Harvard Style in Writing Explained

Writing an academic paper requires not only knowledge of a particular discipline and subject area, but also a mastery of different writing styles. These styles are meant to unify and organize academic writing in the same way a language organizes our thoughts, and make it understandable for everyone within a scientific community.

One of the oldest and highly popular in the scientific community is the Harvard style. It has its unique and clearly defined rules and limitations, which make it different from other writing styles. Check out the below paragraphs to know how to use the Harvard style correctly. 

Formatting in Harvard Style

The Harvard style is very conservative and dry. It stipulates using the most common fonts for writing, such as Arial, Times New Roman, Calibri, or Courier. The same goes for the font-size: most often average font sizes of 12-14 are used, refraining from making entire paragraphs or sentences bold or italicized.    

Harvard Writing

Double-spacing is advisable. When you have to mention titles of books, movies, newspapers, or magazines, make sure to italicize those. When it comes to poems, short stories, TV shows, and episodes – quotation marks are required.  

Harvard Style: Cover Page Requirements

The Harvard style sets very clear requirements to the Cover Page:

  • The title must be perfectly centered and written in capital letters
  • Three lines below the title, there must be the name of the author (no capital letter)
  • Further four lines down the page, there should be the class name preceded by the professor’s name
  • The next line belongs to the school’s name
  • Then goes the city and state name
  • The date should come at the last line

Citation Rules in Harvard Style

The Harvard style stipulates both end-of-the-page and in-text citations.

In the main body of your text, use the author’s second name together with the first initial. Right after place the publication year and the number of the page where the quoted information is located. For example: (Waltz K. 1996, 43).

Harvard Writing Style

The Harvard style is very strict about citations. Failing to properly quote any of the direct speeches, facts, sentences, or paraphrases may result in rejection of your work and accusation of plagiarism.

For every inside the text citation, create a relevant point in the reference list at the very end of the paper. Allocate a new page for the reference list and do not forget to call it appropriately. Sort each one of your sources alphabetically according to the author’s second name.

Observe the above rules if you want to write a perfect paper using Harvard writing style. Good luck with your studies!