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Harvard Referencing

Ultimate Guide to Harvard Referencing

The cogwheels of the academic sphere keep turning, they keep racing forward, and they keep demanding a continuous exertion of labor and a certain energy that is simply inexhaustible. Owing to this toiling and slogging, individuals aren’t able to find a stable footing, they get pulled into a vicious cycle, the dichotomy of their different spheres start battling with each other, and they, therefore, enter an ambit whereby bottling up emotions and dilemmas becomes commonplace. In this day and age, when we view the academic realm from an external lens, the level of distortion becomes immediately evident, the curtailed growth opportunities are perceivable, and the chaos is easily noticeable, owing to the amount of disorder, confined spaces and the contradictions that are housed within it.

Students, in particular, are pushed to the corners; they are forced to carry out tasks that are too painstakingly comprehensive, they’re required to display an extent of perseverance and passion that is too high to maintain, and they’re required to be shepherded by their sheer need to progress, grow and attain success. In order to assess a student’s cerebral capacity, their comprehension prowess, the structure associated with their thoughts and to grasp the breadth and width of one’s knowledge pool, the academic institutions dotted across the globe assign challenging, intellectually stimulating and intricately weaved and strung together tasks, which typically leave the student feeling drained, worn out and constricted. Other than just writing out these tasks, institutions also expect and demand their students to produce a paper that is formatted in a manner befitting their standards, and a paper that can avoid the label of ‘plagiarism’ to be associated with it.

As a consequence, it is of paramount importance for students to comprehend the significance that accurate formatting holds, as once they inculcate and integrate such practices into their writing process, they are then likely to detach themselves from the imprint of lazy vantage points, an unstructured writing craft, and an uncultivated intellectual aptitude. Moreover, by formatting and citing their work sufficiently and effectively, students elevate the credibility of their paper, while simultaneously strengthening the viewpoint they’ve presented to the reader, rather than leaving them with a nebulous thought process about the subject matter.

For this reason, when discussing the importance of formatting and citing, it only makes sense to discuss and dissect the layers that comprise Harvard referencing. Hence, first and foremost, individuals need to establish that disparate referencing styles have different citation rules that underpin their structure.

Harvard referencing, in particular, has two forms of citations:

  • Reference Lists: In this format, the citations are percolated and placed at the end of the document. According to which, they consist of complete bibliographical information of the sources and information contained within the document.
  • In-text-Citations: In this format, the citations are weaved together with the main body of the content or the narrative, with a select share of the full bibliographical information present.

Therefore, if not equipped with a well-rounded or a clear idea regarding what precisely is Harvard referencing, then make it a point to read through the Harvard Referencing Guide compiled below.

In this digital age, there is a treasure trove of resources available at the disposal of the student. Not just this, but they also have the complete liberty to employ and extract any piece of information for the utilization of uplifting their narrative, for imbuing nuance to the diversity of the intellectual assets they infuse into their content, or for merely stringing together different ideas and perspectives. However, even today, a significantly larger proportion of students prefer to make use of books as a source of inspiration or as a source for completing their raw notions and concepts.

Citations for a book with one author:
Format: Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. Edition (if not the first edition of the book). City of publication: Publisher.
Example: Steel, D. (1998). His Bright Light. New York City. Delacorte Press.

Citations for books with two or three authors:
Format: Last name, first initial., Last name, first initial., and Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. City of publication: Publisher.
Example: Cocks, H. and Morgan, J. (2015). The Royal We. New York City. Grand Central Publishing.

Citations for different books by the same author:
In moments, whereby the student ends up utilizing information and resources from different books but of the same author, then the student must distinguish between the citations by the year. The citations should be placed and laid down onto the paper in a chronological sequence of their publication. Additionally, if work made use of is published in the same year by the same author, then the student should make use of and should place ‘a’,’b’,’c’ after the year has been stated.

