Harvard Format Citation Guide
This is a complete guide to Harvard in-text and reference list citations.This easy-to-use, comprehensive guide makes citing any source easy. Check out our other citation guides on APA and MLA 8 referencing.
Back to top
1. Harvard Referencing Basics: Reference List
A reference list is a complete list of all the sources used when creating a piece of work. This list includes information about the sources like the author, date of publication, title of the source and more. A Harvard reference list must:
Be on a separate sheet at the end of the document
Be organised alphabetically by author, unless there is no author then it is ordered by the source title, excluding articles such as a, an or the
If there are multiple works by the same author these are ordered by date, if the works are in the same year they are ordered alphabetically by the title and are allocated a letter (a,b,c etc) after the date
Be double spaced: there should be a full, blank line of space between each line of text
Contain full references for all in-text references used
Back to top
2. Harvard Referencing Basics: In-Text
In-text references must be included following the use of a quote or paraphrase taken from another piece of work.
In-text references are references written within the main body of text and refer to a quote or paraphrase. They are much shorter than full references. The full reference of in-text citations appears in the reference list. In Harvard referencing, in-text citations contain the author(s)’s or editor(s)’s surname, year of publication and page number(s). Using an example author James Mitchell, this takes the form:
Mitchell (2017, p. 189) states.. Or (Mitchell, 2017, p. 189)
(Note: p. refers to a single page, pp. refers to a range of pages)
Two or Three Authors:
When citing a source with two or three authors, state all surnames like so:
Mitchell, Smith and Thomson (2017, p. 189) states… Or
(Mitchell, Coyne and Thomson, 2017, p. 189)
Four or More Authors:
In this case, the first author’s surname should be stated followed by ‘et al’:
Mitchell et al (2017, p. 189) states… Or (Mitchell et al, 2017, p, 189)
If possible, use the organisation responsible for the post in place of the author. If not, use the title in italics:
(A guide to citation, 2017, pp. 189-201)
Multiple Works From the Same Author in the Same Year:
If referencing multiple works from one author released in the same year, the works are allocated a letter (a, b, c etc) after the year. This allocation is done in the reference list so is done alphabetically according to the author's surname and source title:
(Mitchell, 2017a, p. 189) or Mitchell (2017b, p. 189)
Citing Multiple Works in One Parentheses:
List the in-text citations in the normal way but with semicolons between different references:
(Mitchell, 2017, p. 189; Smith, 200; Andrews, 1989, pp. 165-176)
Citing Different Editions of the Same Work in One Parentheses:
Include the author(s)’s name only once followed by all the appropriate dates separated by semicolons:
Mitchell (2010; 2017) states… Or (Mitchell, 2010; 2017)
Citing a Reference With No Date:
In this case simply state ‘no date’ in place of the year: (Mitchell, no date, p. 189).
Citing a Secondary Source:
In this case, state the reference you used first followed by ‘cited in’ and the original author:
Smith 2000 (cited in Mitchell, 2017, p. 189) or (Smith, 2000, cited in Mitchell, 2017, p. 189)
Back to top
3. How to Cite Different Source Types
In-text citations remain quite constant across source types, unless mentioned explicitly, assume the in-text citation uses the rules stated above
Reference list references vary quite a lot between sources.
How to Cite a Book in Harvard Format
Book referencing is the simplest format in Harvard referencing style. The basic format is as follows:
Book Referencing Example:
Mitchell, J.A. and Thomson, M. (2017) A guide to citation.3rd edn. London: London Publishings.
How to Cite an Edited Book in Harvard Format
Edited books are collations of chapters written by different authors. Their reference format is very similar to the book reference except instead of the author name, the editor name is used followed by (eds.) to distinguish them as an editor. The basic format is:
Editor surname(s), initial(s). (eds.) (Year Published). Title. Edition. Place of
Edited Book Example:
William, S.T. (eds.) (2015) Referencing: a guide to citation rules. New York: My Publisher
How to Cite a Chapter in an Edited Book in Harvard Format
For citing chapters, you need to add the chapter author and chapter title to the reference. The basic format is as follows:
Chapter in an Edited Book Example:
Troy B.N. (2015) ‘Harvard citation rules’ in Williams, S.T. (ed.) A guide to citation rules. New York: NY Publishers, pp. 34-89.
In-Text Citations: Chapter in an Edited Book
Use the chapter author surname, not the editor.
How to Cite an E-Book in Harvard Format
To reference an e-book, information about its collection, location online and the date it was accessed are needed as well as author name, title and year of publishing:
If the e-book is accessed via an e-book reader the reference format changes slightly:
Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year Published). Title. Edition. E-book format [e-book reader]. Available at URL or DOI (Accessed: day month year)
This includes information about the e-book format and reader, for instance this could be ‘Kindle e-book [e-book reader]’.
Mitchell, J.A., Thomson, M. and Coyne, R.P. (2017) A guide to citation. E-book library [online]. Available at: https://www.mendeley.com/reference-management/reference-manager (Accessed: 10 September 2016)
How to Cite a Journal Article in Harvard Format
The basic format to cite a journal article is:
Journal Article Example
Mitchell, J.A. ‘How citation changed the research world’, The Mendeley, 62(9), p70-81.
