Harvard Formatting and Style Guide

Harvard Formatting and Style Guide

Harvard Formatting and Style Guide

Apart from just writing essays in your academics, there are writing formats that you are required to use to present your work. One of the formatting styles is the Harvard style. It’s a refreshing known as the author-date style. Meaning that as you write, you put more emphasis on the writer of the information and date of publication as you list your references. In this article, our team of experts will give you a comprehensive guide on how to write your essay and format it in Harvard style.

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Harvard Formatting and Style Guide
Harvard Formatting and Style Guide


Harvard Style Instructions

A Harvard-style paper follows a particular and organized format. Unlike the argumentative essay, the Harvard essay format has a specific title page, and the following are the main instructions to ensure that your essay is well formatted.

  • Place the essay’s title halfway down the page, and it should be written in capital letters.
  • Count three lines down and write the author’s name in small letters
  • Four lines down are where you put the class name
  • One line down, put the name of your professor
  • On the following line, you will write the name of the school
  • And then the city and state should be in the following line
  • Finally, you write the date on the following line.

In summary, the cover page of a Harvard essay should give you all the information you need to know about the author.

Also, when adopting the Harvard format, there are several crucial components to remember. In a Harvard essay structure, the title is justified to the right. Between it, a partial title describes the essay’s main idea, and the page number is exactly five spaces.    

Harvard Essay Structure

The Harvard essay, like other essays, has a structure you need to follow to get it right. Let’s look at how you must arrange your paper in Harvard style.

Cover Page

A Harvard-style essay necessitates an exact cover page. It’s about halfway down the page.

The paper’s title is in all capital letters. This is followed by the writer’s name, which is not written in capital letters. Move four lines down and then write the title of the class and then the professor’s name on the following line. The school’s name appears on the following line.

The location is followed by the city, state, and date.

The Header

In the header of a Harvard essay, you will write the title of the paper you are tackling. For example, “The Ugandan Presidency.” Remember to include the page number, for example;

                                                                                                                                                                               Presidency 1

Note that the title is on the right side of the page, unlike the typical left or center.

It is a partial title stating the main idea of the essay

Between the title and the page number, there are five spaces. Use the space bar to get the five spaces correct.

In MS WORD, go to the top of any page in the document and double-click to get the header.

A blue dotted line with a little box in the lower left-hand corner will appear.

It should read “Header,” and your cursor will be above this.

There will also be A drop-down box almost immediately where you will click on the page number.

Follow the instructions in the “Page Number” box. Select the first option, “Top of Page.”

Then select “Plain Number 3,” a number that corresponds to the page you are on will be displayed on the right side of the header. The cursor is now on the number’s left side.

Enter your partial title, then press the space bar five times.

After you have done all these, you now click anywhere on the page, and your header is set.

Harvard Essay Style
Harvard Essay Style

 you can also read a comprehensive APA Format style guide.

Paragraphs In Harvard Essay Style

When working with Harvard-style paragraphs, pay close attention. Establishing a correct text organization is critical, making the initial paragraph engaging and instructive. It’s also good to start the paragraph with a gripping quotation. In general, it saves the information that allows you to figure out what the essay paper is about.

The introduction is both captivating and assists the reader in getting closer to the paper’s primary concept, its thesis sentence. Remember that a thesis statement always conveys the core idea of the entire piece.

The first sentence of the body paragraph should inform the reader about the paragraph’s topic. The topic statement is followed by facts that support it. The supporting sentences can include facts, quotations, or analysis.

The paragraph then closes with a sentence that summarizes the paragraph’s topic and quickly transitions into the next part. The italicized subheadings can also be used to introduce new subtopics.

The Transition Between Paragraphs in Harvard Formatting Style

When writing an essay in Harvard format, the transition from one paragraph to the next should be shown, and these paragraphs should be interconnected.

