Harvard Citation Style: Main Tips, Format, Guidelines

Harvard Citation Style: Main Tips, Format, Guidelines

While there are lots of various referencing formats and academic writing formats, Harvard citation style is still one of the most popular formats among modern students. It is easy to deal with it if you are familiar with its rules and overall format. Harvard style may seem to be the most interesting if you have to write something complicated and complex regarding a book or even a movie. In this article, few of our experts will teach you how to cite properly with this format and give you few useful samples to learn from.

Two Types of Harvard Citation Style

To start your experience with this format and learn how to deal with this format, you need to divide it into two main types. Those Harvard citation types can be described as:

  • Reference List Harvard style citation – this type of Harvard citation style is just a separate page you should create to list your references and their sources. It goes at the end of your entire paper. Be sure to list all extracts that you used in your article. Here is a scheme you should follow: Benton, B. (1987). Birth of the Nation. London: Brainwood.
  • In-text citing – this type is more popular than the reference list. Students like it for its simplicity and usability. Every part of citing extract is in its place, and entire citing does not take tons of time to create it. You will have to create those samples in paper’s body paragraphs. You need to copy entire phrase you want to use and mark it as a citation. There are various specifications for different sources. For a book source, it looks like this: “My life turned complete mess after I realized my home was burned to the ground last night…” (Benton, 1987)

Example of Citation Harvard Style

The best thing about Harvard citation style is hiding right on the surface. It is about its diversity and flexibility. You can easily apply Harvard style citation for any type of academic writing and source. If you are writing your article about some particular book or film, you can easily use citing an extract from the initial source using this particular format.

If you are familiar with other formats, you will appreciate the flexibility and easiness of this particular format on the very start. The list of sources you can use for Harvard citation style is huge and almost the biggest of all others. Let us get a useful example of citation Harvard style.

Reference List

We tried to create few clear Harvard referencing style in-text citations samples for you to use as instructions and guides.  You need to understand that there is a difference between books with one and two authors.

  • One Author

Citation in Harvard style for books with one author is very easy to compose. All you need to include are just a few main things:

  • Last name
  • Main initial
  • Publication date you are using
  • Source name
  • Edition info
  • The city of release
  • Name of the publisher
  • Number of the page

Here is a default sample how one can use it: Jackson, P. (1959). Paint Like Blood. Columbus: Domestic People.

  • Two Authors

Using citation style Harvard makes even referencing two authors book easy. All you need to learn is the correct template of writing and composing those citations. There is some exact pattern you need to follow to make it correct and you should use “and” to connect all the authors of the book together. The parts of this citing sample are the same to one author book rule. A student does not need to mark the initial edition of the book.

Here is how it works on practice: Corgan, B. and Century, M. (2011). Trapped Under Ice. Seatle, USA: Book Hook, p. 24.


As we said before, in-text referencing seems to be easier to deal with. But there are few more rules you need to follow to meet all the requirements. Here are few main things you should note:

  • The last name of the author should be included if there are more than three other writers engaged.
  • Students often use few sources by one author released in the same year. Then they should list them with alphabetical marks.
  • If there are publications of the same writer from different years, use chronological order to list them.
  • The title is the main feature if the name of the author is absent.


The number of various formats in academic writing makes your education more flexible and diverse. Students are free to use different formats and learn to analyze different sources and Harvard format is one of the most useful and simple formats to deal with. Learning it once will help you for entire educational period getting proper grades.

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