Harvard Citation Style: How to Organize References in the Paper

Table of contents

Harvard reference guidelines

The academic world encourages students to create original and thorough papers the authenticity of which can be proved easily. Students can prove that they have written the assignment personally is to cite publications that were used to conduct a research and prepare a paper. The Harvard citation style is one of the most widespread parenthetical referencing systems among students and scientists. There are two principal components of this author-date system – the in-text citations and the list of reference.

This citation style indicates the surname of the author and the year of publication of the paper you are citing. Due to the simplicity of this referencing style, more students prefer this system to incorporate quotes and ideas of other people into their writing assignments and scientific publications. The principal aim of this system is to validate the original source written by another scholar without breaching any intellectual property laws. This helps to enhance the originality of your paper proving that you have conducted the research and your analysis is based on expert opinions.

Harvard style format peculiarities

There several crucial elements that should be taken into consideration if you are using Harvard style formatting for your academic paper. These guidelines have to be followed precisely unless your supervisor requires following different ones. So if you want to create a Harvard format paper, you should pay attention to such small details as font type and size, text-alignment and line spacing:

  • All the margins in your work should have 2.5cm on all sides.
  • The title page of your work needs to have the page number right to the header.
  • The fonts you can use are Times New Roman, Arial, and Courier New. The most widely used one is Times New Roman, size 12.
  • And don’t forget about double-spacing and ½ identification for a new paragraph.
  • The reference list can be entitled “Reference List,” “Literature List,” or “References” (without quotations marks) and is always located at the end of the paper on a separate sheet.

Harvard style essay title page

The same as the rest of a typical Harvard essay, there are specific demands how the title page should be organized. If you follow the instruction precisely, your professor will grasp all the basic information about your paper. This is how a title page should look like if it’s written in a Harvard style:

  • Place the header with page numbers in the right upper corner. It’s the abbreviated or partial title with a page number to the right – the distance between them should be five spaces.
  • Next goes the title of your work written in capital letters. It’s centered halfway down the page.
  • Three lines down goes the name of the author written without capital letters.
  • Four lines down the class must be indicated.
  • One line down is the name of the professor.
  • In the next line, the name of the school is indicated.
  • Next goes the name of the city and state.
  • The last thing to indicate is the date.

Harvard outline as a means to organize your ideas

If you plan to deliver a thorough paper, you need an outline to monitor all the sources you have used to conduct your research. With its help, you can arrange the ideas you have taken from other sources. Harvard outline template is the following:

  1. The title page.
    1. The header with a brief description of the title.
  2. Introduction with the thesis statement.
  3. The main body divided into three paragraphs each dedicated to another idea.
  4. The heading introducing the first major idea of the paper (if needed).
    1. The topic sentence which introduces what will be discussed in the paragraph.
    2. Information about the issue supported by relevant in-text citations.
    3. Transition to the next idea.
  5. The heading introducing the second major idea of the paper (if needed).
    1. The topic sentence which introduces what will be discussed in the paragraph.
    2. Information about the issue supported by relevant in-text citations.
    3. Transition to the next idea.
  6. The heading introducing the third major idea of the paper (if needed).
    1. The topic sentence which introduces what will be discussed in the paragraph.
    2. Information about the issue supported by relevant in-text citations.
  7. Conclusions where the work is summarized.
  8. Reference List with full references of all sources mentioned in the main body.

Harvard in-text citation style

The in-text citations state the surname of the author from whom a quote is taken, the year his work was published, and the page form the source – all in brackets.

Example: One of the scholars (James, 2014, p. 65) claims…

Page numbers are mostly used if it’s a direct quote. These citations are much shorter than the full references which can be found in the reference list. It’s used within the main body of the paper and includes direct quotes from the original works or paraphrase of someone’s work. Direct citations that are shorter than 2-3 lines are typically integrated into the body of the work and marked with quotes. If citations are longer, they are organized in a separate paragraph without quotes. If you are using paraphrases, it means that you reformulate the source text.

  • If you have already mentioned this author before in the sentence, just indicate the year of publication in parenthesis after the name.

Example: As it was mentioned before, James (2014, p. 65) has elaborated a theory…

  • When citing a source written by two or three authors, state all surnames one after another.

