Caleb S.
Caleb S.

How to do Harvard Style Citation - Format, Citation and Samples

16 min read

Published on: May 14, 2018

Last updated on: Nov 16, 2023

Harvard style citation

Are you struggling to get the hang of Harvard style formatting and citations? 

You're not alone – it's a common challenge for students. Writing papers can be tough, especially when you have to follow all these rules about how to cite your sources. But we've got a solution for you. 

In this easy-to-follow guide, we're going to show you exactly how to do Harvard style citations, with simple examples and straightforward tips. No more stress, just easy and clear citation.

So, let's begin!

On This Page

What Is Harvard Citation Style?

Harvard citation is a parenthetical citation style that follows the author and date format.

The citation is added in the parenthesis at the end of the paraphrased and quoted lines and contains the surname of the original author, followed by the date of publication. The whole reference is added to the references list at the end.

The references are arranged alphabetically and with the last name of the author and the date of publication. The Harvard-style paper does not have footnotes and endnotes and only the list of references is added at the end of the paper.

How to do Harvard Citation and Referencing?

Harvard citation is different from other referencing styles like APA, MLA, and Chicago style and has its own distinct structure and referencing structure. Since it is somewhat like the APA referencing style, students often get confused when working on their Harvard-style papers and assignments. 

The following sources must be cited when doing the Harvard formatting and citation.

  • Website and Blogs
  • Books
  • Journal and Newspaper Article
  • Newspaper Article on a Website or Database
  • Print Magazines
  • eBooks and PDFs
  • Archived Content
  • Artwork
  • Broadcast
  • Conference Proceedings
  • Court Cases
  • Dictionary Entries
  • Films, DVDs, and Videos
  • Emails
  • Encyclopedia Articles
  • Government Publications
  • Interviews
  • Patents
  • Podcasts
  • Lectures and Presentations
  • Press Releases
  • Religious Texts
  • Reports
  • Software

Keep reading to find more about how to cite these sources in Harvard style.

Harvard Style In-Text Citation

Like in most referencing styles, the in-text references are different from the list of references. In Harvard citation, when quoting or paraphrasing, use parentheses with the author's last name, publication year, and page number if needed.
They are shorter than the full references in the list at the end. For example:

  • Williams (2016, p. 200) explains………….
  • (Williams, 2016, p. 200)

When adding the in-text citation, you can add the complete in-text reference at the end of the added quote or paraphrased content.

Harvard Citation List of References

The Harvard reference includes the last name of the author, year of publication, the title of the book, article or journal, place of publication, publisher, and page numbers of the book or journal.

For example:

  • Last name, First Initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).

The same format is used when making the bibliography. But the bibliography will be a separate list and will be added after the page of references. The reference list includes the works used as references in the paper, while in the bibliography, all the works you have consulted while researching are added.

Examples of Harvard Citation For Different Sources

Citing different types of sources often means adapting to specific guidelines. From books and journal articles to online pages, movies and more, here are some harvard style citation examples: 

Harvard Citation for Books

Students often refer to and cite different books in their academic work. When citing books, make sure that you include recent works, with dates no older than five years, and those that are relevant to your work.

When adding the book references, you must know that the citation and reference for books with single, two, and multiple authors.

For a single author, follow the below format:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. (Only include the edition if it is not the first edition) City published: Publisher, Page(s).
  • Patterson, J. (2005). Maximum ride. New York: Litte, Brown.
    Dah, R. (2004). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 6th ed. New York: Knopf.

For books with two or more authors, the names of the authors are added in the parenthesis.

  • Last name, First initial. and Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).
  • Desikan, S. and Ramesh, G. (2006). Software testing. Bangalore, India: Dorling Kindersley, p.156.
  • Vermaat, M., Sebok, S., Freund, S., Campbell, J. and Frydenberg,
    M. (2014). Discovering computers. Boston: Cengage Learning, Pp. 446-448.
  • Daniels, K., Patterson, G. and Dunston, Y. (2014). The ultimate student teaching guide. 2nd ed. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, Pp.145-151.

The Harvard citation for chapters is different from citing books or websites. When citing a chapter from a book, follow the following pattern:

  • Last name, First inital. (Year published). Chapter tile. In: First initial. Last name, ed., Book Title, 1st ed.* City: Publisher, Page(s)
  • Bressler, L. (2010). My girl, Kylie. In: L. Matheson, ed., The Dogs That We Love, 1st ed. Boston: Jacobson Ltd., pp. 78-92.

