Harvard style only looks confusing
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The information is relevant as of 07/22/2024

Harvard style paper

What Harvard style is

Although Harvard has a reputation as one of the most reputable educational institutions in the world, it does not mean that Harvard referencing style is in some way better than the rest. Its history dates back to the 19th century. Supposedly, a Hersey professor of anatomy at Harvard University - Edward Laurens Mark - was the first one to use an author-date citation in parentheses. Other scholars approved of this formatting approach and that is how the style we have today appeared. It was associated with biology for a long time and used in this field of knowledge until it became popular in humanities as well. Now you can see many papers in history, sociology, and geography.

To put it shortly, this style of formatting helps to systematize the academic papers asking its authors to follow specific guidelines. You can find a big amount of ways of citing a source. Harvard suggests you use parentheses for that. It provides you with instructions in terms of in-text citations and reference lists. Let's try to dig deeper and find out what are those rules and which ones of them should you follow to score high on your paper.

What a perfect Harvard paper should look like

It is worth noting some of the peculiarities Harvard citation style has and other styles don't. Firstly, when indicating the name of a writer, you don't need to write his/her full name. All you need to write is a surname and the first initial. It does not seem like a major point but it is important. Every comma, full stop, and colon matters when it comes to referencing.

Secondly, there is a limit to the references cited in your work. You do not have to include the further reading materials for the readers to explore the topic of discussion. The best way to make sure you are doing everything right is to visit the official (reputable) websites and check the list of requirements every style has. Meanwhile, here are some more tips on formatting your paper:

Detailed tips:

We encourage you to be boring and choose Times New Roman for your paper. It is a safe choice and the scientific community will not be shocked by your decision to use a new font.
Your paper should be double-spaced, no surprises here.
Do not forget to insert a header with the title of your paper.
Make sure you know if the title page should be numbered or not (whether you have additional instructions from your instructor or not).
The page with citations should be called "References".
As to the title page, check if the title of your paper is halfway down the page. Skip three lines, then put your name. Then, skip four lines more and write the name of your course and the professor's name in the next line. The date will be the last piece of information on this page.

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Citation formatting

While writing a research paper, thesis or dissertation, you will definitely need the help of more experienced scholars to support your own ideas. Citing them is a crucial part of the writing process. Students often struggle with finding the correct sentence structure and formatting for different kinds of in-text citations and references. Therefore, you can use these examples as guidelines to make the writing process less stressful. Harvard style differs from the other formatting approaches and you need to know its specific requirements.

In-text citations:
(Simons 1999, p. 58-59)

In-text citations for four or more authors:
(Simons et al., 1999)

In case the name of the author is not stated, you can simply indicate the title of the text and the publishing year.

How to format a reference

from a book:
Simons, A. (1999). The Biggest Mistakes of the Humanity. New York: Best Publishing Company, 58.

a book with several authors:
Simons, A. and Laury, G. (2002). Being a human. Paris, France: Petit Petit, p.177.

a chapter from a book:
Simons, A. (1999). Secrets of Laziness. In: M. Jenkins, ed., The Biggest Mistakes of the Humanity, 1st ed. New York: Best Publishing Company., pp. 58-62.

a print journal article:
Gatsby, M. (2001). Female characters in A. Chekhov's works. Literature Journal, 11(2), pp. 179-201.

a print magazine:
Collins, J. (2003). Procrastination is useful. Psychology, (17), pp.62-69.

a dissertation:
Colbert, M. (2015). Effects of Clothes Choice on Behavior and Character. PhD. Harvard University.

How to Do It Faster

As you can see there are many points you have to keep in mind when using the Harvard formatting style. If you don't have time to bring your paper to perfection or simply can't stand the monotonous work of putting commas and colons, let Essayhave.com help you. We can deliver the perfect sample of academic writing to you as fast as you need. It will be a lot easier to get your head around the formatting rules when you have a detailed example of how to apply them.

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