of Harvard referencing exist?

There isn't "one true way" to do Harvard referencing, and many universities have their own slightly different guidelines for the style. Our generator can adapt to handle the following list of different Harvard styles:

  • Cite Them Right
  • Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
  • University of the West of England (UWE)

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Daniel is a qualified librarian, former teacher, and citation expert. He has been contributing to MyBib since 2018.

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  2. Quick Harvard Referencing Guide- Revised-February-2018

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  3. Harvard Style

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  4. QUICK HARVARD REFERENCING GUIDE

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  5. Harvard Style

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  6. Harvard Style Referencing Example by APASamples on DeviantArt

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  1. Your Guide To Harvard Referencing- DISTINCTION* STUDENTS!

  2. CMI L5/7 Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring: Boo's short guide to referencing (13 mins)

  3. How to reference youtube videos harvard style?

  4. Harvard and APA Referencing Style, Main points to Differentiate

  5. Python for everybody

  6. Bibliography। গ্রন্থপঞ্জি কী? গ্রন্থপঞ্জি লেখার নিয়ম। Chicago/MLA/Oxford/Harvard Style Details।

COMMENTS

  1. A Quick Guide to Harvard Referencing

    Harvard referencing examples Referencing sources with no author or date Frequently asked questions about Harvard referencing Harvard in-text citation A Harvard in-text citation appears in brackets beside any quotation or paraphrase of a source.

  2. Harvard Referencing Style Examples

    Below are Harvard referencing examples of in-text citations and reference list entries for the different kinds of sources that you might use. In-text citation structure and example: (Author Surname, Publication Year) (Ozeki, 2013) Reference structure and example: Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) Title. Place of Publication: Publisher.

  3. What Is Harvard Referencing Style? Formatting, Tips, and Examples

    Write with Grammarly What is Harvard-style referencing? Harvard-style referencing is a type of international citation format for academic papers, with a focus on parenthetical citations. It is commonly used for educational assignments like research papers, as well as scientific papers.

  4. Harvard Citation Style: All Examples

    When citing a work by two or three authors or authoring bodies, cite the names in the order in which they appear on the title page: (Malinowski, Miller & Gupta 1995) In-Text & Reference List Examples Last Updated: GW is committed to digital accessibility.

  5. How to Cite Sources in Harvard Citation Format

    Using an example author James Mitchell, this takes the form: Mitchell (2017, p. 189) states.. Or (Mitchell, 2017, p. 189) (Note: p. refers to a single page, pp. refers to a range of pages) Two or Three Authors: When citing a source with two or three authors, state all surnames like so: Mitchell, Smith and Thomson (2017, p. 189) states… Or

  6. Harvard In-Text Citation

    An in-text citation consists of the last name of the author, the year of publication, and a page number if relevant. Up to three authors are included in Harvard in-text citations. If there are four or more authors, the citation is shortened with et al. Table of contents Including page numbers in citations Where to place Harvard in-text citations

  7. Harvard Style

    Rules: All in-text citations should be listed in the reference list at the end of your paper. Reference list entries need to contain all the information that someone reading your paper would need in order to find your source. Reference lists in Harvard Style are arranged alphabetically by first author.

  8. Harvard Referencing Style Guide

    Format for Harvard Referencing. Typically, a paper that uses Harvard referencing has the following format: 2.5 cm OR 1-inch margins on all sides. Recommended fonts: Arial 12 pt or Times New Roman, with double-spacing. Title is in the center of the page just above the text.

  9. PDF HBS Citation Guide

    • Entries have a special indentation style (hanging indent) in which all lines but the first are indented. Examples of Bibliography Entries . The following are examples of bibliography entries: Anik, Lalin, and Michael I. Norton. "Matchmaking Promotes Happiness." Social Psychological & Personality Science. 5, no. 6 (August 2014): 644-652.