When citing different works from the same author, place the citations in the dates format with the oldest date, the first. If the results are published in the same year then arrange them in alphabetical order. 

  • Brown, D. (1998). Digital fortress. New York: St. Martin's Press.
  • Brown, D. (2003). Deception point. New York: Atria Books.
  • Brown, D. (2003). The Da Vinci Code. New York: Doubleday.

For an edited book, include the author’s name, surname, and initials of the editor, book’s title, and edition number. 

Harvard Citation for Newspaper and Journal Article

Students of social sciences, political science, international relations, and mass communication often cite newspaper articles that are relevant to their chosen paper topic. 

When referencing a journal in Harvard style, follow the following pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Article Title. Journal, [online] Volume(issue), pages. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
  • Raina, S. (2015). Establishing Correlation Between Genetics and Nonresponse. Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, [online] Volume 61(2), p. 148. Available at: https://www.proquest.com/products-services/ProQuest-Research-Library.html [Accessed 8 Apr. 2015].

To cite the newspaper articles in Harvard citation style, cite it in the following pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Article title. Newspaper, Page(s). 1
  • Weisman, J. (2015). Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Accord. The New York Times, p.A1. 1

Harvard Citation for a Newspaper Article on a Website or Database

Other than print newspapers, students may find some relevant newspapers on an online database or a website. To cite it in your paper, use the following citation style:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Article title. Newspaper, [online] pages. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year]. 
  • Harris, E. (2015). For Spacial-Needs Students, Custom Furniture Out of Schoolhouse Scraps. New York Times, [online] p.A20. 1 Available at: http://go.galegroup.com [Accessed 17 Apr. 2015).

Since managing the online content versions is easier than managing print newspapers and magazines, students prefer using online digital versions over print ones.

Harvard Citation for Print Magazines

The citation and reference include the full name of the author, the year of publication, the name of the article, volume, and pages.

When doing it, follow the below pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. [format] City: Publisher, page(s). Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo.Year]. 1
  • Zusack, M. (2015). The Book Thief. 1st ed. [ebook] New York: Knopf. Available at: http:/ebooks.nypl.org/ [Accessed 20 Apr. 2015).ggn
  • Robin, J. (2014). A handbook for professional leaming: research, resources, and strategies for implementation. 1st ed. [pdf] New York: NYC Department of Education. Available at hitp://schools.nyc.gov/ [Accessed 14 Apr. 2015).

When choosing a relevant magazine for your research topic or essay, make sure that the year of publication is no older than five years. Students from the fields of social sciences and communication often find relevant research and articles in print and digital magazines.

Harvard Citation for eBooks and PDFs

eBooks and PDFs are published and recognized sources as they are credible and related to a recognized association. When citing these online books or published papers, you will need to add the name of the author, year of publication, the number of editions, the name of the publisher, and the weblink.

Use the following pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Title. Edition. [format] City: Publisher, page(s). Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
  • Zusack, M. (2015). The Book Thief. 1st ed. [ebook] New York: Knopf. Available at: httpi/febooks.nypl.org/ [Accessed 20 Apr. 2015).
  • Robin, J. (2014). A handbook for professional leaming: research,
    resources, and strategies for implementation. 1st ed. [pdf] New York: NYC Department of Education. Available at hitp://schools.nyc.gov/ [Accessed 14 Apr. 2015]

The pattern is followed for the PDFs and eBooks that the students cite and refer to in their papers and essays.

Harvard Citation for Archived Content

Archived content and information is the previous information about past events and incidents. The archived information is managed and saved by organizations and institutes like universities, government organizations, libraries, and historical societies. The records could include artifacts like historical diaries, manuscripts, letters, and other important records.

The pattern to follow when citing archived content or information is given below:

  • Last name, First inital. (Year published). Title of the material. [format] Name of the university, library, organization, Collection name, code, or number. City. 
  • Pearson, J. (1962). Letter to James Martin. letter] The Jackson Historical Society, Civil Rights Collection. Jackson. 
  • Marshall, . and Peete, L. (1882). Events Along the Canal. [program] Afton Library, Yardley History. Yardley. 

Unlike books, published papers, and research that need to be no older than five to eight years, archived information could be older. Since this information is archived, it is old and from the past. Students who are studying history and social sciences often quote and cite this archived material in their papers and other work.

Harvard Citation for Website and Blogs

Besides books and other print material, students often use online sources like websites and blogs for research and reference. These websites could be government websites or other websites that are built to guide the students.

