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APA v/s Harvard Referencing Style

APA vs Harvard Referencing: Which One to Choose for Your Assignment in 2024?

05 Feb 2024


An essential section of the process of a perfect assignment writing is referencing. It is also known as a citation. This holds great significance since it not only states that a student's work is plagiarism-free but also ensure it is referred from a reliable source. Now, the main task here for the student is to differentiate between these two popular referencing styles and choose one.

In most cases, since the university guidelines already mention the referencing style a student should use, so let us look into the difference and how to use these APA and Harvard styles.

What Is APA Referencing Style?

APA (American Psychological Association) referencing style is a citation type generally used in fields like economics, social sciences, business, and pedagogy. It consists of the name of the author and the year of publication covered wholly or partly in round brackets. Do not take the first name, but only the last name of the author, followed by a comma and then state the year of publication. 

Learning about the format and its structure is crucial to stating the citations appropriately. Thus, to know the format it follows, the following sections will help you learn them. So, before going to the section directly, first, go through the part that talks about Harvard Referencing Style.

What Is Harvard Referencing Style?

Harvard referencing style is the most commonly used structure for citing sources. It is an author/date method and follows a similar approach followed by the APA style.The format, includes the in-text citation, and the reference list that comes at the end, inside the bibliography section. It is used in several subjects like humanities, history, behavioural and social sciences. Moreover, one must remember to make the reference list in alphabetical order by looking at the last names of the authors.

Citations are a crucial part when it comes to research papers like dissertations, thesis, and other academic writing to avoid plagiarism and copyright issues. So, taking assignment help in such cases proves beneficial to improve the learning process. However, to help you out, take the reference of the blog.

Surely, after going through the meaning of the referencing styles, you must be thinking, "What is the difference between these citations?" So, if confused with the structure, the next section will help you clear your queries as it talks about the dissimilarities between these referencing styles.

Also Read-  Harvard Referencing Style Guide with Examples

APA vs Harvard Referencing:

Referencing is used to give credit to the original writer and provide a source of the same to the reader. Thus, confirming that a particular piece of work is not your own and you referred it from the mentioned source. It includes two main parts, in-text and list of references.


A) In-text referencing

This is a short, referencing manner. It is used to cite any information right in there, in short, to let the reader know to refer to the list of references for detailed information on the same.

B) List of references

This is another manner where all references used for the document are mentioned in the form of a list. Here, the citations include complete details of the source such as author’s name, page number, chapter number, etc.

So, these are the two main parts of referencing. Now, based on them, we shall look into APA vs Harvard in detail.

Difference Between Harvard and APA Referencing Style



This style is mainly used in the social sciences domain.

This is mainly used in the domain of humanities, nature and social sciences.

In case of citing one author, the last name of the user is inserted along with the publication year.

Harvard is similar to APA referencing style to an extent.

In the case of two authors, use an ampersand to link the names, followed by the publication year.

In the case of two authors, the word "and" is used to link the names.

In case of more than three authors, only the first author is cited following et al. And they are cited within single parenthesis with semi-colons.

In case of more than four authors, the surname of the first author is cited along with et al.

"References" is the term used to indicate listing of references.

"References list" is the term used to indicate the listing of references.

Page numbers are cited by "year", semicolon and page number within single braces.

Page numbers are cited by "year", comma, page number within single braces.

In case if anything is to be edited, here the term to be is "(Ed[s])", and the editors’ name is mentioned before the title of the work.

If anything is edited, it is mentioned as "ed[s]" or "edited by", followed by the name of the editor mentioned after the title of work.

For website sources, include last name, followed by first initial, year, month and date of publication in single braces, followed by article title and retrieved from URL.

For website references, include the last name, followed by first name initial, year of publication in single braces, page title, website name and available at along with website link, accessed day, month, year.

The first word of the title, subtitle and proper nouns are capitalized.

Capitalize only the first word of title and proper nouns. The subtitle is separated from the main title by a colon and is not capitalized.

So, once you are over with the basic knowledge of both types of citation styles, follow the section below. It will help you learn more about the format of APA and Harvard referencing with the help of examples.

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Examples of Harvard and APA Referencing Styles

Are you waiting for "APA vs Harvard referencing style examples?" Take it easy, this section of the blog contains the information you are looking for. Below are the format of referencing styles that can help you cite the sources in the most appropriate manner. So, what are you waiting for? Take a glance and clear your concept.

APA Referencing Style Examples

APA Referencing style has a few key points to remember. It follows in-text citation format if the source appears in the middle of the text and contains a reference list that follows another method. So, below are the formats given for both types of methods. So, expand your knowledge and cite the sources in the correct format.

In-Text Citation Style

(Last Name of The Author in case of a single author, Year of Publication, page number/ paragraph number if present)- (Thomas, 2019, p. 10)

(Last name of 2-3 authors, Publication Year)-(McLarren, Brecht, and Davis, 2020)

Moreover, in the case of more than six authors, add only the last name of the first author, followed by "et al." and then a year of publication. Also, the author's last name does not come under parenthesis when you follow a narrative approach.

A reference list is for the reader to identify the sources and is generally placed at the end of the page inside the bibliography. A proper citation format gives recognition to the author and increases the credibility of the content. So, look at the format below to know about such appropriate forms.

Reference List Format

Author Surname, Initial, (Year of Publication), Title, Subtitle, (Edition.).Publisher.

Are you over with the query, "How do you write APA referencing format?If yes, then the next step is to understand the format followed by the Harvard referencing style. So, dive ahead in the section to track the citation layout of Harvard style.

Harvard Referencing Style Examples

Just like the points a student must remember while citing in the APA format, Harvard referencing style also follows a fixed pattern of the author-date system. So, the below examples will help in expanding your knowledge and give better clarity. Thus, take the help of a quick guide of examples.

In-Text Citation Style

(Last Name of The Author in case of single author, Year of Publication)- (Bolt, 2006)


(Last name of 2-3 authors, Publication Year)-(Bolt, Hughson, & Ross, 1998)

Harvard is not as complex as APA and it goes by the name "author-date method". So, its application is comparatively easier and does not become a challenge for students. If the sources are to be added to the bibliography section, then you must follow the pattern of the reference list mentioned below.

Reference List Format

 Author(s), (Year of Publication), Title, City: Publisher.

Undoubtedly, citation is one thing that is essential to place in the assignment, but at the same time, it is complex. It becomes essential to pick the right formatting approach to safeguard the hard work of months. However, even after going through the examples, if you get stuck, then getting university assignment help from our experts is a suitable decision. So, if you are looking for someone to help with citations, seek the best solution with our excellent service. Thus, to know more about it, get a brief from the next section.

Facing Difficulties in Referencing Styles? Get Our Help!

So, these are some citing rules for both APA and Harvard referencing style that differentiate them from each other. Also read about How To Harvard Reference A Blog written by our experts. Our experts who have pursued their degrees from renowned universities hold years of experience in writing. They are well-versed with these referencing styles and can help you with it in no time. So, to get a document with a perfect reference, seek help from our UK assignment writing service. You can also avail our individual referencing services at the best affordable prices. But if Assignment is your concern, then learn differentiating assignment expectations from reality. You can contact us for the same through call, chat, or email.

Also Read-  Popular Sentence Starters for Essays to Grab Reader's Attention

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