  10. Quick guide to Harvard referencing (Cite Them Right)

    An in-text citation consists of the last name of the author (s), the year of publication, and a page number if relevant. There are a number of ways of incorporating in-text citations into your work - some examples are provided below. Alternatively you can see examples of setting out in-text citations in Cite Them Right .

  11. Referencing Books in Harvard Style

    To reference a book in Harvard style, you need an in-text citation and a corresponding entry in your reference list or bibliography. A basic book reference looks like this: Try our free reference generator to create accurate Harvard references for all your sources: Harvard Reference Generator Table of contents Edition or volume of a book

  12. Citation Styles Guide

    Citation styles also differ in terms of how you format the reference list or bibliography entries themselves (e.g., capitalization, order of information, use of italics). ... As with Harvard style, a lot of institutions and publications have their own versions of Vancouver—it doesn't have one fixed style guide. Vancouver reference entry: 1 ...

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  14. Harvard referencing quick guide: Citing and referencing material

    In-text citation: Reference list (Author Year) Author(s) surname(s), Initial(s). (Year of publication). Title of article. Title of journal [online], volume number (issue/number, or date/month of publication if volume and issue are absent), page numbers or Article eLocator number (if any). Available fro m: library database name, or URL or DOI if accessed online from somewhere other than a ...

  15. Reference a Website in Harvard Style

    To reference a website in Harvard style, include the name of the author or organization, the year of publication, the title of the page, the URL, and the date on which you accessed the website. Different formats are used for other kinds of online source, such as articles, social media posts and multimedia content.

  16. How to reference an article in Harvard referencing style

    The Harvard citation system is just one of many referencing styles - and which style you choose is normally guided by the institution or publication you are writing for. In this article, you will learn how to use the Harvard citation system to reference the following types of articles: journal article newspaper article magazine article

  17. Harvard Style Bibliography

    Formatting a Harvard style bibliography. Sources are alphabetised by author last name. The heading 'Reference list' or 'Bibliography' appears at the top. Each new source appears on a new line, and when an entry for a single source extends onto a second line, a hanging indent is used: Harvard bibliography example.

  18. Harvard Referencing Style & Format: Easy Guide + Examples

    Dissertation & Thesis Guides Harvard Style Citations: General Rules How to Quote in Harvard Style Harvard referencing style is a widely used system for citing and referencing sources in academic writing. It provides a consistent and standardized format for acknowledging the works of others that you have used in your research.

  19. LibGuides: Harvard Referencing Style Guide: All examples

    In-Text Example. Reference List Example. CMO article (Jennings, 1997) Jennings, P. 1997. The performance and competitive advantage of small firms: a management perspective. International Small Business Journal, 15(2): 63-75. Available from: The University of Western Australia Library Course Materials Online. [1 September 2004]. Journal article ...

  20. How to reference a website using the Harvard referencing style

    Note that if the web page has no date, insert a hyphen between the words 'no date' and the lowercase letter to improve readability, for example: (no date-a) or (no date-b). When citing any information from blogs or vlogs, you need to keep in mind that you are treading a very thin line between objectivity and subjectivity.

  21. FREE Harvard Referencing Generator

    Only the name of the author, the publication date of the source and, if necessary, the page numbers are included in the parenthetical citations, for example: (Joyce, 2008). Use the Cite This For Me Harvard style referencing generator to create your fully-formatted in-text references and reference list in the blink of an eye.

  22. LibGuides: Harvard referencing quick guide: Sample assignment

    Sample assignment. The purpose of this assignment is to show common elements of the Harvard style of referencing in Dundalk Institute of Technology. It is not intended to be an example of good quality academic writing, and indeed may not make sense in general, but it should show you how citations and a reference list are formed in the Harvard ...

  23. Free Harvard Referencing Generator [Updated for 2023]

    Updated for 2023 Generate accurate Harvard reference lists quickly and for FREE, with MyBib! 🤔 What is a Harvard Referencing Generator? A Harvard Referencing Generator is a tool that automatically generates formatted academic references in the Harvard style.