How to use Harvard Format references correctly?

While writing an Essay, the Reference part is very important, irregular use of  Reference may affect the score of the Essay, and the appropriate format of Reference will enhance the credibility of the Essay.


Among all the citation formats, the Harvard format is the most popular format in the world, especially in the writing of academic essays. Although the Harvard citation system originated from Harvard University in the United States, it has been widely used in Britain, Australia, and many other countries.


The Harvard citation System, known as Harvard's standard for referencing papers, is called the Harvard System of Annotations, also known as the Author-Date Method. Literature Citation is roughly divided into two parts: In-text Citation and Reference List.


In-text citations are annotated after quoting or rewriting other people's articles. In-text citations are much shorter than a complete reference. In-text citations include the author's last name, year of publication, and the page number. Here are the examples:

1 author cited:

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

Cite 2-3 authors:

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

Citing multiple authors:

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

If there is no author, use italics for the institution name or article name:

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

More cases can be found in GPA Expert.


The Reference List is a complete presentation of all the citations in the paper. At the end of the article, you should include information about the author, date of publication, title, and other sources. The Harvard format list should include:

1、At the end of the document on a separate attached page, listed in the text shall not be omitted.

2、Double-spaced paragraphs of text.

3、According to the author's first name in alphabetical order; If there is no author, sort by the first letter of the title; If none of the above, sort by date. For example :(1) If there is more than one work by the same author, these works are sorted by date; (2) If the works are in the same year, they are arranged alphabetically by title and assigned a letter (A, B, C, etc.) after the date. Each reference note should contain a certain content or element in a certain order. The cases are as follows:

Book Quotes:

Author's first name, first name capitalized, (year of publication). Title of book. Place of publication. Publisher

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

Academic journal citations:

Author's first name, first name capitalized. (Year of PUBLICATION). Title of PAPER. Title of publication. Total Volume number (issue number). Page number.

Boughton, J.M., (2002). The Bretton Woods proposal: a brief look. Political Science Quarterly, 42(6), p.564.


You should check and correct it by yourself while writing the reference. Of course, you can also use some automatic output tools for reference, but you should never fabricate the reference. Otherwise, it may be suspected of academic fraud. If you have requirements on Essay writing or Reference generation, you can contact GPA Expert Customer Service, where you can get the operation skills of the automatic output tool of Reference as well as the corresponding writing instruction.