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Harvard Referencing


Plagiarism is considered as an academic misconduct.


Harvard Referencing

The Harvard referencing style, also known as the Author-Date style, is one of the most commonly used citation styles in academic writing. It emphasizes the use of in-text citations and a comprehensive reference list at the end of the document. This guide provides an overview of how to correctly use the Harvard referencing style to credit sources of information.

Key Features

  1. In-Text Citations: These are brief references within the text that direct readers to the full citation in the reference list. They usually include the author’s last name, publication year, and, if necessary, page numbers.
  2. Reference List: This is a detailed list at the end of your document that includes full information for all sources cited in-text, enabling readers to locate the original sources.

In-Text Citations

When quoting or paraphrasing sources, Harvard style requires you to include an in-text citation to acknowledge the source of information. The basic format for an in-text citation is:

  • Direct Quotation: (Author’s Last Name, Year, Page Number)
  • Paraphrasing: (Author’s Last Name, Year)


  • Quoting: Smith (2020, p. 15) argues that “the strategic alignment of resources is critical.”
  • Paraphrasing: Strategic resource alignment is considered critical (Smith, 2020).

Reference List

The reference list appears at the end of your document and provides full details of all sources cited in-text. It should be arranged alphabetically by author’s last name. The general format includes the author’s name, year of publication, title of the source, publisher, and publication place.

Basic Format:

  • Books: Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of the Book. Publisher.
  • Journal Articles: Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Year). Title of the article. Title of the Journal, Volume(Issue), Page Range.
  • Websites: Author’s Last Name, Initials. (Year, Month Day). Title of the webpage. Website Name. URL


  • Book: Johnson, L. (2019). Effective Communication Strategies. Oxford University Press.
  • Journal Article: Hughes, W., & Smith, Y. (2018). Innovative teaching methods in higher education. Journal of Educational Innovation, 12(3), 45-60.
  • Website: Walker, R. (2021, June 4). The impact of social media on communication. Digital Society. https://digitalsociety.com/social-media-impact.

Tips For Effective Harvard Referencing

  1. Be Consistent: Ensure that your in-text citations and reference list entries are consistently formatted.
  2. Double-check sources: Verify the accuracy of your citations against original sources to prevent errors.
  3. Pay Attention to Details: Small details like punctuation, capitalization, and italics are important in Harvard referencing.

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