Harvard-style referencing for websites includes the full name of the author, as presented on the website, year of publication, the title of the article, and the web link. For example:

  • Last name, First initial (Year published). Page title. [online] Website
    name. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year]
  • Messer, L. (2015). ‘Fancy Nancy’ Optioned by Disney Junior. [online] ABC News. Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/fancy-nancy-optioned-disney-junior-2017/story?id=299424964.VRWHW.wmbsO0.twitter
    [Accessed 31 Mar. 2015].

Similarly, for blogs, the format includes the full name of the author, date of publication, the post’s title, name of the blog, and the web link of the blog post. For example:

  • Website name, (Year published). Page title. [online] Available at:
    URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
  • Mms.com, (2015). M&M'S Official Website. [online] Available at:
    htp://www.mms.com [Accessed 20 Apr. 2015].

Harvard Citation for Artwork

Artwork includes things like paintings, statues, photographs, and other visual art. Students rarely cite this kind of literature or work in their work but sometimes they do need to refer to them to clarify their main theme. Usually, students studying art and literature refer to them to explain their work and prove their point.

To cite artwork, use the below pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year created). Title. [Medium). City that this artwork is/was displayed in: Gallery or Museum. 
  • Gilbert, S. (1795-1796). George Washington. [Oil on canvas] New York: The Frick Collection.
  • Jensen, L., Walters, P. and Walsh, Q. (1994). Faces in the Night. [Paint Mural] Trenton: The Trenton Free Library. 

When citing the work, the full name of the artist, the year in which the work was created, the medium or type of the work like oil painting, sculpture, and other kinds of artwork, the place where it was displayed, and the gallery or museum.

Harvard Citation for Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings are the presentations and academic papers that are created for a specific meeting or conference. These papers have all the information on the conference and the meeting and often serve as the core informative content.

These proceedings could either be published or non-published. To cite a published conference proceeding, use the below format:

  • Last name, First initial. (Conference Year). Title of Paper or Proceedings. In: Name or Title of Conference. [online] City: Publisher of the Proceedings, pages. Available at: URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year]
  • Palmer, L., Gover, E. and Doublet, K. (2013). Advocating for Your Tech Program. In: National Conference for Technology Teachers. [online] New York: NCTT, pp. 33-34. Available at: hitp://www.nctt.com/2013conference/advocatingforyourtechprogram/ [Accessed 11 Jan. 2014].

Sometimes the cited conference proceeding is unpublished and is recorded or saved in a print version. To cite it, use the following pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Conference Year). Title of Paper or Proceedings. In: Name or Title of Conference. City: Publisher of the Proceedings, pages.
  • Fox, R. (2014). Technological Advances in Banking. In: American Finance Association Northeast Regional Conference. Hartford: AFA, p. 24.

These conference proceedings are very helpful for the students and attendees of the conference as they could refer back to them in case they are writing a relevant paper or work.

Harvard Citation for Court Cases

How to cite a court proceeding and a case? If you are studying law and looking to learn about the Harvard citation format for it then we have explained it here in detail. Court proceedings and case hearings are used as examples and research evidence for the students and researchers.

To cite a case proceeding or hearing in the Harvard style, follow the below format:

  • Case name [Year published]Report abbreviation Volume number
    (Name or abbreviation of court); First page of court case.
  • Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. [2015]12-1226 (Supreme
    Court of the United States); 1

The format is the same for all court cases.

Harvard Citation for Dictionary Entries

Dictionaries could be either online or in print versions. Dictionaries are used for reference for difficult words. For print dictionaries, use the below structure:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Entry title. In: Dictionary
    Title, Edition. City: Publisher, page.
  • Sporadic (1993). In: Webster Dictionary, 8th ed. New York: Webstin
    LLC, page 223.

Besides print, online dictionaries are also used for several references. For an online dictionary entry, use the below pattern:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Entry title. In: Dictionary
    Title, Edition. City: Publisher, page. Available at: URL [Accessed
    Day Mo. Year].
  • Reference. (n.d.) In: Merriam-Webster [online] Springfield:
    Merriam-Webster, Inc. Available at:
    hitp://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reference [Accessed
    12 Dec. 2014]

These dictionary entries are used to explain difficult terms and phrases and help the readers understand everything clearly and with details.

Harvard Citation for Films, DVDs and Videos

Films, DVDs, and videos are used as references by the students learning filmmaking and directions. Since they need to understand a lot of things about how a film is made and how its different aspects are monitored and directed.

