HARVARD Formatting Rules

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What is Harvard Style?

Many academic works involve researching various areas. Many Institutions of Higher Learning have courses that involve assigning students academic essays, papers, and other forms of academic writing. 

The Harvard style is a referencing style in use in a range of academic institutions. However, there is no elaborate standardization to the referencing style and various institutions modify it to meet their needs. Aspects like Harvard font and some referencing conventions are however elaborate.

Harvard Citation Rules

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Harvard Outline for Referencing

In various ways, the Harvard referencing style starkly varies with other formatting styles. The Harvard style mainly includes in-text references as well as reference lists at the end of the work.

Harvard Outline Format

The Harvard Outline format differs when it comes to in-text references and reference lists.

In-text Referencing

In-text references or citations include the surname of the author or the authors and the year of publication. In some cases, the authoring body can be used in place of the names of the authors if the names are not available. There are no punctuation marks between the name and the year of the publication. However, the two should be in brackets.


(Atkin and Cava 2017).

There are cases where there is explicitly referencing a particular page or section in a book or journal or other published material. In such situations, there is a need to mention the page number in the in-text reference explicitly.


(Atkin and Cava 2017, p.6)

Reference Lists

In most cases, the reference list features at the final section of the paper and starts on a new page as is in the conventions. The reference list should start on a new page and most likely the last page with the word References as the title.

Here, the references should be in alphabetical order. The convention is that the author's name should start every reference in the list followed by other details as required. Reference lists often contain the sources used in crafting the essay or paper.


Atkin T. & Cava L. G. ‘The Transmission of Monetary Policy: How Does It Work?’ Reserve Bank of Australia.

Essentially, reference lists contain vital information that points readers to the source of information.

Harvard Style Guide

The Harvard referencing style, a component of the Harvard writing style guide, has its unique conventions when it comes to referencing.

References for Books with a Single Author

This involves a particular order for listing the main particulars required. The sequence consists in starting with the first name of the author, the last name, the title of the book, its Edition, city of publication and the publisher.


Soros, G. (1987). The Alchemy of Finance. New York: Simon & Schuster.

References for Books with Two or Three Authors

Here, the names of all the authors featured in the reference.


Christian B. and Griffiths, T. (2016). Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions. London: HarperCollins Publishers.

Evans, D., McDonald, F. and Jackson, T. (2008). Getting the Best Service. Nottingham: Delectable Publications.

References for Articles in Print Journals

Under Harvard Referencing, the convention includes writing the last name, first name, year of publication, the article title, name of the journal, volume issue and the pages of the article in the journal.


Fialkowski, A. and Tiwari H. (2019). SimCorrMix: Simulation of Correlated Data with Multiple Variable Types Including Continuous and Count Mixture Distributions. The R Journal, Vol 11/1, pp 250-286.

References for Newspaper Articles Online

When found in websites of newspapers, the articles take citations as follows.


Dawson, A. (2019, October 16). Patrick Day, a 27-year-old American, Has Died from Boxing Injuries Suffered in Saturday’s Fight. Business Insider.

Retrieved from: https://www.businessinsider.com/patrick-day-27-has-died-from-boxing-injuries-2019-10 

References for Websites

The main point here is to bring up or highlight the aspect of authorship. Websites that are not newspapers or online journals or magazines could have an individual author behind them. However, there are cases that authors are not traceable. In such scenarios, the website itself can take credit for the authorship.

The convention here involves naming the website if there is no author, and then the year. Details on the topic of the web page, the last day of modification or update and the Link to the website follow.


Ahrefs Blog (2019). What is SEO? How to Optimize for Search Engines Like Google. [online]. Available at: https:///www.ahrefs.com/blog/what-is-seo/

Harvard Format

The Harvard format is uniquely for referencing purposes. Academic essay Harvard format requires students to consider the tenets of Harvard referencing. Whether it is in-text citations or referencing lists, students have to ensure that they meet the bare minimum.

At its core, Harvard referencing serves the purpose of presenting references in the most precise and elaborate fashion. Whether it is a book, an article in a journal, an article in a newspaper or an article on a website, Harvard allows for the creation of references for the same. In-text citations help to improve the quality of the essay and its referencing bit as well.

Harvard Writing Style Cover Page

The organization of the cover page in Harvard style writing is very elaborate. The title of the essay or paper is halfway and written in capital letters. Its position is also half down the page. The name of the paper’s author features three lines below the title. The author’s name is in small letters.

Four lines down the author’s name are the class and a line down is the professor’s name or the course instructor’s name. The line that follows contains details that are the name of the school. The line that follows contains the name of the city and state, and the final name bears the date.

Primarily, the structure and outline of the cover page provide all the necessary information about the author of the work.

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