Harvard Referencing Guide

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Harvard Referencing Overview

What Is Harvard Referencing Style?

Referencing is as important as any other aspect of writing an academic document. It intends to acknowledge the sources that writers have extract information from. When you use any idea in your write-up, it is necessary to mention the origin of that text to avoid plagiarism. And, also proves that you have done enough research and read all the relevant literary works. At the same time, it helps readers to locate the source and ascertain the authenticity of the writing material.

The Harvard Referencing Style is one of the commonly used citation styles in various Australian-based colleges and universities. It is an author-date referencing style with some different features which include punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and the use of italics. When students, or writers mention others' quotes, thoughts, views, or findings in their write-ups to support their point and prove validity without breaking any intellectual laws, they can use this style. It is hugely applied in publications for natural, behavioral, and social sciences.

There are mainly two types of Harvard citation style:

1. In-text citation

When you directly quote or paraphrase a source in the main text, in-text citation is used. They are used in the body of work and also contain some part of the full citation.

The format that it follows is:

Last name year of publication, page number from where information was taken

For example:

"After that I lived like a young rajah in all the capitals of Europe"¦" (Fitzgerald, 2004).

2. Reference list

This type of citations style is located at the end of the main work. It enlists all the sources that are used in the assignment.

The format that it follows:

Last name, Initial(s) Year of publication, Title, Publisher, Place of publication.

For example:

Fitzgerald, F. (2004). The great Gatsby. New York: Scribner.

Key points to remember

Here is the list of information that needs to be included in each citation:

  • Name of the author(s)
  • Year published
  • Title
  • City published
  • Publisher
  • Pages used
General format of Harvard Reference list is as follow:

Last name, First Initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).

  • Citations are listed in an alphabetical order according to the author's last name.
  • In case of multiple sources of the same author, citations are listed in order of the date of publication.

Here are the rules that you are required to follow carefully while compiling the list of references or bibliography. Take a look:

Tools for creating Harvard Book references:

1. Book

Books with one author

The structure of Harvard citation style for books with one author is:

Last name, First initial, Year published, Title, Edition(Only include the edition if it is not the first edition), Publisher, City published.

For example:

Dwyer, J 2013, Communication for business and the professions: strategies and skills, 5th edn, Pearson Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.

Books with more than one author

When citing a book written by two or more authors, the names are mentioned in the order in which they are printed in the source.


Last name, First initial, Last name, First initial, Last name, First initial...& Last name, First initial Year of publication, Title, Publisher, City.

For example:

Bond, WR, Smith, JT, Brown, KL & George, M 1996, Management of small firms, McGraw-Hill, Sydney.

Books without an author

In case there is no author, the title is used in place of the name of author in reference.


Title, Year of publication, Edition, Publisher, City.

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For example:

Style manual for authors: editors and printers 1996, 5th edn, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.

2. Articles


Last name, First initial, Year of publishing, Article title', Journal, Volume, Issue number, Page(s).

For example:

Prentice, C 2010, 'Terms of ambivalence: cultural politics and symbolic exchange', Australian Literary Studies, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 33-54.

3. Newspaper

Last name, First initials, Year of publcation, Article title(in single inverted commas), Newspaper title, Publication Date, Page Number.

For example:

Ionesco, J 2001, 'Federal election: new Chip in politics', The Advertiser, 23 October, p. 10.

4. Websites


Last name of author, First Initials, Year, Title, Date viewed, Web address .

For example:

HealthInsite 2011, Complementary and alternative therapies, National Health Call Centre Network, viewed 14 September 2011, <http://www.healthinsite.gov.au/topics/Complementary_and_Alternative_Therapies>.

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