The Harvard Citation Style is used by university students in natural and social science papers. Both APA and MLA’s parenthetical referencing (author, date and author, page) evolved from the Harvard system, which was developed by zoologist and Harvard University professor Edward Laurens Mark, setting the precedent for the use of parenthetical citations. Eventually, the American Psychological Association started to develop the standard APA citation style. After this, literary and language scholars also began to craft MLA, thus marking APA and MLA's breaking free from their Harvard style roots. As MLA started to become a much simpler style, Harvard remained and still remains a distinct and widely used citation style. It, however, still shares many qualities with APA and MLA.

The Harvard style cover page

The Harvard citation style has its own distinct cover page. While some professors understandably regard the Harvard cover page to be unnecessary in shorter papers, it does not necessarily mean that learning how to create a Harvard style cover page is optional. If a cover page is needed, be guided by the following templates:

Step 1. Notice the differences between Harvard and APA, as highlighted in the figure below:

harvard cover page 1

Step 2. Pay attention to the character limit of the running head when creating your Harvard style cover page:harvard cover page 2

Step 3. The running head, along with adhering to a 50-character limit, should be in standard capitalization, just like in the student's last name in MLA format:harvard cover page 3

 Step 4. After you have made the necessary adjustments, your Harvard style cover page should look be along the lines of this:
harvard cover page sample

We hope you were able to follow step-by-step. If not, simply follow from the top. Again, it is important to remember that the similarities with APA and MLA stop at the little details (running head, capitalization). The Harvard cover page is its own unique academic citation style. 

Harvard In-text citations

In the Harvard academic style, an in-text citation requires that the author’s last name and publication year be injected in the text at a proper point.

If you happen to be paraphrasing the work of another author, remember to include the authors’ names, publication year, and page number, if it is a specific section.

If the names of the authors are part of the sentence, there is no need to insert them in the parentheses. Otherwise, include the name and publication year in the parentheses, without punctuation. Thoroughly inspect and understand this example for Harvard in-text citation and variations.

Harvard in-text citation

For other variations: Harvard in-text citation example

Harvard style referencing

Harvard reference page

Here are the characteristics of a Harvard reference list:

  • Quite similar to APA, “REFERENCE LIST” is the title of the Harvard reference list. REFERENCE LIST should be typed flush left, right along the margin. 
  • The Harvard reference list is located on a separate page at the end of the document. 
  • The Harvard reference list is different from a bibliography because it only lists the sources referenced in the paper. Bibliography includes even the items used in preparation for the assignment. It would be best to check with your professor
  • Like APA, every entry starts to flush left, aligned with the margin. Unlike APA, however, the succeeding lines follow the same format – aligned with the margin. 
  • In the Harvard reference list, each entry should be in single-space and observe double-space between entries. However, this will ultimately depend on the instruction of your professor.
  • The author’s last name comes first, then the first initial of the first name. 

Harvard reference list example

Pay close attention to its similarities with the APA reference page. The nuances are slight, but a keen eye should be able to discern the differences. 

harvard reference pageHere are examples of how to cite sources in Harvard style, depending on the type of document that needs to be cited. You will notice that some formatting styles are the same as those of APA. Harvard covers both traditional and non-traditional sources:   

Books in Harvard style

Pay attention to the adjustments that will have to be made with respect to the number of authors:   

books harvard styleArticles in Harvard style 

Articles in recent years have gone in various online forms, on top of traditional print. It is imperative to master maneuvering the Harvard styles among the different article forms:
article referencing harvard style

Dissertations/theses, digital books, artworks, blogs, broadcasts in Harvard style

Still hailed as traditional sources in the "neo" sense, the example illustrates how to reference them in Harvard style: dissertations, digital books, in harvard style

Encyclopedia, film, government documents, and interviews in Harvard style

Although not commonly used compared to other more "traditional sources," if the need arises, referencing encyclopedia,  movies, interviews, and government documents in Harvard style will be easy:referencing film in harvard style

Music and recordings in Harvard style

Should the need to reference songs and music in Harvard style, please use this as a guide:
songs and music in Harvard style

Press release in Harvard style

The likelihood of you needing to use a press release for your paper is quite remote. Still, we cannot take any chances. Use this to help yourself in referencing a press release:press release in Harvard style

Learn the other academic styles: APA 6th Edition Referencing Guide and MLA Style Referencing Guide.