A Full Guide to Harvard Formatting

A Full Guide to Harvard Formatting
Table of Contents
  1. A Full Guide to Harvard Formatting
  2. What is referencing?
  3. What should you reference?
  4. What are citations?
  5. How to write citation in this formatting type?
  6. Citing more than one author and secondary references
  7. Direct quotes
  8. How to cite illustrations and other images
  9. Citations from works without any known author
  10. How to cite multimedia works
  11. Where and how to get help?

There are different styles that school, college, and university students use for referencing and writing a bibliography page in their academic essays. If you need to write a paper, read guidelines and talk to your instructor to learn formatting requirements and avoid losing marks. Get more Harvard outline format information to submit perfect assignments. A standard Harvard outline format is easy to use and learn and it applies the author-date approach to cite useful resources. Read this detailed Harvard outline guide to find out more.

What is referencing?

When you start your research for assignment, you need to take notes of all important details to give correct references and help other people find this information later. Referencing is the method that demonstrates targeted readers that you did your effective literature search and it’s an acknowledgment that you use the thoughts or materials that belong to others. Use standard Harvard outline format rules to reference any sources.

What should you reference?

Referencing is important to conduct your successful research and let readers understand all of its stages while making the main point in any sentence or stating your strong thesis. Why is it so important?


  • Correct references affect your academic writing positively and improve the general presentation of your papers because it proves that you base them on knowledge;
  • Your references guarantee that people reading your sentences can easily trace all the sources of information that you use while giving credit to other writers;
  • If you fail to acknowledge other author’s ideas and materials, you will face severe plagiarism outcomes.

All teachers in schools want to see a good reference structure, so impress them with reliable data and correct references to earn higher grades.

What are citations?

When using other people’s works to create your academic paper, either by putting direct quotes or referring to their thoughts, it’s necessary to acknowledge that in your text. These acknowledgements are citations. When following Harvard outline format guidelines, ensure that they include:

  • Publication years of your cited works;
  • Their editors or authors.

How to write citation in this formatting type?

There are many rules that students need to follow when writing their Harvard law outlines, and everything depends on whether they cite quotes and number of authors.

Citing more than one author and secondary references

If your sources have 2 or 3 authors, you need to include all of their names in citations. What if there are 4 or more writers or editors? Use a special abbreviation after the 1st name. When citing new work of the same author who wrote it the same year as your earlier citations, you need to use lower case letters after dates to make a clear difference between these works.


Some sources may have chapters of different writers. Based on current Harvard outline formatting rules, you must cite authors who wrote specific chapters when citing something from them.

If authors refer to other people’s works or preliminary sources of information aren’t available, you use secondary references. When citing them, you need to mention every author. Teachers advise their students to avoid secondary referencing because they should do their best to find original works. If it’s impossible to do that, reference to the sources that you use in your research and Harvard outline formatting.

Direct quotes

How to cite them correctly? If you use direct quotes are from articles, books, or other resources, Harvard outline requirements state that you need to take these simple steps:

  • Put single quotation marks as the double ones are suitable only to quote a direct speech;
  • State a particular page number.

How to cite illustrations and other images

To cite different tables, diagrams, images, pictures, figures, and other illustrations, don’t forget to give in-text citations for each one that you use in your academic paper and full references. Harvard outline rules ask you to treat these elements as direct quotes. That’s because you need to show exact page numbers and acknowledge their authors both in the text and a special reference section.

Citations from works without any known author

If you need to cite from works without any clear author, use the corporate one. What does it mean? Example: you can see many publications available online don’t have their named authors or they are companies and organizations. Use anonyms as author names to solve this problem. What if there is no author? If you can’t identify any authors of online works, you shouldn’t use them in your Harvard writing because you always need to know their origins to guarantee their reliability and quality.

How to cite multimedia works

To cite from any multimedia works, all you need to do is to use the titles of video records, online broadcast, TV programs, and films as authors. If videos are available on video-streaming services, reference people who uploaded them. This means that your Harvard outline citations should include titles and you identify them as the writers of your used sources. Citing from a personal communication and interviews use interviewees’ surnames as authors to cite anything from a personal communication or interviews. Stick to a basic Harvard formatting outline.

Where and how to get help?

When writing an academic paper of any level, you may have certain difficulties with Harvard outline and referencing requirements. To simplify this process, order our professional Harvard formatting services. We offer competitive prices on high-quality academic assistance and our qualified writers are always ready to help all struggling students.