A Quick Rundown of the Harvard Referencing Style

A Quick Rundown of the Harvard Referencing Style


The Harvard Referencing style is one of the academic institutions’ most commonly used citation styles worldwide. This article lists critical referencing conventions per the Harvard Referencing style from academic experts from leading professional academic writing and homework help services online.

Let’s have a look.

The Basics of the Harvard Referencing System

There are primarily two parts to the Harvard Referencing style:

  • In-text citations are added in the text, as may be evident from the name itself. These citation tags act as flags for notifying the audience that you have referred to a specific source.
  • Reference lists (sometimes listed as bibliography) provide the full meta-data about information sources. Bibliographic entries offer complete details about the source and are arranged alphabetically. Check this – Do My Assignment Australia
  • As per the Harvard Referencing guide, all citation information must be acquired straight from the primary source. There are different rules for citing secondary sources.

In-Text Citations & Reference List

These go into the main body of the work. For the Harvard style, the author’s surname and year of publication are the two key aspects of any in-text citation.

Harvard in-text citations are presented in either of the following manners:

Reading is a part of learning and becomes easier with practice (Eron, 2013)

Eron (2013) suggests that practising improves reading ability.

For the reference list, entries need to be written as per the nature of the information available and the nature of the source cited.

Let us now look at all the different referencing conventions in the Harvard referencing style.

Citing A Book In The Harvard Style

The official Harvard Referencing guide has the following rules for citing books:

  • If you are adding quotations from a book, the quotes need to be enclosed within single quotation marks, besides the author’s name, publication date, and page number inside parentheses.

Smyth (2014: 62) argues that ‘this is an extremely complex process and no one factor alone can provide a satisfactory explanation’


The process is intricate, and no single factor can explain its behaviour and workings clearly. (Smyth, 2014: 62)

  • Paraphrasing is about reproducing other’s ideas, theories, content, etc., in your own words and style. In the Harvard style, citing paraphrases can be done in either of the following two ways:

Turner (2013) argues that academic writing is important.


The importance of academic writing is emphasized and argued for. (Turner, 2013)

  • To cite a book with two to three authors, here’s the format:

Smith, Jones, and Bloggs (2010) or Smith and Jones (2010)

For four or more authors,

Smith et al. (2010)

Citing a Journal In Harvard Referencing

The processes are similar to citing information from books.

  • Direct quotations need to be enclosed within single or double quotes, and the author’s name, publication year & page number are enclosed in parentheses.
  • Like book citations there are two ways to craft in-text citations for journal articles, just like book citations.
  • And here’s the reference list entry format:

Author, Year. Title of Article. Title of Journal. Volume (Issue number in parentheses), Pages of the article

Citing A Website Article

Essential information includes the name of the author/website owner/organization, the date of the last update, the web page title, the URL, and the access date.

Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year). Page Title. Available at” URL (Accessed: Date Month Year)

Citing an Image or Video

Here’s a look at the format for citing the meta-data on an image:

Originator (Year) Title or description of the image or video. Title of the Platform if it is different from the origin. [Online Image]. Available from: web address [Access Date]

And here’s the format for referencing online videos.

Originator (Year) Title of the Video. Title of the platform [Online Video]. Available from: web address [Access date]

Well, that’s all the space we have for today. Hope it comes in handy for anyone looking for a quick review of the Harvard referencing style. Always have a handy guide ready at hand while working on your assignments and if need be, seek assistance from professional homework help services.

All the best!

Summary: The Harvard referencing style is a popular citation format used across several higher education institutions. If you are working on some write-up and need a quick reference to the basics of the style, this article will come in handy.

Author-Bio: Alley John is a professional academic writer and editor with MyAssignmenthelp.com, a leading global assignment & homework help service.


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