Harvard Referencing Style and Formatting: A Complete Guide For Students

Harvard referencing style is a standard academic writing style used in the English (U.K) universities by students to present their research work.The Harvard referencing style includes specific paper formatting instructions, referencing and citation of other people’s work. The originality of work depends on the ability of a writer to identify statements borrowed from works of other authors or researchers and cite them to ensure credibility. The popularity of Harvard referencing style  is fostered by its widespread usage in the U.K based universities. It is however critical to note that this style is quite different from other styles. The major differences are experienced in the title pages, the references and citation methods. In a normal scenario, a writing guide begins from the title page; hence, its formatting that is in the following section.

Cover page

The cover page contains information about the author, the tile of the document and the date of editing. All writing styles have unique cover pages that determine how the specific details are organized. Majority of individuals ignore formatting the cover page to meet the expected standards; this is wrong and results in deduction of some parks, hence negatively affecting the overall grade awarded to the paper. The Harvard referencing style requires an individual to write the title of the paper, in capital letters/uppercase. After writing the title, a writer should skip at least four spaces down (four lines) then write the author name. Another four spaces (lines) down are skipped. The author’ name is followed by the course name and the professor name. The Author’s name, the name of the course and professor name should be written in sentence case and without skipping any line between them. After that, another line is skipped to write down the institution and finally the date which the document is edited. All the information on the cover page must be centred as required by the Harvard referencing style. For instance, when a student is writing a report on “Insolvency Laws and Changes in Australia”, the cover page will be presented as follows.

The Header

The header of the paper includes the page number and the title of the document. Unlike the American Psychology Association writing format, the Harvard referencing style does not require the running head or does it title information begin from the left side of the document. The title of the paper is written on the far right where the page number is edited. Information regarding the tile of the paper as it appears on the first page must appear likewise in the proceeding pages. Students should learn the process of inserting the information into the header which begins by clicking ‘insert’ function in the word document and proceeding to the page numbering. The next step involves selecting top of page numbering and selecting the far right ‘plain number 3’ among the options. Editing the header is easy as a student only needs to ensure the writing font is similar to that of the document content, which is in “Times New Roman 12″ unless otherwise stated. The header is edited as follows.

Report Formatting using Harvard Referencing Style

After writing the cover page of a document, the author should move to the next page to commence the article section. The title of the article should always be writtem in title case and centred. The first section of the article is the introduction which should be captivating and use ‘hook’ lines showing factual or interesting findings to illustrate the rest of the information in the study. In certain instances, the professors might prefer that students should underline the thesis statements of the introductory section. The thesis statement is information that will be elaborated on or supported in the body section. Nevertheless, the first sentence of every paragraph has to be inclined to bring out a new point.

The body section of an essay in Harvard referencing  style must have headings to indicate the beginning of new idea/concept. The different headings are positioned based on thir levels. Level 1 headers (the main headings) are centred, not bold and written in title case. Level 2 headers are positioned flush left, and in italic. Just like the introductory section, the first sentence in all the paragraphs should be captivating and form original ideas or topic sentence that will be illustrated in the rest of the paragraph. The final sentence in a paragraph must form the concluding statement and link its information to the topic statement.

 

 

 

First Level Headers

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Second Level Header

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The Harvard referencing style requires students to use the standard writing font “Times New Roman 12” throughout the paper and edit it in double space unless stated otherwise in the paper instructions. Moreover, information containing tile of books, songs, movies or articles must be italicised for instance: The Fallen Angel by Chris Brown. Information obtained from poems and short stories that are directly obtained must be in ‘quotation’ and cited to indicate where information is derived. All the information regarding italicised and quoted words apply to information within the essay section and not the reference list of the Harvard referencing style.

Finally, the conclusion section should summarise all the information demonstrated in the essay. The conclusion must not bring in new ideas but represent ideas from within the body section, finalising with the general view of the whole document. The conclusion is important to recap the information and important aggregate points within the essay. Typically, the first sentence of the conclusion should restate the thesis statement of the essay followed a summary of how it was elaborated within the paper. The last statement is also known as ‘take home’ message that represents a general view or fact.

