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How To Do Harvard Referencing In An Essay

Harvard Format Citation Guide

This is a complete guide to Harvard in-text and reference list citations.This easy-to-use, comprehensive guide makes citing any source easy. Check out our other citation guides on APA and MLA 8 referencing.

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1. Harvard Referencing Basics: Reference List

A reference list is a complete list of all the sources used when creating a piece of work. This list includes information about the sources like the author, date of publication, title of the source and more. A Harvard reference list must:

  • Be on a separate sheet at the end of the document

  • Be organised alphabetically by author, unless there is no author then it is ordered by the source title, excluding articles such as a, an or the

    • If there are multiple works by the same author these are ordered by date, if the works are in the same year they are ordered alphabetically by the title and are allocated a letter (a,b,c etc) after the date

  • Be double spaced: there should be a full, blank line of space between each line of text

  • Contain full references for all in-text references used

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2. Harvard Referencing Basics: In-Text

In-text references must be included following the use of a quote or paraphrase taken from another piece of work.

In-text references are references written within the main body of text and refer to a quote or paraphrase. They are much shorter than full references. The full reference of in-text citations appears in the reference list. In Harvard referencing, in-text citations contain the author(s)’s or editor(s)’s surname, year of publication and page number(s). Using an example author James Mitchell, this takes the form:

Mitchell (2017, p. 189) states.. Or (Mitchell, 2017, p. 189)

(Note: p. refers to a single page, pp. refers to a range of pages)

Two or Three Authors:

When citing a source with two or three authors, state all surnames like so:

Mitchell, Smith and Thomson (2017, p. 189) states… Or

(Mitchell, Coyne and Thomson, 2017, p. 189)

Four or More Authors:

In this case, the first author’s surname should be stated followed by ‘et al’:

Mitchell et al (2017, p. 189) states… Or (Mitchell et al, 2017, p, 189)

No Author:

If possible, use the organisation responsible for the post in place of the author. If not, use the title in italics:

(A guide to citation, 2017, pp. 189-201)

Multiple Works From the Same Author in the Same Year:

If referencing multiple works from one author released in the same year, the works are allocated a letter (a, b, c etc) after the year. This allocation is done in the reference list so is done alphabetically according to the author's surname and source title:

(Mitchell, 2017a, p. 189) or Mitchell (2017b, p. 189)

Citing Multiple Works in One Parentheses:

List the in-text citations in the normal way but with semicolons between different references:

(Mitchell, 2017, p. 189; Smith, 200; Andrews, 1989, pp. 165-176)

Citing Different Editions of the Same Work in One Parentheses:

Include the author(s)’s name only once followed by all the appropriate dates separated by semicolons:

Mitchell (2010; 2017) states… Or (Mitchell, 2010; 2017)

Citing a Reference With No Date:

In this case simply state ‘no date’ in place of the year: (Mitchell, no date, p. 189).

Citing a Secondary Source:

In this case, state the reference you used first followed by ‘cited in’ and the original author:

Smith 2000 (cited in Mitchell, 2017, p. 189) or (Smith, 2000, cited in Mitchell, 2017, p. 189)

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3. How to Cite Different Source Types

  • In-text citations remain quite constant across source types, unless mentioned explicitly, assume the in-text citation uses the rules stated above

  • Reference list references vary quite a lot between sources.

How to Cite a Book in Harvard Format

Book referencing is the simplest format in Harvard referencing style. The basic format is as follows:

Book Referencing Example:

Mitchell, J.A. and Thomson, M. (2017) A guide to citation.3rd edn. London: London Publishings.

How to Cite an Edited Book in Harvard Format

Edited books are collations of chapters written by different authors. Their reference format is very similar to the book reference except instead of the author name, the editor name is used followed by (eds.) to distinguish them as an editor. The basic format is:

Editor surname(s), initial(s). (eds.) (Year Published). Title. Edition. Place of

publication: publishers

Edited Book Example:

William, S.T. (eds.) (2015) Referencing: a guide to citation rules. New York: My Publisher

How to Cite a Chapter in an Edited Book in Harvard Format

For citing chapters, you need to add the chapter author and chapter title to the reference. The basic format is as follows:

Chapter in an Edited Book Example:

Troy B.N. (2015) ‘Harvard citation rules’ in Williams, S.T. (ed.) A guide to citation rules. New York: NY Publishers, pp. 34-89.

