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Harvard Referencing Style with Examples

Harvard Referencing Style Guide with Examples

06 Apr 2022


Citing other works in your assignments enhances the reader's understanding of your writing.It can be quotes, statistical figures, someone's paraphrased idea or a summary of the main points. There are several methods for crediting someone else’s work, but the most common and profound one is the Harvard referencing style.

What Is Harvard Referencing Style?

The Harvard citation allows students to easily credit someone else’s work. It is a popular method used by students in their assignment writing to refer to original resources. It is made up of two main components.

In-text: These are the types of references that are used directly in the text itself. For example, Harvard referencing method (Jack, 2018)

Reference Lists: In this type, a list of references is created at the end of the document, where all the references in the document can be found. For example, Jack K. 2018, the complete guide of referencing style, New Times Press, London.

The Harvard style of referencing covers all the citation types that use the author's name and year of publication within the text to indicate where you have inserted a source. For this reason, it is also known as the author-date format. Students and writers find this style an economical way of writing, and it is generally easier for the reader to understand, as there are no overcrowded placements of citations in the footnote. Only the author’s name, date of publication, and, if necessary, the page number is included in the Harvard referencing style. This concludes what is Harvard referencing style.

Details of In-text and Referencing List

In-text Citations

  • In Harvard in-text, the citation appears in brackets without any quotation or use of paraphrasing of the source. It includes the name of the author, publication date, and page number. Let’s look at a detailed example,
  • The poetry begins with the aloof image of the bus passengers’ faces, which are described as ‘dark reddish, the color of the sun’ (Zusky, 2007, p. 7).
  • Note: ‘p.’ here denotes a single page, ‘pp.’ for multiple pages (e.g. ‘pp. 3-7’).
  • In-text citation immediately begins after the quotation or paraphrased source. Citation can also appear at the end of the relevant sentence, as long as it is easy to understand for the reader.

Harvard Reference List

A reference list also known as a bibliography appears at the end of your writing. In this list, all the sources you have cited will have to be alphabetically ordered by the author’s last name, with other complete information so that it becomes easier for the reader to understand. For detailed examples, let’s have a look below:

  1. Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015a, The precious ring, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.
  2. Branford, A & Coutts, L 2015b, The wishing seed, Walker Books Australia, Newtown, NSW.
  3. Cancer Council 2017, Causes of cancer, Cancer Council, viewed 21 May 2018.
  4. Foot, G 2019, ‘Health drinks: turmeric', The best thing since sliced bread?, podcast, 20 February, accessed 25 February 2019.

As you will see, all the citations are ordered in an alphabetical manner and contain all the information that is required to look up the citation. This conduces how to write Harvard referencing style with both the in-text part and the referencing list part.

Understanding Harvard Referencing Style with Examples

It is crucial to fully grasp the Harvard style to use it in your writing. For that purpose, below we have mentioned a number of examples that will show you how to cite in regards to books, journals, images, films, and whatnot. So, let’s get started with the practical knowledge of how to use the Harvard referencing style with the right format and examples.


  • In-text citation structure and example:
  • (Author Surname, Publication Year)
  • (Googies, 2012)
  • Reference structure and example:
  • Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) Title. Place of Publication: Publisher.
  • Googies, T. (2013) A tale for the next time. Los Angelas: Penguin Books.

Book with two or three authors

For books with more than two or three, the names of all the authors are given in both the in-text citation and the reference entry.

In-text citation structure and example:

  • (1st Author Surname and 2nd Author Surname, Publication Year)
  • (Deji and Lucas, 2000)

Reference structure and example:

  • 1st Author Surname, Initials. and 2nd Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) Title of the text in Italics. Place of Publication: Publisher.
  • Deji, D. and Lucas, N. (2000) Rural practices and theory: a reader. 2nd edn. Horrow: Dugman.

Book with four or more authors

If the number of authors exceeds four or more, only the first author’s name is used followed by ‘et al.’, italicised, which in Latin means ‘and others.

In-text citation structure and example:

  • (1st Author Surname et al., Publication Year)
  • (Ducman et al., 2014)

Reference structure and example:

  • 1st Author Surname, Initials. et al. (Publication Year) Title of the Text in Italics. Place of Publication: Publisher.
  • Ducman, A. et al. (2014) Braille: an introduction to language and communication. 8th edn. Oxford, HA: MIT Press.

