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The Guide to Writing a Paper in Harvard Style

April 19, 2019

Writing a Paper in Harvard Style

When you start writing academic papers you face with different requirements. There are a lot of rules which explain which structure you should use, how to make citations, create a reference list, etc. But the most important thing is in an exact style of formatting. There are several well-known and often used styles, which differ from each other. When you write your essay, assignment, or dissertation, you should use proper rules of exact formatting.

Nowadays the most popular are MLA, APA, Chicago, and Harvard style. If you need to become closer with the Harvard writing format, you should find out more about it before starting your paper.

The definition of Harvard style

Harvard style means the general requirements for paper, including its length, font, paragraphs, etc. Usually, this format is used in several fields: philosophy, humanities, and behavioral science. But there is no restriction in writing biology or another essay in Harvard format.

Thanks to its detailed description, this writing format is prevalent among students. Yes, it is not easy to use, but students have no other choice. As a result, they must pay great attention to all Harvard rules and use them during the writing process.

How to write in Harvard style

General rules for students

– the margins from all sides should be 1-inch;

– the recommended font is Arial or Times New Roman with size 12;

– use the aligning to the left side;

– add 0.5” space to each first line in a new paragraph;

– use the title in the center of your page;

– use page numbers;

– use headers, subheaders;

– keep the proper format of title page, outline, and reference list according to Harvard requirements.

Rules in using title, page numbers, and headers:

– the title should be placed before the main text and be right in the middle of the page;

– all main words in the title should be written with large letter (but don’t make other content capitalized);

– add a page number in the header of the paper (it should be placed in the top right corner of your paper;

– add your last name there before the page number.

Rules in using subheadings

Such elements allow making the paper more logical. When you add a new level 1 headings you can divide the text into parts. When you provide your paper with additional level 2 headings you can create new subsections, and so on.

Here are the main particularities of subheadings:

– Level 1 headings are the titles of pages. Such parts usually are capitalized and centered without additional formatting. After using this heading the author writes text with 0.5” space and new paragraph.

– Level 2 headings are capitalized, italicized, and aligned to the left. Using such an element means writing text on a new line as usual.

Rules for the title page

The cover (title) page is your first element in a task. This is a page with a full description of task, author, etc. Usually, you must follow such rules:

– write the title with caps;

– place the paper title in the center of the page and approximately for ⅓ down;

– add your name there (also centered and approximately on ½ down);

– place the title and number of your course in its ⅔ parts;

– the next line should contain the name of tutor, university, and date.

If you are still not sure how your title page should look like, it’s better to find a proper sample or ask your professor for additional consultation.

How to write an outline in Harvard style

There is no chance to overrate the outline because it is meant to be the best draft for you. Thanks to such plan of the future essay or assignment the author gets much more benefits than without it.

This part is usually going after cover page and contains the list of its important parts. The headline is called an Outline and must be centered. To add new sections you should use level 1 headings. Don’t forget to use a list with numerals which should be aligned to the center with capitalization.

Here is an additional advice: if you are going to use level 2 headings then add them as bullets in outline. Be very attentive and try not to change the numerals list.

In case you make the right formatting of your outline, it will look very readable.

Rules in making a reference list

This section is called ‘Reference list’, and this title should be centered and capitalized. In general, this is the only requirement for its formatting. Other rules are concerned about the content.

The reference list must contain the list of sources which will be used in the paper. The idea is quite simple: if you use any borrowed ideas, you should place the author and his job in this list. All cited parts are required to be described in a proper way.

If you haven’t faced with writing reference list before, find out the full guide with tips. It will help you to avoid horrible mistakes.

The in-text citations in Harvard style

Basic rules in making citations:

– Each mentioned source should be cited. All papers are based on current researches, theories, and ideas. It is great you know and use them, but show your respect and add the author and his book in a reference list. If you ignore this rule then your paper may be detected as plagiarism.

– Use the proper appearance of in-text citations. Your citations in such writing style are considered to be parenthetical. So use the author’s full surname and the year when his job was published. Sometimes it is also allowed to use page numbers.

– Make direct citations properly. Such kind of citing means you have to use quotation marks and add the page number for the source where you did take the phrase. But to cite a website you have no pages, so place in the text the number of a paragraph. Even if there are a lot of paragraphs on the electronic page, you have no other option than to count them till that one, which contains your citation.

– Use the author’s name. You may use the author information, but don’t include it in parentheses. In addition, it is recommended to avoid symbol ‘&’ and replace it with the word ‘and’.

– Cite author you didn’t use, but your source has referred to. Yes, when you cite a secondary resource where its author mentioned another one, you should mention them both in your paper. It will add additional value to your essay.

– Formatting of several sources in one citation. You have such an option. Just add them in the same queue they are mentioned in your reference list.

How do in-text citations look like

There are several types of such citations in Harvard style. Besides, they have another formatting, than quotes in APA and MLA.

You may use the following types of citations:

– one author;

– two authors;

– tree authors;

– four authors.

When your source includes from one to three authors, you should mention all of them. If the book or article has 4 and more writers, then use the first one. In case the resource has several editions, you also must mention this fact.

All sources look like ‘… (Jackson 2010)…’ (if the author is mentioned in the main text) or ‘… Jackson (2010) said that…’ (if he wasn’t mentioned in your paper).

Sometimes you may face with resources which don’t have an author. In such case use the title of such a book or article in your in-text citation. To describe the paper without date of publication, add the abbreviation ‘n.d.’ which means no date is available.

How to format the reference list

Harvard style has general rules:

– The query in alphabetical order. Use the first letter of each used resource to make the proper order of them. But notice, that you should ignore such parts as ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘the’, and so on in the title. Always use the first letter of the next meaningful word.

– Add a new line to each entry. This is an important rule of the Harvard style. Also make them aligned to the left side and don’t use indented paragraphs.

– Use capitalization. The Harvard style requires authors to capitalize the only first letter in the title of the book, article, chapter, etc. But if you use a newspaper or scientific journal, you must capitalize on all main words.

– Mention all authors. When you write your paper with an in-text citation with 4 and more authors, you can use the mark ‘et al.’ and don’t mention all of them. But the bibliography has own rules and requires to mention all of them. Even if there are 30 co-workers, you must write down all their names.

– Place several works by one author. Add all sources written by one author in the list according to their year of publication. If he has created several works in one year, then arrange them in alphabetical order.

Get professional help in Harvard style

Writing papers in Harvard style requires from student more abilities, than he may have. There are a lot of difficult rules with citing sources, making reference list, etc. To be sure in high quality of your paper, it is recommended to order this task at professional writing service. You can choose the best author and cooperate with his days and nights.

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