In-Text Citations: Chapter in an Edited Book

Use the chapter author surname, not the editor.

How to Cite an E-Book in Harvard Format

To reference an e-book, information about its collection, location online and the date it was accessed are needed as well as author name, title and year of publishing:

If the e-book is accessed via an e-book reader the reference format changes slightly:

Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year Published). Title. Edition. E-book format [e-book reader]. Available at URL or DOI (Accessed: day month year)

This includes information about the e-book format and reader, for instance this could be ‘Kindle e-book [e-book reader]’.

E-Book Example:

Mitchell, J.A., Thomson, M. and Coyne, R.P. (2017) A guide to citation. E-book library [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 10 September 2016)

How to Cite a Journal Article in Harvard Format

The basic format to cite a journal article is:

Journal Article Example

Mitchell, J.A. ‘How citation changed the research world’, The Mendeley, 62(9), p70-81.

Journal Article Online Example

Mitchell, J.A. ‘How citation changed the research world’, The Mendeley, 62(9) [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 15 November 2016)

How to Cite a Newspaper Article in Harvard Format

Citing a newspaper article is similar to citing a journal article except, instead of the volume and issue number, the edition and date of publication are needed:

Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year) ‘Article Title’, Newspaper Title (edition), day month,

page number(s).

Note: edition is used only where applicable.

Newspaper Article Example:

Mitchell, J.A. (2017) ‘Changes to citation formats shake the research world’, The Mendeley Telegraph (Weekend edition), 6 July, pp.9-12.

How to Cite an Online Journal or Newspaper Article in Harvard Format

To cite an online journal or newspaper article, the page numbers section from the print journal or newspaper reference is swapped with the URL or DOI the article can be accessed from and when it was accessed. So the reference for an online journal article is:

Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year) ‘Title of article’,  Title of journal, volume(issue/season) [online]. Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: day month year)

And the reference for an online newspaper article is:

Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year) ‘Article Title’, Newspaper Title (edition), day month [online]. Available at: URL or DOI (Accessed: day month year)

How to Cite Non-Print Material in Harvard Format

How to Cite an Online Photograph in Harvard Format

The basic format is as follows:

Photograph surname, initial. (Year of publication) Title of photograph [online]. Available at: URL (Accessed: day month year)

Online Photograph Example:

Millais, J.E. (1851-1852) Ophelia [online]. Available at: (Accessed: 21 June 2014)

How to Cite a Film in Harvard Format

The basic format to cite a film is:

Film Example:

Rear Window (1954) Directed by Alfred Hitchcock [Film]. Los Angeles: Paramount Pictures.

How to Cite a TV Programme in Harvard Format

The basic format for citing a TV programme is as follows:

TV Programme Example:

‘Fly’ (2010) Breaking Bad, Series 2, episode 10. AMC, 23 May 2010.

How to Cite Music in Harvard Format

The basic format to cite an album is as follows:

Music Example:

Beyonce (2016) Lemonade [Visual Album] New York: Parkwood Records. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2016).

How to Cite a Website in Harvard Format

The basic format to cite a website is:

Author surname(s), initial(s). (Year of publishing)  Title of page/site [Online[. Available at: URL (Accessed: day month year)

Website Example:

Mitchell, J.A. (2017) How and when to reference [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 27 May 2017)

To learn more about citing a web page and entire websites in APA, MLA or Harvard check out How to Cite a Website post.

For a summary of all the references for each source type along with examples take a look at our Ultimate Citation Cheat Sheet. It also contains examples for MLA 8 and APA formats.

