Harvard Referencing – An Easy Guide

Harvard Referencing – An Easy Guide
July 21, 2017
Author : Administrator








What is Harvard Referencing?

Harvard is a style of referencing, primarily used by university students, to cite information sources.

Where is it applied?

Harvard Referencing is basically applied in non-technical assignments like essays, basic reports, etc. in topics like healthcare management, nursing, etc. One must always specifically reference direct quotations and paraphrases.

Types of Application

Harvard Referencing is practically applied in two ways, in assignments:

  1. In-Text
  2. Reference List

An in-text citation is a reference made within the body of a text of an academic essay.

An example of in-text citation would be:

So we see a nurse, or a teacher or a policeman or policewoman going about their business and tend to judge them as being particular types of people rather than as people being constrained by the roles that they are playing in their work. (Strongman, 2006, p. 94).

Referencing is an acknowledgement that you have used the ideas and written material belonging to other

An example of an academic source in reference list would be as follows:

Leininger, M., 2002. Culture care theory: A major contribution to advance transcultural nursing knowledge and practices. Journal of transcultural nursing, 13(3), pp.189-192.


What are the types of sources? The following are the different types of referencing sources:

  1. Almanacs or Statistical Sources,
  2. Book Reviews,
  3. Bibliographies,
  4. Sourcebooks,
  5. Directories,
  6. Literature Guides,
  7. Chronologies,
  8. Multivolume General Histories,
  9. Dictionaries,

    • Unabridged
    • Abridged
    • Etymological
    • Subject

  10. 10. Gazetteers, etc.


How are citations done using the Harvard style?

There are many rules pertaining to citations depending on the number of authors of a particular work. The same has been explained below:

1. Citing one author

It was emphasized that citations in a text should be consistent (Jones, 2011).


2. Citing two or three author

If a source has two or three authors, all names should be given.

Evidence shows that providing virtual laboratory exercises as well as practical laboratory experience enhances the learning process (Barros, Read and Verdejo2008).

Barros, Read and Verdejo   ===   Authors Name

2008   ===   Year of Publication


3. Citing four or more authors

Social acceptance of carbon capture and storage is necessary for the introduction of technologies (van Alphen et al. 2007).

Alphen et al   ===   The abbreviation ‘et al’ can be used after the first author’s name.


4. Citing works by the same author written in the same year

Communication of science in the media has increasingly come under focus, particularly where reporting of facts and research is inaccurate (Goldacre 2008a; Goldacre 2008b)

2008a, 2008b   ===   If you cite a new work which has the same author and was written in the same year as an earlier citation, you could use lower case letters after the date todifferentiate between the works


How is a reference list prepared?

A reference list isgenerally written at the end of the assignment and shall list out full citations for sources used in the assignment.

Book: (Print):

Simons, N., Menzies, B. and Matthews, M., 2001. A short course in soil and rock slope engineering. Thomas Telford Ltd.

slope   ===   The title should be in italics.

EBook: Simons, N. E., Menzies, B. & Matthews, M. (2001) A Short Course in Soil and Rock Slope Engineering. [Online] London,

Thomas Telford Publishing. Available at: http://www.myilibrary.com?ID=93941 [Accessed 18th June 2008].

http://www.myilibrary.com?ID=93941 ===   Available URL

18th June 2008 ===   Date of Access



Ellis, G., 2016. The Broader View. In How Can Physics Underlie the Mind? (pp. 395-463). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.



Leatherwood, S. (2001) Whales, dolphins, and porpoises of the western North Atlantic. U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Report number: 63.


Sample Reference List: (Alphabetical order)

Alston, P., Bustelo, M.R. and Heenan, J. eds., 1999. The EU and human rights. Oxford University Press on Demand.

Brown, G., 2001. Assessment: A guide for lecturers (Vol. 3). York: Learning and Teaching Support Network.

Orem, D.E., Taylor, S.G. and Renpenning, K.M., 1995. Nursing concepts of practice.


Here is a checklist for all you students:

  • Margins are set at least 2.54 cm top and bottom and left and right.
  • Font style and size is same as for the rest of the assignment: usually Times new Roman 12 or Arial 11.
  • Line spacing in the reference list is single even though the assignment is 1.5 or double line spacing.
  • The reference list should be aligned to the left margin.
  • The reference list is arranged in alphabetical order according to the author’s family name (surname). The family name must be written in full and initials used to represent given names.

The reference list begins on a new page. It should be the last page of your assignment; however, any appendices go after the reference list.

Reference list needs to be accurate and consistent. It is an important part of your academic assignment.

The more references you write, the more familiar you will be with what you need to know. If one wants to know everything about Harvard Referencing, then there is plenty to read and know. If you are still unsure, ask us!

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