When citing a film or any other video, use the below format:

  • Film title. (Year published). [Format] Place of origin: Filmmaker. 
  • Girls Just Want To Have Fun. (1985). [film] Chicago: Alan Metter.

When adding any film, make sure that it is relevant and you have used the right format to cite and refer to it.

Harvard Citation for Emails

Researchers usually add these emails when they want to add something very personal or information that is available through email only.

To cite such information, use the below reference pattern:

  • Sender’s Last name, First initial. (Year published). Subject Line of
    Email. [email].
  • Niles, A. (2013). Update on my health. [email].

The formatting style for emails is quite simple as it only includes the sender’s name, the year when the email was sent, and the subject of the email.

Harvard Citation for Encyclopedia Articles

An encyclopedia is an extensive collection of books that provides in-depth and extensive information on a variety of subjects and topics. Usually, encyclopedias are arranged in alphabetical order and arrangement.

To cite an article in an encyclopedia, use the below citation format:

  • Last name, First initial. (Year published). Article title. In:
    Encyclopedia title, Edition. City published: Publisher, page(s).
  • Harding, E. (2010). Anteaters. In: The International Encyclopedia
    of Animals, 3rd ed. New York: Reference World, p. 39. 1

The format could be used for all the subjects and topics of the articles.

Harvard Citation for Government Publications

Government publications and papers are the official documents that are saved, managed, and issued by government bodies like local, federal, offices, and subdivisions. These documents may be used by the researchers, lawmakers, and students of law to refer to certain official laws or policies.

To cite such a document, use the below citation format:

  • Government Agency OR Last name, First Initial., (Year published).
    Title of Document or Article. City published: Publisher, Page(s).
  • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, (2012). BicyclePA 
    Routes. Harrisburg: PENNDOT, p.1.

Using this style, you could cite different official publications and documents.

Harvard Citation for Interviews

When citing an interview in a Harvard style paper, follow the below pattern:

  • Last name of Interviewer, First initial. and Last name of
    Interviewee, First initial. (Year of Interview). Title or Description of
    Interview.
  • Booker, C. and Lopez, J. (2014). Getting to know J. Lo.

The style is the same for all interviews and you can use it for as many interviews as you would add to your paper.

Harvard Citation for Press Releases

Press releases are written for print and digital mediums and serve as the point of contact between the general audience and the company.

When citing a print press release, follow the below citation pattern:

  • Corporate Author, (Year published). Title.
  • Imagine Easy Solutions, (2015). ResearchReady Jr. Now Available
    For Elementary Age Students.

Other than print, press releases are present on digital platforms also have press releases. Companies usually have a dedicated page that features their press release. To cite and refer to it, write in the following pattern:

  • Corporate Author, (Year published). Title. [online] Available at: URL
    [Accessed Day Mo. Year]. 
  • EBSCO, (2014). EBSCO adds EasyBib Citation Integration.
    [online] Available at: htp://campustechnology.com [Accessed 11
    Jan. 2015].

Adding press releases into your paper increases its credibility and weightage.

Harvard Citation for Religious Texts

Students majoring in religious studies cite and refer to religious texts and books to back and prove their claims. When doing so, follow the below pattern:

  • Title (Year published). City published: Publisher, pages used.
  • New American Standard Bible, (1998). Anaheim: Foundation
    Publications, Inc, pp.332-340.

Using the correct formatting style is important when citing any source and this includes religious texts also.

Harvard Citation for Reports

Citing reports add to the credibility of the paper and reflect the depth of the study and research of the study.

To cite a report in your paper, follow the following format:

  • Last name, First Initial. OR Corporate Author (Year published).
    Title. [online] City published: Publisher, Pages used. Available at:
    URL [Accessed Day Mo. Year].
  • Certify, (2015). First Quarter, 2015 Business Expense Trends.
    [online] Portland: Certify, p.2. Available at:
    http://www certify.com/CertifySpendSmartReport.aspx [Accessed 8
    Apr. 2015).

Citing different reports is a great way of proving your claims and points in your paper.

These are the ways you can cite different sources while using Harvard citation style.

Now you've learned how to use Harvard format style to structure and cite your academic work effectively.

If you ever need a paper in Harvard style and want to focus on your research and writing, our reliable essay writing service is here to help. Our experienced writers are experts in Harvard formatting, so your work will be spot on.

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Caleb S.

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Caleb S. (Literature, Marketing)

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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