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Harvard Citation Style: Introduction

In This Guide...

Click on the links below for further information on referencing each material type


  • Why is Referencing Important?
  • Getting Started

Reference Formats

  • References by Format
  • Citing Info Someone Else has Cited


  • No Authors
  • 1, 2 or More Authors
  • No Editors
  • 1, 2 or More Editors
  • Chapters in Books

Company Information

  • Company Reports
  • Company Profiles

Conference Proceedings

  • Print
  • Online


  • Websites
  • Blogs
  • Web Images
  • Web Documents
  • Computer Software

Journal Articles

  • CMO Articles
  • Print
  • Online

Lecture Notes

Multimedia Formats

  • Audio-Visual Material

Newspaper Articles

  • Print
  • Online

Patents & Standards

  • Citing Patents: Examples
  • Citing Patents: Standards


  • Citing Theses: Examples

All Examples

  • A table of examples in all formats for quick reference

Why is Referencing Important?

Referencing or citing your sources is an important part of academic writing. It lets you acknowledge the ideas or words of others if you use them in your work and helps avoid plagiarism.

Referencing also demonstrates that you've read relevant background literature and you can provide authority for statements you make in your assignments.

The Harvard citation style can vary in minor features such as punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and the use of italics.

Note: Always check with your instructor/professor for which citation style they prefer you to use.

How and When to Cite - GW Writing Center

The Dos and Don'ts of Paraphrasing - GW Writing Center

Getting Started

There are two components to referencing: in-text citations in your paper and the reference list at the end of your paper.

The in-text citation:

Harvard is an 'author/date' system, so your in-text citation consists of author(s) and year of publication.


In-text citation of a book (the same format applies for a journal article)

(Smith & Bruce 1997).  Use round brackets and do not punctuate between author surname and date

If you quote directly from an author or to cite a specific idea or piece of information from the source you need to include the page number of the quote in your in-text citation.


(Smith & Bruce 1997, p8)


The reference list:

All in-text citations should be listed in the reference list at the end of your document. The reference list should include details representing all the works you cite in your document and it should be in alphabetical order by author.

Reference list entry for a book

Smith, J & Bruce, S 1997, <i>A Guide to personnel management</i>, 4th edn. McGraw Hill, Sydney.  Title is italicised.

Reference list entry for a journal

Authors surname, initials date, 'Article title', <i>Journal Title</i>, volume, issue, page range.

Reference list entries contain all the information that someone needs to follow up your source. Reference lists in Harvard are arranged alphabetically by author.

Subject Guide

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