Harvard referencing is a citation style used in higher education around the world, providing a quick way of referencing sources in academic writing.\n\nIts widespread use means that knowing how this system works is wise for any student. To help, then, we\u2019ve prepared this quick guide explaining a few key facts you should know.\n1. There is No Such Thing as \u201cHarvard Referencing\u201d\nMost people assume that Harvard referencing is associated with Harvard University, but there is no official connection. There is, in fact, technically no such thing as the Harvard referencing \u201csystem\u201d at all.\n\n[caption id="attachment_2400" align="aligncenter" width="324"] The school exists, though. You didn't imagine that.[\/caption]\n\nRather, \u201cHarvard referencing\u201d is a generic term for parenthetical referencing. Therefore, \u201cHarvard referencing\u201d can mean a number of variations of the same basic rule set.\n\nAs a result, the exact way to reference sources will depend on the version used. We could end each of the other points in this post by reminding you to check whether your school uses the same conventions, but we\u2019ll just do it here once in big letters to save time:\nCHECK YOUR STYLE GUIDE!\nGot it? Cool.\n2. Author\u2013Date Citations\nAll variations of Harvard referencing use an author\u2013date format. This means giving the author\u2019s surname and a year of publication for sources in parentheses, as well as relevant page numbers when quoting directly:\nEarly humans \u201cdidn\u2019t fly by helicopter\u201d (Diamond, 1997, p. 49).\nIf the author is named in the main text, there\u2019s no need to duplicate it in the citation:\nAccording to Diamond (1997), Australia is unique in the history of human development.\nEach source cited in the text should also be added to a reference list at the end of your document.\n3. When to Cite\nThe key to good referencing is knowing when it\u2019s necessary to cite a source. The main situations are when:\n\n \tUsing a direct quotation\n \tParaphrasing another author\u2019s ideas or arguments\n \tUsing a diagram or illustration from another source\n \tUsing previously published data or results\n \tSummarizing a thinker\u2019s beliefs or thoughts\n\nThe key thing to keep in mind is that it\u2019s the quality of citations that counts, not the quantity. You shouldn\u2019t, therefore, worry about not having \u201cenough\u201d citations in your work, as long as you\u2019ve clearly and consistently cited sources when required.\n4. The Reference List\nHarvard referencing requires all cited sources to be included in a reference list with full publication information. The details to include for each source depend on its format, but the list itself should follow a few key conventions:\n\n \tList all cited sources (additional reading can be included separately)\n \tSources should be ordered alphabetically by author surname\n \tMultiple works by the same author should be listed earliest first by publication date\n \tWhen a source has multiple authors, give all listed names (no matter how many)\n\nWe hope this has clarified a few things, and don\u2019t forget to check out the other Harvard referencing posts on our blog.