Harvard Style Writing

There are various versions of the Harvard citation and referencing system, and this is simply a brief guide. If you are not sure what style to use for citations and references, ask your tutor or lecturer for clarification. Alternatively, check any handbook provided by your college or your course tutor or look carefully at any coursework instructions you have been given.

The Use of Citation

Whenever one uses a quote or idea from a book, journal or from any other place, it is necessary to reflect this in a paper. The process is called “citing.”

If your quotation is more than two lines long, indicate this in an indented separate paragraph.

Creating a List of References

Reference lists are a full record of every piece of source material cited or used in a piece of written work. Such material includes sources taken from textbooks, journals, papers, etc. These sources are listed according to their type in one list rather than separately in their own lists.

References should be listed alphabetically under the author or editor’s name.

The Harvard system sets out some particular rules that must be followed when using references from books, papers, electronic media, and so on.

A properly-created reference list should set out every source or direct quote that has been cited.

Where a writer uses more than one idea or work from the same author, these should be displayed in a reference list in order of their date of publication, beginning with the most recent publication.

Compiling a Bibliography

At times, you may need or wish to consult external sources but not necessarily cite these. You can, however, show every source in the bibliography at the end of your paper. All bibliography entries should be recorded in alphabetic order under the author’s name and set out in the same way as they are shown in a reference list.

A reference list will be sufficient if you can provide a citation for every source you consulted. If, however, you would like your readers or instructors to be aware of the full extent of your research effort and to even see works you consulted but did not use, a bibliography will be needed to show your exceptional diligence.

It is always a good idea to double-check any instructions or guidelines you are given for a dissertation paper or any form of coursework in order to understand if a references list or bibliography is needed. If any doubt exists in your mind, ask your professor or tutor for clarification.

You may find these useful:

The MLA Style Oxford Style of Citation Vancouver Style of Citation Formatting in the APA Style

View all
Live chat