Example: (James, Jones and Atkinson, 2014, p. 65)

  • In case you are citing more than three authors, there is no need to mention all of them. Just indicate the first one and put an abbreviation “et al.” in italics which stands for “and others.”

Example: It is claimed by several scholars (James “et al.”, 2014, p. 65) that…

  • There may be a situation when you take a quote from the source which was taken by that author from another source. You can cite the original work as a secondary reference. It’s allowed to cite only the source you consulted with.

Example: Chomsky 2000 (cited in James 2014, p.65) proposed… or (Chomsky 2000, cited in James 2014, p. 65)

  • If you indicate different works of the same author written in the same year, arrange them alphabetically by the title and place letters immediately after the year.

Example: James (2014a) and James (2014b)

  • In case the name of the author is not identified, use the title of the publication and the year.

Example: This research (Implicit and explicit connotations, 2014) …

  • You can also find a source without an identifiable date – put no date phrase after the name of the author.

Example: (James, no date, p. 65)

The reference list in a Harvard essay example

Creating a well-rounded essay requires a number of skills and expertise, knowledge of the chosen topic, and ability to present material in accordance with formatting demands. And one of the most important components of such academic assignment is a well-structured and precise reference list. The reference list is a list of full references which are organized alphabetically. All the sources mentioned in the main body needs to have references. You don’t need to indicate sources you consulted with if you haven’t borrowed direct quotes from them. If you need to mention all materials you consulted with while conducting research and writing an essay, then you need to write a bibliography. Ask your supervisor for clear demands to this section to avoid misunderstandings. Here are the tips on how to organize your reference list:

  • The reference list has to be located at the end of the work and always on a separate sheet making it easy to locate each source.
  • It needs to be organized by the author’s surname, alphabetically, or by the title if the author is absent.
  • When you are citing several books by the same author, order them chronologically and alphabetically by the title if they are of the same year. Locate a letter immediately after the date.
  • Titles of publications should be italicized if these are books, reports, etc. If you cite an article from a journal, the title of the journal should be given in italics.
  • White every title from the capital letter as well as the first letters of main words in the title of the journal.
  • Your reference list has to be double-spaced with a full blank line of space between each line of text.

When it comes to formatting references, the format deepens on the source type. When you are citing an article, a book, or a website – the most widespread source types – you need to format your references in a slightly different way.

  1. Citing a book you first indicate author’s surname and the first letter of their last name. It’s followed by the year of publication and title in italics and from the capital letter. After that state the place of publication and who published that book.

Example: Chomsky, N. (1975) The logical structure of linguistic theory. New York. Plenum.

  1. A journal article – place author’s surname, the first letter of the last name, title of the articled within single quotation marks, title of the journal in italics, volume number and the issue in brackets.

Example: Mitchell, J.A. ‘How citation changed the research world.’ The Mendeley. 62(9), p.70-81.

  1. A website. It’s cited as any other source with the name of the author and date in brackets. But you should also add the date when you retrieved this information and the website URL.

Example: Grady, D. (2018) New findings could save lives of more stroke patients. Retrieved January 25, 2018 from (here goes the URL).

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with MyhomeworkGeeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Business and administrative studies
excellent job!
Customer 452773, May 25th, 2023
Customer 452591, March 18th, 2021
Human Resources Management (HRM)
excellent job
Customer 452773, June 25th, 2023
Thank you for your hard work and help.
Customer 452773, February 13th, 2023
Business and administrative studies
Excellent job
Customer 452773, March 9th, 2023
thank you so much
Customer 452749, June 10th, 2021
excellent work
Customer 452773, March 1st, 2024
Business and administrative studies
Customer 452773, February 23rd, 2023
Looks great and appreciate the help.
Customer 452675, April 26th, 2021
I just need some minor alterations. Thanks.
Customer 452547, February 10th, 2021
Business and administrative studies
excellent paper
Customer 452773, March 3rd, 2023
10th grade English
very good
Customer 452773, March 26th, 2023
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat

Sometimes it is hard to do all the work on your own

Let us help you get a good grade on your paper. Get professional help and free up your time for more important courses. Let us handle your;

  • Dissertations and Thesis
  • Essays
  • All Assignments

  • Research papers
  • Terms Papers
  • Online Classes
Live ChatWhatsApp