Academic Writing Tips, Dissertation and Thesis Guidance

Harvard Referencing: A Detailed Guide

Harvard referencing style ProScholars UK

Harvard referencing style, often used in the fields of social and natural sciences, is characterised by its parenthetical author-date citations and an alphabetical reference list. This article provides a detailed exploration to aid students and scholars in efficiently employing the Harvard style in their academic writings.

Understanding Harvard Style

In-Text Citations

  • Utilise the author-date system: (Author’s Last Name, Year).
  • Direct quotations should include page numbers: (Author’s Last Name, Year, p. number).

Reference List

  • Compile an alphabetical list of all sources cited, each entry meticulously formatted.
  • Structure for books: Author’s Last Name, Initial(s). (Year) Title of Book. Publisher.
  • Structure for journal articles: Author’s Last Name, Initial(s). (Year) ‘Title of Article’, Title of Journal, Volume number(Issue number), Page range.

Utilising Harvard Style in Word

For Windows Users

  1. Open a New Document: Launch Microsoft Word.
  2. Navigate to the References Tab: Select ‘Harvard’ from the styles dropdown.
  3. Insert Citations: Introduce your sources and insert citations accordingly.

For macOS Users

  1. Initiate a New Document: Open Word.
  2. Access the References Tab: Select the Harvard style.
  3. Introduce Citations: Insert sources and citations as required.

Importance of Harvard Style

  • Standardisation: Offers a coherent format, facilitating reader comprehension.
  • Credibility Enhancement: Proper citation boosts the author’s credibility by showcasing thorough research and acknowledgment of original works.


Mastering the Harvard referencing style is fundamental for producing well-structured, credible academic writing within various disciplines. For scholars necessitating more personalised support, academic writing services stand as a valuable resource, providing expert guidance in effectively applying the Harvard style and others as per your academic requirements.