Journal Article Online Example
Mitchell, J.A. ‘How citation changed the research world’, The Mendeley, 62(9) [online]. Available at: https://www.mendeley.com/reference-management/reference-manager (Accessed: 15 November 2016)
How to Cite a Newspaper Article in Harvard Format
Citing a newspaper article is similar to citing a journal article except, instead of the volume and issue number, the edition and date of publication are needed:
Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year) ‘Article Title’, Newspaper Title (edition), day month,
Note: edition is used only where applicable.
Newspaper Article Example:
Mitchell, J.A. (2017) ‘Changes to citation formats shake the research world’, The Mendeley Telegraph (Weekend edition), 6 July, pp.9-12.
How to Cite an Online Journal or Newspaper Article in Harvard Format
To cite an online journal or newspaper article, the page numbers section from the print journal or newspaper reference is swapped with the URL or DOI the article can be accessed from and when it was accessed. So the reference for an online journal article is:
Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year) ‘Title of article’, Title of journal, volume(issue/season) [online]. Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: day month year)
And the reference for an online newspaper article is:
Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year) ‘Article Title’, Newspaper Title (edition), day month [online]. Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: day month year)
How to Cite Non-Print Material in Harvard Format
How to Cite an Online Photograph in Harvard Format
The basic format is as follows:
Photograph surname, initial. (Year of publication) Title of photograph [online]. Available at: URL (Accessed: day month year)
Online Photograph Example:
Millais, J.E. (1851-1852) Ophelia [online]. Available at: www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/millais-ophelia-n01506 (Accessed: 21 June 2014)
How to Cite a Film in Harvard Format
The basic format to cite a film is:
Rear Window (1954) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock [Film]. Los Angeles: Paramount Pictures.
How to Cite a TV Programme in Harvard Format
The basic format for citing a TV programme is as follows:
TV Programme Example:
‘Fly’ (2010) Breaking Bad, Series 2, episode 10. AMC, 23 May 2010.
How to Cite Music in Harvard Format
The basic format to cite an album is as follows:
Beyonce (2016) Lemonade [Visual Album] New York: Parkwood Records. Available at: https://www.beyonce.com/album/lemonade-visual-album/ (Accessed: 17 February 2016).
How to Cite a Website in Harvard Format
The basic format to cite a website is:
Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year of publishing) Title of page/site [Online[. Available at: URL (Accessed: day month year)
Mitchell, J.A. (2017) How and when to reference [Online]. Available at: https://www.howandwhentoreference.com/ (Accessed: 27 May 2017)
To learn more about citing a web page and entire websites in APA, MLA or Harvard check out How to Cite a Website post.
For a summary of all the references for each source type along with examples take a look at our Ultimate Citation Cheat Sheet. It also contains examples for MLA 8 and APA formats.
Back to top
Why do I Need to Cite?
Harvard referencing can be a confusing task, especially if you are new to the concept, but it’s absolutely essential. In fact, accurate and complete referencing can mean the difference between reaching your academic goals and damaging your reputation amongst scholars. Simply put - referencing is the citing of sources you have utilised to support your essay, research, conference or article etc.
Even if you are using our Harvard style citation generator, understanding why you need to cite will go a long way in helping you to naturally integrate the process into your research and writing routine.
Firstly, whenever another source contributes to your work you must give the original author the appropriate credit in order to avoid plagiarism, even when you have completely reworded the information. The only exception to this rule is common knowledge - e.g. Barack Obama is President of the United States. Whilst plagiarism is not always intentional, it is easy to accidentally plagiarize your work when you are under pressure from imminent deadlines, you have managed your time ineffectively, or if you lack confidence when putting ideas into your own words. The consequences can be severe; deduction of marks at best, expulsion from college or legal action from the original author at worst. Find out more here.
This may sound overwhelming, but plagiarism can be easily avoided by using our Harvard citation generator and carrying out your research and written work thoughtfully and responsibly. We have compiled a handy checklist to follow whilst you are working on an assignment.
How to avoid plagiarism:
- Formulate a detailed plan - carefully outline both the relevant content you need to include, as well as how you plan on structuring your work
- Keep track of your sources - record all of the relevant publication information as you go (e.g. If you are citing a book you should note the author or editor’s name(s), year of publication, title, edition number, city of publication and name of publisher). Carefully save each quote, word-for-word, and place it in inverted commas to differentiate it from your own words. Tired of interrupting your workflow to cite? Use our Harvard referencing generator to automate the process
- Manage your time effectively - make use of time plans and targets, and give yourself enough time to read, write and proofread
- When you are paraphrasing information, make sure that you use only your own words and a sentence structure that differs from the original text
- Save all of your research and citations in a safe place - organise and manage your Harvard style citations.
If you carefully check your college or publisher’s advice and guidelines on citing and stick to this checklist, you should be confident that you will not be accused of plagiarism.
Secondly, proving that your writing is informed by appropriate academic reading will enhance your work’s authenticity. Academic writing values original thought that analyzes and builds upon the ideas of other scholars. It is therefore important to use Harvard style referencing to accurately signpost where you have used someone else’s ideas in order to show that your writing is based on knowledge and informed by appropriate academic reading. Citing your sources will demonstrate to your reader that you have delved deeply into your chosen topic and supported your thesis with expert opinions.
Here at Cite This For Me we understand how precious your time is, which is why we created our Harvard citation generator and guide to help relieve the unnecessary stress of citing. Escape assignment-hell and give yourself more time to focus on the content of your work by using Cite This For Me citation management tool.