Harvard Citation Style Generator: Main Tips, Format, Guidelines

Harvard Citation Style Generator: 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 Harvard citation style 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. After reading this article, you will be able to find out what a few of our experts recommend on how to cite properly. With this formatting guide, you’ll learn how to cite the right way after checking a few useful Harvard citation style samples.

Harvard citation style: Distinctive features

Harvard citation style is the most common international citation style in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Most often, it is used in academic publications. Harvard style assumes that references to sources of information or individual ideas (data, materials) are presented in a publication twice:  directly in the text of the publication as an in-text citation or footnote and in the list of publications (Reference list or Bibliography), placed at the end of the paper.

General guidelines

Please check the general guidelines to Harvard referencing:
  1. Harvard presupposes author-date in-text citations
  2. All the sources mentioned in the text should be listed in references and visa versa
  3. The reference list should be placed on a separate page in the end of the paper 
  4. References should be listed in an alphabetically
  5. Each entry should be listed on a new line

Is Harvard citation the same as APA?

Is Harvard and APA the same?- it is one of the most common questions. At first glance it might seem so if you look at the in-text citations, but it is definitely not. The devil is in the detail they say.  Both Harvard and APA presuppose author year in-text citations. However, the main difference between Harvard and APA in-text citations is that no comma is needed before the year in Harvard. That is only one of the differences. The two formats also have a similar system of formatting headings. But, cover page, header, in-text citations, bibliography of these to formats are absolutely different.

Harvard referencing style

To start your experience with Harvard citation style format and learn how to deal with this format, you should know that Harvard citation style includes in-text citations and Reference List or Bibliography. Those Harvard citation types can be described as:

  • In-text citing —  when you add information from some source to your paper, you should mention the author just in the text; that is an in-text citation. If you paraphrase the information and present it using your own words, mention just the author and a year. If you provide a direct quote, you should specify the page number as well. In-text citations for various types of sources are formatted differently. The examples will be presented below. For example, “My life turned complete mess after I realized my home was burned to the ground last night…” (Benton 1987, p. 176).
  • Harvard Reference List  — it is a separate list at the end of your essay that includes all the sources cited in paper, and it is arranged in an alphabetical order and according to specific Harvard referencing rules.  Be sure to list all extracts that you used in your article. Here is an example you should follow: Benton, B. (1987). Birth of the Nation. London: Brainwood.

Using this material, you are able to format your paper according to the rules of the Harvard citation style.

 Harvard style in-text citations

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

  1. If you mention the name of the author in the sentence, then mention only the year in the in-text citation. Example:  Smith (2017, p.342) states that..
  2. If the name of the author is not mentioned in the text, add the author's surname and a year in parentheses in the end of the sentence. Example:  (Smith 2017)

Let us get useful examples of Harvard style in-text citations.

  • One author. When citing a source with one author, mention the surname and a year in parenthesis in the end of the sentence. Example: (Smith 2017).
  • Two to three authors. If the source you are citing has up to three authors, mention all of them in your in-text citation. Example:  (Smith and Jones 2017)
  • Three or more authors. If you are citing a source with more than three authors, mention only the first author and add et al. Example: (Smith et al. 2017)
  • An organisation as a source. If the organization or corporation is an author of the source you are citing, mention the name of the organization instead of the author's surname. Example: (OWL 2015)
  • Authors with the same surnames and years of publication.  In such cases, include the author's initial in your in-text citations. Example: ( Smith J. 2017; Smith A. 2017)
  • Several works by one author (authors with similar credentials) and years of publications). In such situations, add small letters near the year both in the in-text citation and reference list.  Example: ( Smith 2017)
  • If you paraphrase specific idea from the source, make sure to add a page number in your in-text citation. Example: (Smith 2017, p.321)
  • Direct quotes. If you add direct quotes to your text, make sure to introduce the quotes using quotation marks. Example: As stated by the author, ""flavours such as vanillin which occur naturally in food are called ‘nature–identical’ " (Wilson 2009, p. 257)

How to format reference list in Harvard

We have created a list of the most commonly used sources for you to use as instructions and guides.  Different types of sources have diverse formatting requirements, and even the same type of source can be formatted in different ways based on the number of sources.

harvard sign

A book

1.A book with one author

Author's surname Initials., (year). Title. Edition (if there is). City: Publisher
Example: Jackson P. (1959). Paint Like Blood. Columbus: Domestic People.

