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There are many writing citations, which students use for writing essays. Just like the other styles such as the APA system, the Harvard style is an ample essay formatting/citing style. The Harvard system requires one to include the authors surname and date of publication of his work. This format has been permitted to be used by students at the Harvard University. At the end of your writing a full detail of the book is required to be written.

In-text citation

Here is an illustration showing the authors name and date of publication of his work

“Life is like a doughnut, it has a hole inside” (Albert, 2008, pg 90)

“Love changes everything” (Maryanne, 2000, pg3)

Reference list

This is a list where you put details of your citations mentioned in the in-text citation. Some of the important rules you should use while coming up with a reference list include

  • Place your list in alphabetical order in accordance with the surname
  • Use italics or underline for titles of journals or book titles
  • Begin the reference list on a new page


Fleming, D., 2004. Successful SEO techniques: A successful internet marketing guide. 2rd ed. New York: Open University in assoc. with Sage.

A reference list is only required if you cite other peoples work in your work, but if you have not made any citations it is not required.


This is a list of relevant items that you have used to help you prepare for the assignment .Simply put is a general background of what your writing is all about. It helps your readers to have an idea of your book. Though some materials don’t have a bibliography sometimes students maybe instructed to include it in their writing.

 In some instances a reference list maybe used in place of an annoted bibliography. Be careful to know what is required of you. An annoted bibliography is just a brief information of the source of your writings, some additional information and the evaluation of your sources.

Important things to note

  • When you have made citations from somebody’s work, maintain the order such that the name of the author should be followed by the year of publication.

(Silverstone, 2011, pg 8)

  • Where a particular part of the work is mentioned, a page reference should be included
  • Where you miss to include the authors name and year of publication in the text you may put it at the end of your sentence in brackets
  • Where you make reference  to more than one author in a sentence, and they are referred to directly, both can be cited as:

Michael (1999) and smoking (2001)

  • Where there are two or more authors such should be done

Kelly and Rowland (2013) recent research shows…

  • Where more than two authors have done similar work their names should all be listed in the order of their original publication.
  • Where the author of a certain publication cannot be found, use anonymous. But as a professional writer writing for the professional audience try as much to get the authors name whose work you are using to provide evidence for your information.

Public Relations (Anon, 2004)

The citations serve as a back-up for your work such that your readers are able to see you have strong back-up of your points.

Compiling the reference list

General guidelines, layouts and punctuation

The reference list has simple rules that if followed, compiling is not a challenge. It is a list that readers use to trace the sources you have used in your work.

  • Items should be listed in alphabetical order
  • Where there are quite a few works from one author or source they should be listed together in date order, with the earliest work listed first
  • For reference details, the title page is used

The required elements of a book reference are:

Kevin Shawn, 2001. Ladies of Eve, Illinois: Pearson.


In case of a 1st edition,

Clement, D. P., 2008. Computer Ethics. Chester: Pearson.

In case of 2nd or 3rd edition

Beverly, D. P., 2008. Business and the organization. 2nd edition Chester: Pearson

For the above examples an in-text reference would read

Leading social scientists such as clement (2008) have noted …

Required elements for a reference with multiple authors

Linda, L.P., 1999. Dry My Tears. Houston: Pearson


Adams, R. J., Weiss, T.D. and Coatie, J.J., 1987The World Health Organization, its history and impact. London: Perseus.

​An in text reference for the above examples would read:

Leading organizations concerned with health (Adams, Weiss and Coatie, 1987) have established proved that…

Required elements for reference in articles in the newspaper

Author, Initials, Year. Title of article or column header. Full Title of Newspaper, Day and month before page numbers and column line.

Henry, K.G., 2007. The 100 dollar hotel scandal: the times, 6 Dec. pg 8.

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