What is Harvard Referencing?

What is Harvard referencing?

What do you mean by Harvard Referencing?

In the academic world, references and citations are quite common and there are apparently thousands of different styles in which this can be done during writing academic research papers or term papers. According to the different academic fields and streams, the referencing style preferences and priorities vary. Moreover, different publishing houses have their own preferred citation house styles. The most popular among them is perhaps the Harvard referencing style. It has its origin in ‘The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation’ that was published sometimes back by the HLRA (Harvard Law Review Association).  Today the Harvard referencing style is followed in several fields like Law, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Medicines and so on.

Various important and unique Features of Harvard school of Referencing

There are several basic features that characterize the Harvard school of referencing style that are used extensively by the academic writers for their research essay papers or  term papers. These features are as follows:

  • The Basics: Special emphasize on mention of the original author’s name and date of publication of his work with a repeated mention again in the Bibliography section at the end of the writing in an alphabetical order.
  • The Capitals: Only the author’s surname or family is required to be capitalized in only the Bibliography part and not in the body of the writing, which again is not compulsory.
  • The Punctuations: There is no hard and fast rule to punctuate. The only requirement is to be uniform with one single style of punctuation.
  • Italics and underline: While using both Italics and underline at the same time is not necessary, it is advisable to go with the former and use it in case of mentioning the title or name of the information source.
  • Multiple Authors: While mentioning more than one author, it is a rule to follow the publication order and separate each author by a semicolon.
  • Multiple works: In case of referencing more than one work by the same author, simply follow the date of publication order and then alphabetically.
  • Citing an already cited reference: Mention a detail of the writer who has made the particular reference before, in the reference list.
  • Quotation: While short quotes can be mentioned inside the body of the writing, longer ones need to be cited separately in a different paragraph.
  • Reference list: This reference list comes at the end of each text and are listed alphabetically and then by the date of publication of the particular work.
  • Paraphrasing: A paraphrasing, though usually done in the writer’s own language, still needs referencing due to the concept or idea. It, however, requires just a mention of the author’s name and the year.
  • Online or web source referencing: In case of using a web source as reference, it is necessary to mention the author and the year and not the URL or the web page address of the source.

How does the Harvard Referencing work in academic line? Its importance

Referencing is an essential and important part of any academic writing, be it any thesis or research paper, dissertation proposal writing or term paper. It is basically needed to acknowledge and respect the facts, concepts ideas, quotes or any other form of information or image of any other researcher or author that the academic writer has used in his/her entire work. Now the importance of the Harvard referencing in the academic field is manifold since it provides an easy and user friendly way of citation thus both maintain the writer’s dignity and easing down his work. While otherwise, the Harvard style offers the usual referencing advantages and requirements, it also adds some sort of distinction to the writer’s academic work due to its variation, although slight, in punctuation, abbreviation, capitalization, Italics etc.

The basic functions of Harvard Referencing

The basic function of Harvard style of referencing is same as the function of a general referencing. These are as follows:

  • It helps the readers sufficiently to trace the referred work or information without much difficulty
  • It provides enough evidence to the readers and others for the academic writer to justify his vast reading and research on a given subject or topic
  • The Harvard referencing style also includes a wide range of information referencing rules which leaves practically no chance for any kind of plagiarism
  • The ‘in text’ referencing and the detailed Reference List system (also called the Bibliography) at the end of the academic work, in the Harvard referencing style, helps the readers to understand the writer’s point without any huge effort

Examples of Harvard Referencing

One of the most popular and frequently used referencing styles of Staffordshire, the Harvard style of referencing is also commonly called the Author Date referencing style.  As the name suggests, it lays emphasis mainly on the name of the creator and the date of publication of the work. A compiled list of a few Harvard referencing style examples is provided below for a better comprehension.

  • Newspaper article (No author): Ex – The New York Times 8 December 2010, p. 6
  • Website: Ex – New York security Exchange 2007
  • Blog: Ex – Godwin 2004
  • From a cited source: Ex – Macpherson, cited in Munich 2005
  • Web Document: Ex – Department of Industry, Hospitality, Resources and Tourism 2008
  • Television program: Ex – Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. (1995). BBC 2, 5 January
  • Newspaper article (with author): Ex – Sabo. G. M (2006) “ Nationalism and Patriotism” , XYZ Paper, 3 December 2003, p. 18
  • Book Chapter: Ex -Strand, J.(1994), “ The self awareness”, Discovering the Self, London: S.T, p 22 – 31
  • Video: Ex-The Anger Management. (1996) Directed by T. F. Moody. Hollywood: HBO Movies
  • Journal article: Ex – Somerset, T. J. (1996), “The Human Mind”. The British Daily Health Journal, 12 (7), 38 – 47
  • Quotation (in text): Ex – Waugh, G. B. (2006: 23)