Harvard Referencing

All You Need To Know About Harvard Referencing In The Papers

Harvard referencing, also termed author-date referencing style, is one of academia’s most commonly used referencing styles. It is majorly used for writing assignments for students in social sciences and liberal arts. While using the Harvard referencing style in academic documents, the user cites the sources twice; one in the footnotes and the second at the end of the document in the references section. Several universities and research institutions use this referencing system, and you can either use it manually or with a Harvard reference generator online.

What is the Objective of Harvard Referencing?

The main purpose of Harvard referencing is to ensure that the reader vividly knows the original source of a given piece of information. When a student or researcher references the sources or citations he uses in an academic document, he acknowledges the original writers of the document. He gives credit to the original creators of the document. If you fail to give due credit to the original writers of a citation, it will be equal to plagiarism and stealing the original writer’s work. Most academic institutes have a zero-tolerance policy for plagiarism. If you fail to reference the citations, you shall be accused of plagiarism in your papers, which will most likely negatively impact your academic career’s success.

How to Accommodate In-Text Citations in the Harvard Referencing Style?

When you want to use a direct quote in your academic documents, it shall be mandatory to tell the readers about the source of such a quotation. To do this, you shall have to include the name of the original writer, the year of publication of the source document and the exact page number where you originally found such a quotation.

Including the page number in your document is important because it will help your reader quickly find the exact information. If your readers can access the exact page number, they will not need to sift through several pages of a book to find a certain quotation you referenced in your work.

Pro Tip: If you have already mentioned a writer in your work, you just need to add the year name and the author’s surname in your academic documents.

Tips for Including In-Text Citations in the Harvard Referencing:

Here are some helpful tips and tricks that shall help you in adding in-text citations while following the Harvard referencing style:

Paraphrasing an Idea

When you have to add a particular idea to your academic documents, you shall first add the surname of the author and year, followed by a comma and the exact page number from where you got the information. If you are describing the same idea in the next lines, you will just add the year and the page number from where you took the original idea.

A quotation by an Aforementioned Writer

When discussing the ideas of an aforementioned writer in your academic documents, you shall add the year name with the author’s name. If the same author is discussed later, you will add the year name and the page or section number from where you took that certain piece of information.

Citing a Short Quote

When you have to cite a short quotation in your academic documents, you shall add the author’s name, year name, and the page number from where you take that quote. It will show the reader that you give credit to the original author.

Citing the Lengthy Quotations

For citing relatively lengthy quotes in your academic documents, it will not be mandatory for you to add quotation marks in your essay or assignments. Instead, you should add the quote to a new line. When closing the quotation, you should ensure that you have added the author’s name, year and page number.

In Case When the Source Has No Particular Author:

If the source of your citations has no particular author but an editor, you should add the editor’s name in place of the author’s name and also add “ed.” Adding it shall indicate the source’s title to the readers. But if the source is taken from a collection of certain pieces of work by different authors but collected by an editor, you should add the name of the author at the end of the quotation that you include in your papers.

What is meant by a Reference List?

A reference list resembles a bibliography and displays all the sources that you consulted while crafting your essays or assignments. A helpful tip to remember when collecting the relevant citations for your work is to keep track of all the sources. It will save you from making extra efforts to find the exact sources of the citations. You can hire a British academic writing service to generate and include citations and references for you in your academic papers.

A reference list that is made using the Harvard referencing style shall have the following properties:

  • It should be present at the end of the document as an appendix and must start from a separate page, having an individual identity apart from all other information you present in your documents.
  • You should take care of the fact that the names of all the authors are mentioned in an alphabetical manner, and the name of every author shall be included in the list.
  • If you use multiple citations from the same author, you should list the sources in chronological order by their publication date. After the date or year name, the order shall be continued in a lower-case letter (a, b,c, d.. ).
  • Each citation entry on the reference list shall have the author’s name, year, title of the source, publication title and place, publisher’s name, edition, page number and URL (if necessary).


While writing academic documents, it is mandatory for the students to give due credit to the original authors of a source or citation. If the student fails to do so, it shall be counted as plagiarism. This article has described in detail how to include in-text citations in your papers following the Harvard referencing style. Ensure to follow these rules while crafting your papers and achieve your desired grades in the papers.

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