Harvard Referencing
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Introducing Harvard Referencing

Many colleges and universities use “Harvard” referencing to cite sources in academic documents, especially outside the U.S. This is actually a generic term for parenthetical author–date referencing (i.e., a referencing style where you cite sources by giving the surname of the author and a date of publication in brackets). As such, the exact rules of this system can vary.

We use the Open University’s version of Harvard referencing as a default. You can find a PDF setting out the OU system here. If you’re using a different version of this system, though, leave a comment letting us know when you upload your document.

Harvard Proofreading Services

Have you been asked to use Harvard referencing in a document? Then make sure to have it proofread by an expert. We have dozens of academic proofreading specialists with in-depth knowledge of Harvard style referencing, so just let us know how we can help.

How To Select Harvard Referencing

When uploading a document to our site, you will see a drop-down menu with a list of referencing styles. So if you’re using Harvard referencing, simply select it here and we will know to use this style when checking citations in your writing.

You can also leave a comment with instructions here. For example, if you’d like us to use a specific version of Harvard while checking your work, you can let us know which one.

In-Text Citations In Harvard Referencing

Harvard referencing uses author–date citations. To cite a source, all you need to do is provide the author’s surname and year of publication in brackets. In the Open University version of the system, you also separate the name and year with a comma:

As above, you will typically give citations at the end of the relevant clause. The main exception is when an author is already named in the text. In such cases, to prevent repetition, you can simply cite the year of publication after the author’s name:

Quoting Sources In Harvard Referencing

If you are quoting a source in Harvard referencing, make sure to include a page number in the citation. This will show the reader where to find the quoted text:

Here, for example, the citation shows us that the quote comes from page 34 of the cited source. And, as shown above, the Open University version of Harvard referencing places page numbers at the end of the citation, after a comma and the abbreviation ‘p.’

Harvard Reference Lists And Bibliographies

Finally, in all versions of Harvard referencing, you will need to provide a list of the sources you have used in your work. This could be either:

  • A reference list (a list that only includes sources cited in your work)
  • A bibliography (a list of all sources used in your research, even if you did not cite them)

Make sure to check which of these your college or school prefers.

The exact format of a Harvard reference list or bibliography will depend on the system used. Nevertheless, most versions of Harvard require you to format a reference lists as follows:

  • Place it at the end of the document, before any appendices
  • List all sources alphabetically by author surname
  • List multiple works by the same author chronologically
  • Provide names for all listed authors, no matter how many there are
  • Use italics for titles of standalone works, such as books and journals

Entries in the reference list should provide enough information to identify the source. For example, in the OU version of Harvard, we would list a book with a single author like this:

For information on reference formats for other source types, see our blog.

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Want to see how we handle Harvard citations in practice? Then upload a 500-word sample of your writing today and use the code 500FREE at checkout.

Other Referencing Styles

If you are using another referencing style in your work, we still have you covered. In fact, we regularly proofread documents that use the following styles:

APA . OSCOLA . Chicago . MLA

IEEE . MHRA . Vancouver

Oxford . AGLC

We can also work with other referencing styles on request. Just let us know which system to use when you upload your document and we will tailor our proofreading to fit.

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