Cathy Aranda
Cathy Aranda

Creating Harvard Style In-Text Citations

6 min read

Published on: Jun 1, 2024

Last updated on: Jun 5, 2024

Harvard Style In-Text Citation

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Have you ever felt lost when trying to give credit to your sources in your school work? Well, you're not alone! 

Figuring out the Harvard style of citing sources can be a bit like solving a puzzle. How do you add names and dates without making your writing sound awkward? It's a challenge that many students face.

But don't worry, we're here to help!

In this blog, we're going to take a close look at Harvard in-text citations. We'll give you easy solutions with examples so that citing sources becomes easy for you.

Citing In-Text Sources with Harvard Style

Harvard style citation finds application across a multitude of disciplines, ranging from social sciences and humanities to business and the natural sciences.

The fundamental structure of a Harvard in-text citation format involves placing the author's last name and the year of publication in parentheses within the text. 

For instance, (Smith, 2020) or (Smith and Jones, 2018) for multiple authors. 

This straightforward format allows you to add citations to your work seamlessly. Below you will find an extensive list of examples for in-text citations in Harvard Style. 

Examples of Harvard In-Text Citation for Different Types of Sources

For Single Author:

Harvard in-text citation follows the pattern: (Author(s) Last name, Year). 

Example: 

  • In-text citation: (Hawking, 1988)

Harvard In-Text Citation For Multiple Authors:

If you’re citing sources with three or more than three authors, the Harvard in-text citation follows the below format: 

Scenario

In-text Citation Example

Three Authors

(Fukushima, Suzuki, & Tanaka, 2019)

More than Three Authors

(Watanabe et al., 2020)

Two Sources with the Same Author, Same Year: 

When you have two sources with the same author that are published in the same year, you differentiate them by adding lowercase letters (a, b, c, etc.) immediately after the year. The reference list entries will follow an alphabetical order based on the lowercase letters.

Here's the general format for in-text citations:

(Author, Yeara) for the first source

(Author, Yearb) for the second source

Example:

In-text citation: 

First citation: (Smith, 2021a)

Second citation: (Smith, 2021b)

Reference list entry: 

Smith, J. (2021a). Title of the First Source. Publisher.

Smith, J. (2021b). Title of the Second Source. Publisher.

For Corporate Authors:

When a source is authored by a corporate entity, you use the organization's name as the author. If the organization is widely recognized by an acronym, you can include the acronym in square brackets upon the first use.

Example: 

  • In-text citation: (World Health Organization [WHO], 2020)
  • Reference list entry: World Health Organization [WHO]. (2020). Title of the Report. Publisher. DOI or URL

Missing Date:

If the publication date of a source is not available, use “n.d.” (no date) in place of the year in both the in-text citation and full references.

Example:

(National Institute of Health, n.d.) 

Missing Author:

When the author of a source is unknown, start the citation with the title of the work or the organization responsible for the content. Use the title in place of the author's name in both the in-text citation and the reference list entry. 

Example:

(The Effects of Climate Change, 2022) 

For Quotes or Paraphrases:

In Harvard style, when incorporating quotes or paraphrases from a source into your text, you include the author's surname and the year of publication in parentheses. You should use specific page numbers for direct quotes. 

Example: 

  • Quoting: According to Smith (2018), “quoted text” (p. 45).
  • Paraphrasing: (Smith, 2018) or Smith (2018) found that paraphrased information.

Missing Page Numbers:

If specific page numbers are not available, you can omit them from the in-text citation. However, it's preferable to include them whenever possible, especially for direct quotations. If page numbers are unavailable, you can proceed with the author and year only.

Example:

(World Health Organization, 2018) 

Common Mistakes to Avoid with Harvard In-Text Citations

Harvard in-text citations can be a challenging task, and there are common pitfalls that many students encounter. 

Here are some common mistakes and how to avoid them when citing in-text sources:

  • Incomplete Citations: Failing to provide all necessary elements, such as the author's name or publication year, can make your citation unclear.

Double-check your in-text citations to ensure you include the author's last name and the year of publication for every source.

  • Incorrect Formatting: Misplacing commas or using incorrect punctuation can alter the meaning of your citation.

Pay attention to the correct placement of commas, parentheses, and other punctuation marks following the Harvard style guidelines.

  • Missing Page Numbers for Quotations: Missing page numbers when quoting directly from a source can make it challenging for readers to locate the exact information. 

Always include page numbers when quoting to provide a precise reference to the source.

  • Inconsistent Author Name Format: Inconsistency in how you present author names (e.g., using initials in one in-text citation and full names in another can create confusion.

Stick to a consistent format for presenting author names throughout your document.

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Cathy Aranda

WRITTEN BY

Cathy Aranda (Mass communication)

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

Cathy is a highly dedicated author who has been writing for the platform for over five years. With a Master's degree in Mass Communication, she is well-versed in various forms of writing such as articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As an essay writing guide author at PerfectEssayWriter.ai, she has been helping students and professionals improve their writing skills by offering practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style.

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