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This Harvard style guide serves to help people to write better papers by following the key rules of the format. Unfortunately, many students face a lot of challenges when they get their assignments in the Harvard format. Moreover, many websites provide wrong information on the Harvard style because they do not monitor changes in the format. In this case, this Harvard style guide covers the main rules of making in-text citations and organizing reference lists.

General Aspects of Harvard Style

Basically, all academic papers require the integration of outside sources. Also, people can avoid cases of plagiarism in these essays through referencing techniques. In particular, Harvard referencing is one of the paper formats, being ideal for academic papers within this course. Thus, this Harvard style guide is presented by highlighting the main concepts concerning in-text citation and reference list.

harvard style guide

In-Text Citation in Harvard Format

By following the Harvard style guide, the in-text citation consists of the author’s last name, year of publication, and specific markers to identify the referenced information. For example, the author’s surname and year of publication appear after any information extracted from other sources. In this case, creating the Harvard in-text citation provides the reader with a particular origin of an argument, which may prove useful when judging the correctness of the analysis provided by the author of a paper. Also, the Harvard in-text citation must include a page number when a direct quote is used within the text.

Harvard Style Guide on Making In-Text Citations

In cases where a page number is not available, the writer should identify a viable means of pointing the audience to the exact location of the quotation, for instance, paragraph numbers, or sections. Moreover, this Harvard style guide recommends providing page numbers for all citations to quicken the location of the idea referred to in the essay. Hence, the Harvard in-text citation may be placed at the end of the statement but before the punctuation or incorporated into the structure of the statement. Notably, there is no punctuation between the author’s last name and publication year in the Harvard citation style while a comma is used to separate the year and page number.

Summary or Paraphrase:

In the past decade, increased cases of recidivism caused a huge influence on the effectiveness of the juvenile rehabilitation system (Thomas 1998)

According to Thomas (1998), the rate of recidivism among juvenile offenders has been increasing steadily.

Direct Quote:

The efficiency of the “juvenile rehabilitation system has come under doubt after an increasing recidivism rate was noted in the past decade” (Thomas 1998).

Citing Authors in Harvard Style

The number of authors for a source material modifies the appearance of the Harvard in-text citation. For example, the last names of two or three authors are mentioned in the Harvard in-text citation and the ampersand inserted before the name of the final author. Basically, there is a restriction on the number of names to improve the readability of the essay in this Harvard style guide. Moreover, four or more authors are condensed through the introduction of the phrase “et al.” that is placed after the last name of the first author. Hence, the full stop that follows ‘al’ should not be forgotten. Thus, the eliminated details of other authors are provided in the Harvard reference list.

Three Authors:

The high rate of poverty . . . past decade (Turner, James & Long 1998).

Four or More Authors:

The popularization of mass media . . . past decade (Turner et al. 1998).

Guide on Other Cases in Harvard

There are instances where students cannot determine the formation of in-because of the lack of the author or publication year. In this case, the author’s name may be substituted by the name of the responsible association or a shortened title of the work. Moreover, the author does not necessarily refer to an individual. For example, students may solve the issue with the absence of the publication date by inserting “n.d.” in the year’s position. Hence, there is not much deviation from the author-year format. As a result, the provision for these unique cases discussed in this
Harvard style guide allows for consistency in the in-text citations.

Organization as An Author

Tuberculosis is spreading at a relatively high rate of 200 new infections per day (Health Association 1978).

No Publication Year

Harvests reduced by 15% in the previous season (Jones n.d.).

No Individual or Organization Author

Vaccination provides approximately 90% of protection from diseases (World health report 2000).

Harvard Guide on Reference List

The Harvard reference list contains a well-detailed description of the sources employed in presenting the arguments in the essay. For example, the Harvard reference list must document all sources mentioned in any in-text citation, and the entries are organized in alphabetical order. In this case, the Harvard reference list is a comprehensive list of all sources that students cite or quote in different types of papers. Moreover, commas separate the components of a single Harvard reference list entry except for some situations where the comma may confuse the interpretation. Hence, this characteristic is significant in this Harvard style guide for the maintenance of regularity in the reference list despite the nature of the source. In turn, various sources have different formats for creating their reference list entries despite the style similarity in the in-text citations.

Harvard Style Guide on Books

General Format:

Author’s last name, initials of other names, publication year, the title of the book, volume number, edition number, translator or editor, publisher, and place of publication.


Clark, GH & Rhodes, HK 2011, Learning referencing styles, 4th edn, Johnson Press, London.

Authors and Editors:

James, LO 1990, Conflict in the Middle East, eds P White & J Brown, Rock University Press, Sydney.


Bull, JK & Coles, YU (eds) 2001, Better beginnings, Springer, Berlin.

Journal Articles in Harvard Style

General Format:

Author’s last name, initials of other names, publication year, the title of the article, the title of the periodical, volume number, issue number, page numbers.

Print Article:

Croft, HY 2012, ‘Insurgency in the modern age,’ Journal of Global Conflict, vol. 67, no. 3, pp. 33-43.

Electronic Database:

Hughes, TU 2009, ‘Renewable energy in urban space,’ Energy, vol. 34, no. 35, pp. 2-5. Available from: JSTOR. [6 July 2015].

Online Journal Article:

Booth, KM 2009, ‘Trends in business management practices,’ Journal of Economics, vol. 44, no. 99, pp. 88-90, Available from: <http://www.jeconomics.ca/issues/vol44no99_pdf>. [6 July 2015].

Harvard Style Guide for Referencing Websites

General Format:

Author, date of webpage creation or update, sponsor name and location, access date, webpage uniform resource locator.

Web Page:

Mark, JW 2010, The best tourist attractions in 2009. Available from: <http://www.tourism.com>. [23 February 2014].

Web Document:

Lucas, KM 2016, Alternative cancer treatments, World Cancer Association. Available from: <https://cancerglobe.com>. [9 January 2018].

Summing Up Harvard Style Guide

This Harvard style guide is not extensive since it covers basic principles of making in-text citations and reference lists. Basically, extraordinary circumstances that are beyond the scope of this brief review may be resolved by asking for advice from your professors or tutors. In this case, authors and sources in the examples are not real to follow.