2.A book with more than one author

When a book has multiple authors, follow such a format:

First Author's surname, Initials., second Author surname Initials.,  and third Author surname Initials.,(year). Title. Edition (if there is). City: Publisher

Example: Corgan B. and Century M. (2011). Trapped Under Ice. Seatle, USA: Book Hook, p. 24.

Electronic book

If you have used an electronic book in your paper, you should add a DOI or URL
First Author's surname Initials., second Author surname, Initials.,  and third Author surname, Initials.,(year). Title [online]. Edition (if there is). City: Publisher. [date viewed]. Available from: URL or DOI.

Chapter or section in an edited book

For the chapter of a book, the format is as follows.
Chapter Author's Surname Initials., (Year). Chapter of title. In: Editor(s) Initials. Surnames, ed(s). Title of a book [online]. Edition (if there is). City: Publisher. Page numbers. [date viewed]. Available from: DOI or URL 

Journal article


 Surname Initials., (Year). Title of the article. Journal title. Volume in bold (Issue), page range.

2.Electronic or with and without DOI assigned

Author Surname Initials., (Year). Title of the article. Title of the journal [online]. Volume in bold (Issue), Page range. [date viewed]. Available from: DOI
Author  Surname Initials., (Year). Title of the article. Title of the journal [online]. Volume in bold (Issue), Page range. [date Viewed]. Available from: URL


In Harvard formatting style, magazine articles should be formatted in the same way as a journal article.

Newspaper article


Author Surname Initials., (Year). Title of the article. Title of the newspaper. Day, Month. Page range.

2.Online or electronic

Author Surname Initials., (Year). Title of the article. Title of Newspaper [online]. Day Month. Date updated (if there is). Page number (if available). [date viewed]. Available from: URL


Author Initials., (Year). Name of the website. [Date viewed]. Available from: URL

Web page

Author surname Initial(s)/corporate author., (Year). Title of part [online]. Name of website. [Date viewed]. Available from: URL 


1.Online image

Artist surname Initials., (Year). Title of image [Type of image]. [Date viewed]. Available from: URL

2.Personal photography, poster or photograph in an art gallery 

Artist surname Initial(s)., (Year). Title [Item type]. At: Place: Holding institution, department (if available), identifier or reference number (if available).

3.Print (eg. in a book or journal)

Artist surname Initials., (Year). Title of image [Type of image]. In: Initial(s), Author Surname, Year (if different from image). Title. Edition (if there is). City: Publisher. Page number.


This type of formatting can be applied not only to YouTube but to cite any user-uploaded content
Name of the Channel., (Date of upload). Title of video [online]. Title of the website. [date viewed]. Available from: URL

In-text referencing: Avoid mess when formatting by following accurate guidelines

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

  • If there are four or more writers, mention only the first author and add et al. in the Harvard citation style.
  • If you use a few sources by one author released in the same year, add alphabetical marks both in the reference list and in-text citations.
  • If there are research publications of the same writer from different years, use chronological order to list them. It is a system that shouldn’t be changed in any way.
  • The title in the Harvard citation style is the main feature if the name of the author is absent. Don’t include parentheses in your title.

Create a paper following the Harvard citation system guide

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 common and simple formats to deal with. Learning it once will help you for the entire educational period getting proper grades.

If you find it difficult to apply the gained knowledge in practice, ask for expert help. We will complete a custom plagiarism-free paper that will be formatted according to the style you request. Give it a try!