Referencing your research paper could be a tedious task for some. However, no need to worry. The key to all your problems is right here in this blog. You will get to know about formatting your research paper, what is Harvard Style? the in-text citations, and preparing the list of Harvard Style of Referencing

This style would help you to gain expertise in writing papers. This makes the paper presentable and easy to understand. Your research paper plays a vital role while shaping your career. Whenever you are assigned a research paper by your professors, the assignment section will provide you with all the necessary details of the format to be allowed. If the specified style of writing is Harvard Style, then this blog is right there for your help. Let’s dive deep into this topic and exploit the Harvard Style of Referencing.

Content Writing Mythbusters You Need To Know: Content writing mythbusters | 8 content writing myth quashed.

What is Harvard Style of referencing?

Harvard Style of referencing is a style of writing a paper. It may be a research paper, a journal or an article. Usually academic papers use the Harvard Style. There is a complete set of rules how to write a paper and how to put references as well as in-text citations. Basically it is a way of pointing out which resources have been used or referred to write a particular piece of content, just using the correct formatting to write it.

You must have heard of the term APA, MLA, and Harvard style of referencing. All of these styles are used a lot in academic papers. With this style, you will be able to define your paper’s margin size and the font for your paper. When you will end your research paper, you will also find the instructions for citing both in text format and the list of references. There are some specific fields that favor the Harvard style of Referencing. Some of those fields are Behavioral Sciences, Arts, and Philosophy. It’s not compulsory that you can’t use the Harvard style of writing in other subjects. 

Harvard Style Format

Every style of writing has its own rules and regulations. In order to write your research paper in the Harvard Style of referencing, you need to follow these rules. All the rules mentioned below must be followed to ensure that your research paper doesn’t miss anything. 

Also Read about Top 4 Writing Styles for your Content: Top 4 Writing styles for your Content

Harvard Style Guidelines

Harvard Style Guidelines
Harvard Style Guidelines
  • You need to maintain a margin of 1 inch from all the sides of your paper. This would give the paper a tidy look. 
  • While writing your research paper, you should be very particular with the font. Harvard Style of Referencing allows Times New Roman or Arial with the font of 12 for writing. 
  • You should give double spaces between the lines of your research paper. 
  • While writing, you should keep in mind that all your text should be shifted towards the left. 
  • You should maintain an indentation of 0.5 while writing the first line of each paragraph. 
  • Before starting to write, you must ensure to give a proper title on the center of your first page of the research paper. 
  • It’s important to mention the headers and page numbers on each page of your research paper. 

Headers, Title, and Page Numbers in Research Paper

  • After writing the text on your research paper, don’t forget to add a title. Your title should be always aligned at the center. The first letter of every word of your title should be capitalized. This provokes the audience to read the title of your research paper. You should underline, bold, or italicize your title. Always keep one important thing in your mind that any type of prepositions and conjunction of your title shouldn’t be capitalized. 
  • Add a page number at the right top corner of your paper. 
  • Don’t forget to mention your name in the header before the number of pages. 

Subheadings in Research Paper

  • To divide your topic into easy sub-parts and organize your paper, it’s important to provide subheadings. Ensure to add keywords in your headings and subheadings. 
  • When you provide the subheadings there will be two headings, heading 1 and heading 2. 
  • The heading 1 will be the main heading of your topic of research. While the heading 2 will include the sub topic of that heading. They would follow a hierarchical system. 

Title Page of Research Paper

  • The first page of your research paper is the title page, also known as the cover page. It consists of most of the important information in it.
  • You should write the title in capital letters only. According to one-third of your page, you should adjust the title of your research paper. 
  • At the half of your page, you should add your name and centralize it on your research paper. 

Suggested Blog: 7 SEO Friendly Headline Tools you Need

Harvard Style Referencing

You need to enter the list of Harvard references in the references section. As you will mention the heading of your paper, in the same way, mention the title as “Reference List”. There should be a mention of the entry of the bibliography for every source you will cite. Never forget to mention the reference entry list for all the sources. The way to format your reference list is given below.

How to Format the Reference list ?

It’s very crucial to cite your references properly and list them in the references section. Otherwise, you will be marked as copying someone else data, survey, or content. 

Also read about 6 Simple Plagiarism Checkers: 6 Simple plagiarism checkers softwares to avoid duplicate content

General Rules

General Rules
General Rules
Alphabetical Order

Always alphabetize the first letter of the first word of your reference list. If in case, your reference list is starting with a, an, or the. Then ignore the first letter of your reference list and work accordingly with the next letter. 

Entry Placement

Each bibliographical entry in the reference list should start from the new line. Shift your reference list to the left side of your paper, and there should be double spacing all through your list of references. 


You must have seen that in the title of the books, web article, and the titles of chapters, only the first letter of the title is capitalized. But this shouldn’t be the case while citing your Harvard references in your research paper.  

Harvard Style In-Text Citation

Harvard Style In-Text Citation
Harvard Style In-Text Citation

Cite the Sources

To prevent your content from plagiarism, it’s better to give credit to the actual authors and sites. Any type of information like data, diagrams, surveys, or information that you copy from some, or another website, must include those sites in your references section. When you give the credits to the actual author, it indicates that you are a nice author and never copy some other’s content. 

In-Text citations general appearance

The general appearance of Harvard style citations includes a lot of details to be taken into consideration which is as follows. 

  • The citation of Harvard style is parenthetical.
  • It should include the author’s surname.
  • Don’t miss to include the publication year. 
  • It’s a must to inculcate the page number in it. 

Direct Quotes

In case you copy the exact words from any source, then you need to provide the number at the end of the sentence and put the line in quotes. Mention the number of the page in the part of the in-text citation. Also, count the number of paragraphs from the reference website. 

Mention authors in text

You might use the name of the author in your text. If you do so, then don’t enclose it in parentheses. Don’t use the word & instead, write the full word “and”. 

Cite authors from different sources

If you take a reference of an author who mentions the name of another author on their website, then you should mention the name of both the authors. First, mention the name of the original author and then the name of the author.  

Different sources in one citation

When you use a single set of parentheses to include too many citations. Then, mention them in the same order as that of the reference list. To separate them from each other, use a semicolon. 

Know how to Reading Skills Fuel you Content Writing in 2022: Why are reading skills your fuel to good content writing in 2022?


To write your research paper with the Harvard style of referencing, you must follow the guidelines and the formatting instructions properly. Remember one thing, your research paper should be written in a simple and lucid manner which will provoke the readers to go through it completely. As you are writing to impress your professors and not the audience so your language should be as if a 5-year old kid can understand. Writing a research paper might seem a cumbersome process. You need to keep a watch on the details properly and look out for grammatical errors.

We have put the references for this blog in Harvard Style of Referencing.