Harvard Style

How to use the Harvard Style


In this article, we talk about the Harvard style. If you are reading this, it means that your thesis is almost ready. So beautiful. After having worked the chapters to the best we are at the bibliography. Here are some rules:

  • The bibliography will never be in alphabetical order
  • It will not be necessary to report the sources as you did with the footnotes
  • The consulted texts to be reported in the bibliography must be inserted in the progressive order in which they appear cited in the elaborate.
  • Inside the paper, insert, in brackets, the number corresponding to the bibliographic entry, where a text will be cited or referred to


(1) Rossi M; The cold war, causes, and conflicts between the USA and the USSR. Rome: Mondadori Editore – 2006: 92-95



It is nothing more than the reference in brackets for example “(Taylor 2020, p. 2)”.

It is, therefore, a style of citation in which partial citations are enclosed in parentheses and inserted within the text immediately after a sentence.

There are two reference styles in parentheses:

  • Author-date (if your dissertation is about science)
  • Author-title or author-page (if the thesis is in the humanistic or artistic field)

Hence, the Harvard style is often used in economics. A bit like the APA style, the Harvard style is also based on the author-date system: the two styles are very similar.

Having said that, we give space to examples and small differences that it is good to keep in mind for the construction of your degree thesis.



Now, do you need a period or a comma? Italics or quotation marks? What if there were two authors? Familiar questions, right? The annoying phase of writing the dissertation is the drafting of the finished text, one of the fundamental phases of which is the clarification of the references, the compilation of the bibliography. Of course, like so many institutions, there are so many different expectations, but fortunately there are a handful of rules set in stone that even the most insidious consultant cannot get involved in. One of these is the Harvard-like reference.


To help you navigate the in-text display rules and reference list, we’ve put together some important information and pages to help you learn more.


For a literal quotation it is sufficient to follow this procedure: (Taylor, 2002, p.23)

You will agree that it is enough:

  • Indicate the page number
  • In case of more pages insert – and write (pp. 24-25)

For a substantive quote do this: According to what Taylor (2002) wrote


  • Surname of the author
  • Initials and year
  • Publisher title
  • Place

And therefore: Taylor, S. (2020). Covid-19 in Latin America, Mondadori, Rome.

If you find yourself citing two or more authors:

  • For a literal quote: (Taylor and James, 2002, p.92)
  • For a substantive, non-literal quote: according to Taylor and James (2020)
  • For reference list or literature used: Taylor, B. And James, L. (2020). Covid-19 in Latin America, 2nd. Edn., Mondadori, Rome.


Remember that sometimes multiple authors have written the same document, so just list all three with the name of the primary author/publisher:

  • After a literal quotation in the text: (Rossi, Bianchi, Verdi, 2020, p.13) or (Bianchi et al., 2020, p.13)
  • For a substantial, non-literal quote: Rossi, Bianchi, Verdi (2020) argue that… or… management responsibility is limited (Bianchi et al., 2020).


For unknown, anonymous, or unauthorized works, you can refer to:

  • Organization name: (Romans, 2020)
  • Identification point: (lsm, 2020)
  • If you are faced with a book title that is not too long (Style Direction, 2020)



It is important that the title of the journal, not the title of the article, is in italics, and it is necessary to indicate exactly which year it is. Then:

Surname of the author, initial of the first year. (Year). Article title, magazine title, year, issue, page number. To say:

Rossi, D. (2018). La Guerra Santa, L’Internazionale, Vol.1, No.3, pp.45-47.

In the case of an unknown author, indicate the title of the journal, or if it is too long, indicate in the intertext link that it is known: (Management Today, 1999) or (Unknown, 1999), or for a non-literal quotation with content: ( Management Today, 1999, p.42) or (Unknown, 1999, p.42). For the reference list at the end of the text: Journal title (year). Article title, year of publication, page number.



Even in the case of electronic sources and the Internet, always try to use reliable and professional sources, which are preferably content that is retrievable and related to the author. Its format is Author’s surname, initials. (Year). Address – Publication institution – a place of publication, access/contact (exact URL), and date of use. That is Lavender, L. (1999). Role-playing game. Royal University, London. Available at: http://travel.com.travel.co.uk/training/training:index.html (read: July 27, 2003)

It is important not only to provide the base URL but also the exact address of the page, even if it is longer.

Now you have all the information on the Harvard style to better work your degree thesis and equip it with an enviable bibliography and sitography.

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