Writing Research Papers using Harvard Referencing Style

Research papers have a common procedure when using the Harvard referencing style that includes:

  1. Abstract
  2. Introduction
  3. Body
  4. Conclusion

The abstract is an executive summary of the information to be represented in the study and illustrates singularity exhibited in every section of the paper. The abstract is important to derive a gist of what is to take place in the study. After the abstract, the introduction section, just like in the essays begins with the thesis statement followed by elaboration and linking with the body of the research paper.

Apart from research and writing, complex research proposals and dissertation papers are using Harvard referencing style that has to take keen consideration of the formatting after the introduction and not just stating it as the body. The papers include a literature review, methods and findings within the body section. Research papers that do not require literature review and data collection would only entail writing down the headings of the body. The conclusion section of any research is presented similar to the conclusion of the essay as presented above. It must contain the thesis statement, the summary of the research and a ‘take home’ final statement.

Citations

Citations help in improving the originality of a research paper. The need for citation is to credit every author for any information derived from their work. Failure to cite borrowed information result in plagiarism. Plagiarised information is always unacceptable and may lead to further consequences such as being charged with plagiarism offence and getting expelled from college. Before analysing the Harvard citation, here are some of the ways in which piracy takes place and can be prevented in an essay or research paper.

Plagiarism and Means of Countering Unoriginal Work

Plagiarism takes place when a writer has used information from other sources and does not give credit the author of the information. In several occasions, students like taking shortcuts in conducting their research work by cutting pieces of information from different sources and using them in single research without citations. Ignorance is also another means through which students plagiarise work not understanding the consequences that can result from their actions. It is always hard to conduct research, but its essence is to develop skills and knowledge of how to put up activities and write down the information obtained without copying and pasting from other sources.

Therefore, students are urged to conduct extensive research and study to gain information and use their own words in representing the information they have understood from the process. In addition, the use of citation also reduces content plagiarised in any work. Information obtained from other sources must also be cited to indicate research has been conducted. Seamlessly, the best way to avoid plagiarism is to cite the information in any research paper.

 

How to cite using Harvard Referencing FStyle

Citation takes place of the information represented in an essay or any study to give credit to the authors where data was originated. Citation in Harvard referencing style takes two simple steps that include the author’s name and year of article publishing. The citations should be throughout the work in all the information derived from various sources. An example of an in-text citation is presented as follows.

“The insolvent trading provision of Australia, under section 588G (2) requires a director to make all evidentiary reports on the direction of a company, all the plans underway to salvage the company and to recover the creditors’ funds” (Bhadily, 2016, p .25).

Or the author name comes first as follows

Bhadily (2006) states that “The insolvent trading provision of Australia, under section 588G (2) requires a director to make all evidentiary reports on the direction of a company, all the plans underway to salvage the company and to recover the creditors’ funds” (25).

Reference List

References are presented in various ways depending on the number of authors or the source itself. The citations within the body of an essay are obtained from the references. All the citations must have corresponding references. In a collection of references where a number have not be cited within the body, the term changes to the bibliography. Mostly, authors refer to the reference list in Harvard referencing style as a bibliography. The common way of determining references that are in the Harvard referencing style is identifying the position of the year of article publishing and the absence of brackets over the years. Just like the APA, the Harvard referencing style has its reference years between the names of authors and the titles of the books or articles. However, the years are not bracketed creating a difference between the two paper formats.

Why Reference?

Referencing helps in the provision of evidence of the work cited. It provides the names of the books and authors from the cited work within the document. References also assist in improving the writing skills of a student and demonstrate the ability to conduct reliable research. The writing skills employed in referencing should always follow a clear procedure of writing the references in a list.

What is a reference list? And how is it written?

A reference list is a collection of references used in an article. The reference list must follow a precise alphabetic order. In the reference list, the references should be edited to a hanging line to indicate a full reference. The correct format of a reference list is shown as follows.

Important Points to Note

  • When author names are incorporated into the text, use ‘and’ instead of the ampersand ‘&”.
  • Tthe names of all authors should be provided in the reference list (do not use ‘et al’).
  • If author can’t be identified, alphabetise the source in the reference list by the first significant word in the title, and use the title in in-text citation.
  • Add (ed.) after the name of a single editor and (eds.) for two or more editors.
  • Editions other than the first is noted after the title of the book:
    • Second edition = 2nd edn
    • Third edition = 3rd edn
    • Fourth edition = 4th edn
    • Revised edition = rev. edn
  • Editions other than the first should be inserted after the series title:
  • DOIs are optional in Harvard referencing style.
  • it is preferrable to list cases separately under the subheading of “Cases”.