The discussion should progress from one point to the next. A paragraph in Harvard format is divided into three parts:

  • The subject sentence
  • Additional information
  • Sentence form for closing

Citations In Harvard Essay Formatting Style

In Harvard essay citations, it is advised that you use in-text citations. Here you write the author’s name and initials, year of publication, and the page number where the text is found.

Making sure to cite facts and ideas from other people without proper attribution might be considered plagiarism. In-text citations, for example, from J. Page 45 of J.K. Rowling’s 2004 book (Rowling J.K,2004,45). These quotes make the Harvard format essay easy to read and comprehend.

Harvard style uses a standard font size 12 of either Times New Roman or Arial. Because the Harvard format is meant to write extraordinary academic and research writings, fancy fonts are not permitted. The essay should be double-spaced and have clean left margins. In-text citations to journals, newspapers, books, or websites in Harvard format are italicized, whereas poems and short tales are put in “quotation marks.” This lets readers immediately understand what they are referring to when reading an essay prepared in Harvard format.

Concluding A Harvard-Style Essay 

The conclusion is an essential component of any Harvard-style essay. It is critical to compose it correctly and to provide exciting opinions and recommendations. The first line in the conclusion should reveal the fundamental thesis and remind the reader of the main topic of the entire research.

Note down the main results of the research with proven facts with recommendations.

In other words, it is primarily a synopsis of the article’s essential points. The essay should conclude with a powerful message that leaves the reader pondering for several minutes or hours after reading the piece.

The conclusion is followed by the reference page, which includes a reference list and is located on the reference page.

Harvard Style Essay Example

Because different information is relevant for different sources, reference list entries vary by source type. The most often used source kinds are formatted and illustrated below.

Print Journal

Format example: Adamson, P. (2019) ‘American history at the foreign office: Exporting the silent epic Western’, Film History, 31(2), pp. 32–59. doi:10.2979/filmhistory.31.2.02.

Online Article or Blog

Format example: Leafstedt, E. (2020) ‘Russia’s constitutional reform and Putin’s plans for a legacy of stability’, OxPol, 29 January. Available at: https://blog.politics.ox.ac.uk/russias-constitutional-reform-and-putins-plans-for-a-legacy-of-stability/ (Accessed: 13 February 2020).

Book Chapter

Format example: Greenblatt, S. (2010) ‘The traces of Shakespeare’s life’, in De Grazia, M. and Wells, S. (eds.) The new Cambridge companion to Shakespeare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 1–14.

References List Examples

On this last page of your essay, you list down all the sources where you have cited your essay from.

For example

Goldacre, B. (2008b) Trivial Disputes. Bad Science. Weblog. [Online] Available from: http://www.badscience.net/2008/02/trivial-disputes-2/ [Accessed 19th June 2008].

 Henderson, J. (2005) Google Scholar: A source for clinicians? Canadian Medical Association Journal, 172 (12), 1549-1550.

Holding, M. Y., Saulino, M. F., Overton, E. A., Kornbluth, I. D. & Freedman, M. K. (2008) Interventions in Chronic Pain Management. 1. Update on Important Definitions in Pain Management. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 89 (3, Supplement 1), S38-S40.

Pears, R. & Shields, G. (2008) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide. 3rd ed. Durham, Pear Tree Books.

Ramalho, R., Helffrich, G., Schmidt, D.N. & Vance, D. (2010) Tracers of uplift and subsidence in the Cape Verde archipelago. Journal of the Geological Society. [Online] 167 (3), 519-538. Available from: doi:10.1144/0016-76492009-056 [Accessed: 14th June 2010].

Smith, A. (2004) Making mathematics count: the report of Professor Adrian Smith’s inquiry into post-14 mathematics education. London, The Stationery Office.

Van Alphen, K., Voorst, Q. V. T., Kekkert, M. P. & Smits, R.E.H.M. (2007) Societal acceptance of carbon capture and storage technologies. Energy Policy, 35 (8), 4368-4380.

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