Format: Last name, first initial. (Year). Title. City of publication: Publisher.
Example: Steel, D. (1987). Zoya. New York City. Dell Publishing.
Steel, D. (2017). The Mistress. New York City. Dell Publishing.
Steel, D. (2010) Big Girl. New York City. Dell Publishing.

Online Sources:
In this digitally charged era, there is a technological pulsating beat in the heart of every individual, and therefore it only makes sense for their pool and reservoir of information to widen and broaden as time progresses. Nevertheless, when incorporating or when harnessing the information disseminated by online platforms, students need to understand how to cite these resources properly, in order to avoid any unfavorable circumstance.

When citing websites or online resources, it is essential for the reader to define the authorship of the website or the written content. If a source of information is extracted from a website that doesn’t belong to a newspaper or a journal, then the student should make it a point to credit the authorship to the individual writer. Nevertheless, if the website belongs to any given organization or newspaper, then they should be duly credited.

Format: Author (Year). Title of web document/page. [online]. (Last updated: if this information is available). Available at: URL [Accessed date: Day/Month/Year]
Example: Sheelah Kolhatkar (2018). Can the Deal Compensate Toys R Us Workers Be Replicated at Sears? [online]. [Accessed Date: 18th December 2018]

Acquiring the knowledge and layering your academic paper with scholarly and literary influences is a refined manner of adding depth to your narrative. Therefore, the sources and intellectual cradles from where students can retrieve supporting evidence for their papers are diverse, and thus students should never constrict themselves, in order to allow academic progression to foster and nurture.

Citations for Print Journals:
Format: Last name, First initial. (Year). Article Title. Journal name, Volume (Issue), Page/s.
Example: Johns, K. (2000). Unusual Recipes and Italian Cuisine. Gastronomic Research, Volume 3 (2), pp. 34-40
Citations For Newspaper Article- Both Online & Print
Format: Last name, First initial. (Year). Article title. Newspaper name, Page/s.
Example: Rosner, H. (2018). Is the Air Fryer the New Instant Pot? The New Yorker, p. 3

Citations For Magazine Articles – Both Online & Print
(Print)Format: Last name, First initial. (Year). Article title. Magazine name, volume number, Page/s.
(Online) Format: Last name, First initial. (Year, Month Day). Article Title. Magazine name, [online] Page/s. Retrieved from: URL
(Online)Example: Kazanjian, D. (2018, December 12th) Inside The Shed, Manhattan’s New State-of-the-Art Cultural Venue. Vogue, [online]. Retrieved From:

Citations For Social Media:
With the advent of social media, the influences and the information gained and viewed on social platforms has slowly and steadily started seeping through into the academic papers created by students. Moreover, in the 21st century, various subject matters and disciplines require the student to explore and delve into the different layers and facets of social media. Thus, when data is extracted and drawn from social media platforms, students should cite the sources adequately.

Format: Last name of the author, First initial. (Year). Title of page [Social media format]. Day/month/year written. Available from: URL. [Accessed: Day/Month/Year].
Example: Cooler, L. (2017). The growing effects of religious indifference [Instagram]. Written 8th September 2017. *insert URL* [Accessed: 18th December 2018]

Citations For YouTube Videos:
In this technologically driven and paced era, students are bound to diversify their medium of researching and their source of inspiration and academic stimulation. YouTube, is a search engine and a video searching website, whereby students can engage with informative, creative and constructive content being projected to them through a visual medium. Nonetheless, this shift in the paradigm of researching also requires the student to shift their citation technique.

Format: Username of the contributor. (Year). Video Title, Series Title (if relevant). [type of medium]. Available at: URL. [Accessed: Day/ Month/ Year]
Example: Anne Johnson. (2014). Genetic Engineering. [YouTube Video]. Available at: [Accessed: Tuesday/December/2018]

In a nutshell, the significance of referencing and citations cannot be relegated or pushed to the backspace, as they hold an immense amount of value in ameliorating the credibility, the reliability and the caliber of the content placed onto the paper. Therefore, students must employ their utmost diligence and meticulousness when citing their paper, as any slight mistake, can land them in hot water.


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