Book with translator

Only the author's name is provided in the in-text reference for novels having a translator. The translator's name, as well as the language from which it was translated, is listed in the reference list item. This appears immediately after the title.

In-text citation structure and example:

  • (Author Surname, Publication Year)
  • (Kowaski, 1997)

Reference structure and example:

  • Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) Title of the Text in Italics. Translated from Language by Translator Initials. Surname. Place of Publication: Publisher.
  • Kowaski, F. (1997) Government and regulations. Translated from Spanish by R. kuwanr and L. Jamestaon. Pittsburgh: Vintage.

Journal articles

Journal articles are highly trustworthy sources of information. The example below was authored by more than three individuals, so the term ‘et al.’ is used in place of listing all authors.

In-text citation structure and example:

  • (Author Surname, Publication Year)
  • (Lucas et al., 2020)
  • Journal reference list entries often have extra information, such as article title, volume, issue number, page numbers, or a specific date.
  • When it comes to journals, the volume number comes after the title. These data are stated alongside in brackets if there are any specific portions of the issue that are numbered or structured according to months.

Reference structure and example:

  • Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) ‘Article title’, Journal Name, Volume(Issue), Page(s). Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: date).
  • Lucas , M. et al. (2013) ‘Of cats and dolphins: generality and originality of the desert rule’, Journal of Geology, 40(8), pp. 1427-1439. Available at: https://www.jstor/org/stable/23463664 (Accessed: 10 August 2013).

Newspaper or magazine

In-text citation structure and example:

  • (Author Surname, Publication Year)
  • (Trangle, 2006)

Reference structure and example:

  • Author Surname, Initials. (Publication Year) ‘Article title’, Newspaper/Magazine Name, Day Month Published, Page(s). Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: date).
  • Trangle, S. (2006) ‘Geraint James says “he has nothing to inspire at roadshow championships’, The Huger, 24 August. Available at: https://www.thehuger.com/sprot/2006/sep/24/geraint-James-says-he-has-nothing-to-inspire-at-road-show-championships-cycling (Accessed: 11 September2006).

Social media and other online sources

In-text citation structure and example:

  • (Author/Poster Name, Publication Year)
  • (Canver, 2004)

Reference structure and example:

The format of references for social media postings is identical to that of web publications. However, they don't always have a proper 'title.' Unless the tweet is very long, the whole text of the tweet is utilized as the headline for Twitter postings.

  • Author/Poster Surname, Initial(s). [@Handle] (Publication year) Content of Post [Social Media Site] Day Month Published. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).
  • Canver, K. [@SenKenCanver] (2021) Court medicines is a crucial issue to the people I serve [Twitter] 24 August . Available at: https://twitter.com/SenKenCanver/status/1308915548244398081 (Accessed: 25 August 2020).


In-text citation structure and example:

  • (Image Creator or Photographer Surname, Publication Year)
  • (Junero, 2002)

Print reference structure:

Author, Last Name Initial(s). (Year) Title of Image [Photograph]. Place of Publication: Publisher (if available).

Online reference structure and example:

  • If the image is on the Internet, then the place of publication and the publisher name are replaced by the image URL and access date.
  • Author, Initial(s). (Year) Title of the Image. Available at: URL (Accessed: Day Month Year).
  • Junero, B.J. (2002) Flashy dreams. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-of-the-day/2002/09/flashy-dreams/ (Accessed: 23 July 2002).


In-text reference structure and example:

  • (Film Title, Year Released)
  • (Shawshank Redemption, 1994)

Reference structure and example:

  • For films, the name of the film is used in lieu of the author’s name.
  • Title of the Film (Year Released) Directed by Director Initial. Surname. Available at: Name of Streaming Service (Accessed: Day Month Year).
  • Shawshank Redemption (1994) Directed by Frank Daranbont UK: Universal Pictures. Available at: Netflix (Accessed: 29 June 2017).
  • This is a glance atthe insightful Harvard style referencing example that will cover everything mentioned in this blog and help you grasp every minute detail of this style.

Still Not Able to Grasp Details of Harvard Referencing Style? Get Expert Help!

Harvard Referencing Style is a technique that can help you leave an impactful impression on your readers. Incorporating Harvard-style citations will surely improve your grades in your assignments. But if you are still not able to grasp it, then leave it to Instant Assignment Help.

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Read Also: APA vs Harvard: Which One to Choose for Your Assignment?

Difference Between Bibliography & Reference List

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