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Harvard Referencing Style - The Ultimate Guide for Referencing

Date published August 16 2021 by Mantaha Qureshi

Harvard Referencing Style

Are you writing your dissertation all by yourself? Do you think you can do it on your own? Are you aware of all the elements for your dissertation?

There is so much a student is unaware of when he/she was starts writing a dissertation. If you are lucky, you might get a supervisor who helps you with citation styles. You see the citation or referencing styles is an extensive topic. It saves your from plagiarism claims and it gives acknowledgment to the author, from whom you took the information.

Let’s put it into simpler words and get into the definition of referencing style and why it is necessary for your dissertation. Grab your pen and notepad.

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What is reference style?

“Reference style as the name indicates is the style of reference provided for all the sources you have used in your dissertation”

There are many referencing styles, your university will provide you with the style that you need to use for your subject.

Every university has their own requirements that your supervisor will inform you beforehand. There are a few famous referencing styles; Harvard, APA, MLA, and OSCOLA style.

Harvard referencing style being the most common and reliable style used by the students in the United Kingdom.

What is Harvard referencing style?

The Harvard referencing style has originated from the Harvard University by the anatomy professor Edward Lauren Marks in his research paper. Since then the Harvard referencing style has become the most used reference style in universities.

Reference styles and patterns may be different, but the components of every reference style is the same. The Harvard referencing style consist of two things:

  • In-text Citation: The citation of a source is done within the text and is done differently for every subject and university curriculum.
  • Bibliography list: The reference or bibliography is the list of complete information for the citation from different sources.

In-Text Citation for Harvard referencing:

“Citation means to give credit to the original author’s work that you have used in your dissertation”
The way to do this is in the text is by adding either the name of the author or the publisher.
Every reference style has their own in-text citation method.

The Harvard style of in-text citation is the least complicated of all the reference styles. The name of the author and the year of publication is added in brackets after the quotations from the source is added.

Harvard referencing is also called parenthetical referencing just because the references are made in parenthesis. Sometimes the source you are citing is written by number of authors. There is a specific way of doing the in-text citation.

The in-text citations styles for multiple authors are done as follows:

One Author Two Authors Three Authors Four Authors
(John, 2013) (John and Albert, 2013) (John, Albert and Lanser,2013) (John et al., 2013)

Et al. is only added when the authors for your source are more than three. The meaning of et al. is “and others”

Examples of the In-text Citation for multiple authors:

One Author: The Huron farmers of the north focuses on…. (Trigger, 1969)

Two Authors: Digital systems testing and testable design has contributed to the understanding of this technology in many ways such as… (Abramovici M. and Breuer M.A. 1990)

Three Authors: The authors of this guide book talks about transactions on neural networks and learning system (Zhang H, Chow T.W. and Wu Q.J 2015)

Four Authors: According to the culture and commerce of publishing (Coser et al., 1982)

Reference or Bibliography list:

The bibliography list has the entire information of the source that is done in-text citation. Therefore the reference list is extensive and added after the body of your dissertation, lectures, research or reports.

The bibliography list has a format that needs to be followed for different citation styles and for different sources. Let’s check some of the Harvard referencing example for the most used sources.
  • Dissertations:

Name of the author with initials (Year of publication),’Title of the dissertation’, Name of the Publication, Location of Publication.

For example:

Nerad, M. and Miller, D.S., 1997. The Institution Cares: Berkeley’s Efforts to Support Dissertation Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences. New Directions for Higher Education, 99, pp.75-90.

  • Presentations and Lectures:

Name of the author(s), (Year of the publication), Title of the presentation in italic font, Medium where presented, Name of the institution or publisher, Location of institution.

For example:

Fuller, R.B., 1970. Approaching the Benign Environment, The Franklin Lectures in the Sciences & Humanities, First Series.

  • Reports:

Author of the report, Initials, (Year of publication), Title of report in italic font, Report series name, Number of the report, Institute or the publisher, Location of the publication.

For example:

Bergonzi, M., Fiorentino, F., Fiormonte, D., Fortini, L., Fracassa, U., Lucantoni, M., Marraffa, M. and Numerico, T., 2014. The New Humanities Project—Reports from Interdisciplinarity. Humanities, 3(3), pp.415-441.

If you are a student who doesn’t have the time or understanding for Harvard citation style. There are generators available on the Microsoft Word and also online. Just search for Harvard reference generator and all your referencing problems will fly away.

Difference between Harvard, APA and MLA

Since we are talking about different types of referencing styles, lets a take a look into the most famous referencing styles and how they differ from each other.

Modern Language Association has introduced its 7th edition of their reference style. Harvard style was introduced by an anatomy professor. Currently on its 6th edition. American Psychological Association has invented this citation style and is currently on its 7th edition.
MLA is used by students of humanities. Harvard can be used for multiple studies. APA is used by the social sciences and psychology scholars.
In-text citations are made with an easy pattern, you take the name of the author and number of the page of the exact location of the citing. In-text citations are parenthetical. After the source is put into quotations, the last name of the author and the year publication is added into brackets. In-text citations are also parenthetical but the page number is also added to within the brackets. Name of author, year, and page of the source.
E.g. (Timothy, pg126) E.g. (Stevenson, 2001) E.g. (Eagly, A.H, Chaiken 1993, pg235)
Bibliography list Name of author(s), title of the source in italics font, title of the container*, the edition, with the number of the edition, publisher, publication date, location. Bibliography list Last name of the author along with initials, title name in quotations, the publishers name and place of publication. Bibliography list Name of author(s), year of publication, the title in italic font, along with the name of the publisher.
E.g. Paul, Timothy, The rule book of French tenses, Easy French dictionary, 6th Ed. Harper publication, 1978, Paris. E.g. Stevenson F, (2001) ‘How to avoid plagiarism in your research papers’, Edited by Jodie Shelton, Cambridge press: Cambridge. E.g. Eagly, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Harcourt brace Jovanovich college publishers.

Can you understand the differences? These citations may not be very different from each other but they all have their purpose and are designated for a field of study. The bibliography list is particularly tough to compose.

Especially if you have to make multiple citation for one dissertation or research paper. The bibliography list takes a while to do. If you think you cannot manage to write your dissertation then you can look into dissertation writing service UK based as many students do.

It makes all the difference when your dissertation is composed professionally.

We have covered the basics of Harvard referencing style, but there we need to address the dos and don’ts while using Harvard referencing style.

Use correct punctuations and parenthesis for the Harvard citation and bibliography. Do not make any spelling mistake.
Always insert URLs if you are using e-books to cite your sources. Always insert URLs if you are using e-books to cite your sources.
Do not assume that your subject require a certain citation. Make sure to check your university’s requirements for references.
The Harvard reference list can only be placed after the body and before the appendices. Missing out sources in the bibliography. Do not make a mess of your sources.
Always use parenthesis for the year of publication Make the same referencing style for different sources; books, journal articles and webpages.

Did this blog help you understand Harvard referencing style? With these guidelines you will be able to achieve perfect referencing for your dissertation. Good Luck!

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