 

Books

Author Surname, Initial(s) Year, Book title, Publisher, Place of Publication

Tracy, B 2011, Full engagement!: Inspire, motivate, and bring out the best in your people, 2nd edn, Amacom, New York.

eBook

Osherove, R 2014, The art of unit testing: with examples in C#, 2nd ed. Manning Publications, Shelter Island, NY, viewed 10 October 2015, <Safari Books Online>.

Website

Author Surname, Initial(s) Year (page created or revised), Title of page, Publisher (if applicable), viewed Day Month Year, <URL>.

Beard, M 2006, The fall of the Roman Republic, viewed 30 January 2011, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/allofromanrepublic_article_01.shtm>.

Conference paper and proceedings

Author Surname, Initial(s) Year of publication, ‘Title of paper’, in (Initial and Surname of editors), Title of published proceedings which may include place held and date, Publisher, Place of Publication, page number(s).

Wilde, S & Cox, C 2008, ‘Principal factors contributing to the competitiveness of tourism destinations at varying stages of development’, in S Richardson, L Fredline, A Patiar & M Ternel (eds.), CAUTHE 2008: Where the ‘bloody hell’ are we?, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD, pp. 115-8.

Journal Artile/Magazine

Author Surname, Initial(s) Year, ‘Article title’, Journal Title, volume, issue or number, page range.

Author Surname, Initial(s) Year, ‘Article title’, Journal Title, volume, issue or number, page range, viewed Day Month Year, <URL>.

 

Goltz, SM, Hietapelto, AB, Reinsch, RW & Tyrell, SK 2008, ‘Teaching teamwork and problem solving concurrently’, Journal of Management Education, vol. 32, no. 5, pp. 541-6.

Video/Film/DVD

Title of DVD or video-recording Year of production, format e.g. DVD, video recording or motion picture, Publisher, Place.

Title of movie Year of production, motion picture, Producer. Distributed by XXXXX, Place. and starring XXXXXX

 

Prositions 2009, Diversity challenges – what would you do?, YouTube, online video, viewed 12 June 2014, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6kUaDp5FVU>.

Government Publication

Government name Year, Title of publications, Publisher, Place of Publication if applicable, viewed Date Month Year, <URL>.

Australian Government 2004, Australia’s demographic challenges, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra, viewed 20 August 2012, <http://demographics.treasury.gov.au/content/_download/australias_demographic_challenges/australias_demographic_challenges.pdf>.

Legal sources (Cases and acts)

Name of the case (Year) Reference details (including vol number, Abbreviated Reference Series, Starting page number)

The State of New South Wales v. The Commonwealth (1915) 20 CLR 54

Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic), ss. 167-187, reprint 2, Anstat, Melbourne

Theses

Author Surname of thesis, Initial(s) Year of submission, ‘Title of thesis’, name of degree, Institution issuing degree, Location of institution.

Ram, R 2012, ‘Development of the International Financial Reporting Standard for Small and Medium-sized Entities’, PhD thesis, The University of Sydney, viewed 23 May 2014, <http://hdl.handle.net/2123/8208>.

 

Summary of Harvard Referencing Style

This  Harvard referencing style guide takes simple steps to make a study or essay presentable. The Instructions on the cover page should be adhered and presented for easy identification. Proceeding to the headers of the assignment or report, there should be a clear difference from other paper formatting styles where the Harvard paper form has the title of the essay and the page numbers written on one side on the far right end of the paper. The next procedure is by writing and editing the information within the research and essay demonstrating an understanding of how headings and subheadings should be outlined. The process ensures neatness and flow of the paper format. Afterwards, the reference list or bibliography should be well presented in the paper and used for in-text citation all the unoriginal information to avoid plagiarism. The citations should be done accurately to ensure all external ideas have been properly acknowledged for. However, for the originality of the work, the percentage of the cited information should not be extremely high; this means unoriginal information should also be limited. In the case of copy-pasted poems and songs, quotation marks should be applied and cited appropriately. Harvard formatting is an easy process but very useful in higher education learning during assignment and research presentations.

 

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