Harvard References

Bring credibility to your work with Harvard references.

The Harvard Referencing System (HRS) is a writing style that is often used in scientific and technical report writing. Like many other writing styles, HRS allows its writer to give credit to the sources in which they obtain their information. The use of Harvard references prevents plagiarism, accusations of plagiarism towards a writer, and brings credibility to the work of the writer.

The Basics of the Harvard Referencing System


Harvard Referencing System Defined

The Harvard Referencing System is a common writing style used in science and technical writing. With its citation and referencing rules and guidelines, this system provides writers with a structure that allows Harvard references to be presented clearly.

Harvard References Example


Harvard References - Harvard References example of a first page.

Harvard reference example

Parenthetical Citations

The Harvard Referencing System uses parenthetical citations to reference the work of others within the text of a work. The citation is often composed of the author’s name, year of publication, and page numbers. Each citation used within a work is also detailed in the Harvard references list located at the end of the paper.

Parenthetical Citations Guidelines

  • Capitalize the names of authors including initials.
  • If the author’s name is in the text, follow with year in parentheses.
  • When referencing multiple sources within one set of parenthesis, separate sources with semicolons.
  • When articles or studies have no author, use the name of the magazine or journal instead.

Harvard Reference List

The Harvard reference page must begin on a separate page from the essay and coordinate with all parenthetical citations used throughout the text. This ensures that all citations can be accounted for from its original source. Moreover, a writer can provide credibility for the work and the audience will know where to look if more information is desired on the topic.

It is also important to note that the type of source that is used, whether it is a book, journal article, or electronic source, determines the format of Harvard references.  In order to follow the correct format, be sure to refer to the official Harvard Reference System guidelines.

Harvard Reference List Guidelines

  • The Harvard References page must be labelled “References.”
  • The “References” title should be located at the top, center of the page.
  • “References” should not be bolded, underlined, or italicized.
  • Harvard references must be alphabetized by last name of the author.
  • Periodical and publication volume, issue, page numbers, publisher, and place of publication must be included in Harvard references.
  • Italicize book and journal titles.
  • Do not italicize, underline, or quote journal articles or essays.


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