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Harvard Sample Example:

As in many countries, consumers in Australia have recently had to accommodate increases in the costs of basic food (Webb & Leeder 2007). During the financial year 2007–2008, overall food prices rose 5.9% (Australian Bureau of Statistics [ABS]2008a), while some basic food prices rose sharply compared with the same period in previous years: cheese by 14.2%, milk by 12.1%, poultry by 11.0% and bread by 6.8% (ABS 2008b, p. 3). Food cost “plays a significant role in mediating food choice among low socio-economic status (SES) groups” (Harrison et al., as cited in Henderson & Foley 2010).  People in low income demographics often have to reduce food spending to allow for other essentials such as housing and utilities (Douglas 2006), leading to decreased food security. The literature on food access indicates that people from low income backgrounds experience higher rates of food insecurity and obesity, and studies have found that affordability is a primary reason given for not choosing healthy foods (Banerjee 2007; Innes-Hughes et al. 2011). Thus, the assessment of food cost and affordability are essential steps in better understanding individual and community food choices.

Food costs entered the political limelight prior to the Australian 2007 federal election, with voters demanding government action to reduce prices. To honour pre-election promises, the newly elected Labor government initiated a national inquiry into grocery pricing soon after taking office (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [ACCC] 2008). However, following the release of the grocery pricing inquiry and the consequent launch of the government website to monitor prices, critics considered there would be minimal, if any, impact on prices (Irvine 2008). This is partly because of international trends, with Australia not immune to global factors attributed to raising the costs of basic foods (Queensland Health 2001), and partly because the inquiry outcomes did nothing to address food costs.

To be food secure means to have regular access to safe, nutritionally adequate, culturally acceptable food from non-emergency sources (Kirk 2002). Food insecurity, then, describes a limited or uncertain ability to acquire appropriate foods in socially acceptable ways (Bowden & Fairley 2006). This is not merely a lack of food, but occurs when people fear running out of food, or are forced to make significant changes to their usual eating patterns due to economic constraints. The diets of those who are food insecure are likely to lack variety and be of poor quality with lower levels of micronutrients.

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating shows the range of food groups recommended for a healthy  adult (Petschel 2013). There is some evidence to demonstrate that populations living in rural areas of Australia have to pay more for healthy food than their metropolitan (‘metro’) counterparts. The Healthy Food Basket (HFB) survey conducted in Queensland demonstrated higher food costs in rural and remote parts of the state (Queensland Health 2001). In South Australia a study conducted by Douglas (2006, p. 16) demonstrated that “food costs were higher in remote areas of that state”. However, Bowden and Fairley (2006) in a survey of 42 rural towns in Victoria could find no difference in the cost of a HFB according to rurality, nor did the mean cost of the rural Victorian HFB differ significantly from a basket priced in state capital Melbourne.

Some of the above are excerpts from:

Ward, PR, Coveney, J, Verity, F, Carter, P & Schilling, M  2012, ‘Cost and affordability of healthy food in rural South Australia’, Rural and Remote Health, vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 1938-1948.


Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008a, Consumer price index Australia: March quarter 2008,

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2008b, Consumer price index Australia: December quarter 2008,

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 2008, Report of the ACCC inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries,

Banerjee, A 2007, ‘Fixed mobile substitution and lessons for food pricing’, paper presented to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission 2007 Regulatory Conference, Queensland, 26 to 27 July.

Bowden, FJ & Fairley, CK (eds.) 2006, Eating patterns in the Northern Territory: Estimations of effective food use, Pearson.

Douglas, J 2006, ‘Food insecurity in northern Adelaide’, South Australian Council of Social Service News, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 15-30.

Henderson, J & Foley, W 2010, ‘Brace yourselves: Reporting of rising food costs in the Australian print media’, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 477-492.

Innes-Hughes, C, Hardy, LL, Venugopal, K, King, LA, Wolfenden, L & Rangan, A 2011, ‘Children's consumption of energy-dense nutrient-poor foods, fruit and vegetables: Are they related’, Health Promotion Journal of Australia, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 210-216.

Irvine, J 2008, ‘Rudd price check: He's powerless’, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 August,

Kirk, J 2002, Theorising food security, PhD thesis, University of Technology Sydney.

Petschel, K 2013, ‘The Australian guide to healthy eating: What you need to know’, Australian Coeliac, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 21-31.

Queensland Health 2001, The 2000 healthy food access basket (HFAB) survey: Full report,

Webb, K & Leeder, SR 2007, ‘New Year’s resolution: Let’s get rid of excessive food prices in remote Australia’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 186, no. 1, pp. 7-8.