Harvard Format Essay Example

Essay writing is not only about composing interesting texts. Of course, contents of your essay matters very much. The essay or research paper should be to the point, and it should be interesting for evaluators, professors or college admission committees. At the same time, it is really important that your essay meets requirements as to quotation and reference style. Perhaps you know that there exist several different reference styles used in high schools, colleges and universities. The most widely used are Harvard, Chicago, MLA, and APA.


Quick Navigation through the Harvard Format Essay Page:

Free Harvard Essay Sample

In case you lack experience in essay writing you should certainly look for a sample Harvard essay in order to have an example/guide on how to write a nice essay. Keep in mind that you have to search for example essays only at web site of professional essay writing companies or other reliable sources of information otherwise you can be misled on the entire essay writing process. Proffessays.com offers customers and visitors free sample Harvard essays.

Custom Written Harvard Format Essays

Each style has certain requirements and norms as to how quotations are inserted into text and how list of reference literature is composed. Sometimes students get their grades lowered just because of mistakes related to non-compliance with reference style which is to be used in the essay or research paper. This is very disappointing, especially if the essay contents are just perfect. Just imagine writing an excellent essay on a very interesting topic in which numerous sources of information were used! And imagine not getting A grade for such an essay. This will be a huge disappointment.

As to the Harvard style, it is not so difficult to master. You do not have to possess much knowledge in order to make your essay comply with requirements of this style. All you have to do is to find information on Harvard style online. There are special guides and how-to instructions that will help you write your essay in accordance to requirements of Harvard style. With nice essay contents this will make your essay perfect. There are two basic things which you have to focus on when writing your essay in a Harvard style. These are in-text quotations and list of sources used in the essay. At a first glance these minor details seem to be unimportant, but you still have to be very careful since every comma or space matters.

Harvard format refers to one of many methods to include in-text citations for referenced works. It requires the author’s name, the date of publication and the page number in the citation. Because this style of citing has more details than other citation methods, the Harvard style is used for references that comprise many pages of text; as in the field of medicine.

This style of citation may be with for APA or MLA formats depending on your preferences or that of your proctor. Many variations of the Harvard format may be seen in the custom essay archives of ProfEssays.com.

Here are the specifics of citing in Harvard essay format:
1. You may reference the author in the form of
a. a direct quotation using quote marks. “In general, the majority is always wrong”(Blavatsky 1880, p.234).
b. an indirect quotation without quotes. Blavatsky (1880, p.234) asserts that in general the majority is always wrong.
c. a paraphrase. Blavatsky(1880, p. 234) asserts that in most cases the majority are misinformed.
2. All referenced material in Harvard essay format are included in the References section arranged alphabetically by author’s surname. In cases where there are 2 or more references to the same author, the items are arranged in ascending order by date.
3. The listing in the References section should include the following items separated by commas:
a. Author’s name
b. Title of Work
c. Page(s) referenced.
Use the abbreviation pp. for page ranges.

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Harvard Citation Style

Very often we have to quote somebody else’s thoughts. Some students think that this is forbidden because of plagiarism issues. Well, this is not so. If you properly quoted somebody else’s thoughts this will be a quotation. When quoting in Harvard style you have to use brackets in which you state the author, year of the book or study was published and the page number. There are different options in Harvard citation style. For example, you may write a quotation and state information about the author at the end of it. Alternatively you can start your quotation with “Author X claims that” placing reference information just after the author’s name.

Harvard Essay Outline

Just like any other essay, papers written in Harvard style need to have certain outline. In fact, Harvard essay outline does not differ much from other essay reference styles. Traditionally, the essay or research paper begins with introduction, then the body and conclusion comes. It is really important to start writing essay with making its correct outline, so that you know what and how you should write. You have to pay a special attention to reference list if you’re writing an essay in Harvard style.

Harvard Paper Format

If you were assigned with writing of an essay in Harvard style, you have to pay a special attention to the paper format. Harvard paper format has certain requirements and norms to be observed. As already said above, this mostly concerns quotations and list of references (sources of materials used in the paper). This quotation format has several options like author-date, author-title and author-page. You can use one, depending on specific requirements to the essay. So, before writing of an essay check requirements to the paper and thoroughly study format requirements. Should you have any questions about Harvard style, you should surf the Internet and use information from reliable sites and essay writing companies. You can also consult your professor to clear out controversial issues.

Harvard Style

Harvard style is one of the several reference styles used in various forms of academic writing. One of the key characteristics of Harvard style is a special order in quotations and list of references. However style uses in-text quotations which are marked by the author of the book or study which is used in quotation. There is certain order of composing reference lists (author’s name, year, book name, publisher, edition, page).

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DEFINITION: The Harvard formatting style is similar to the APA (American Psychological Association) format but has two major differences. The Harvard style does not have a manual and there are various versions that can be followed. However, one common element that is adhered to in this writing format is using author name/date system when citing as reference books, articles and other documents.

Like the APA style, Harvard format uses an in-text citation and bibliography at the end of the essay. When citing a reference in the body of an essay, the author’s name and year of publication is included and enclosed in brackets. Bibliographic references are put in alphabetic order and contain the name of the published or unpublished material along with and the publisher. Information in the reference is based on what is included in the cited passage.

 PHYSICAL SET-UP: Make sure you use 8½” x 11.0” paper with a 1.0” margin on all sides (top, bottom, left and right); be sure to double space all lines unless otherwise instructed.
HEADER: A cover page should have a header with page numbers right-aligned. Then an abbreviated title is inserted flush left. All pages after the title page must have the abbreviated title flush left and page numbers flush right.

IDENTIFYING INFORMATION: After the header, the first page has three lines that are centered on the page vertically & horizontally:

Line 1: essay title
Line 2: author’s name
Line 3: school name

The following is how these three lines appear on the cover page:
Vacationing in Thailand
Germaine Desmond

INTRODUCTION: The second page of the essay has an introduction; it also contains a lead that draws the reader into the paper. This device is referred to as “a hook.”

THESIS STATEMENT: Usually found within the introduction is your thesis statement. This is the hypothesis to be supported in the body of the essay. Also at the top of the second page you should have the title of the essay and the headers on the right side.


BODY: The essay body should include substantiating paragraphs that support the thesis made in the introduction.

IN-TEXT CITATIONS: These are to support a thesis in an essay. Proper formatting for citations used in Harvard essays includes the author’s name and year of publication of the work in question.  Sort quotations (less than forty words) are place in double quotation marks within the body of the text. If quote is longer than 40 words, it should be double spaced and indented five (5) spaces from the left margin.

The citation is placed at the end of the sentence that’s been quoted; the punctuation then follows.


Appearance were deceiving; the real purpose of soldiers’ attack was not to overcome the enemy but rather to attain control of the water supply that fed the town (Cogburn 1956). 

If a page number is to be used, the format is as follows:

“Give me the big city; its lights and action are conducive to my kind of life” (Austin 2003, p. 39).

BIBLIOGRAPHY: All sources used in an essay in Harvard style must be acknowledged in the paper’s bibliography.


Author’s Last name, First initial. Year of publication, Title (underlined or in italics), edition (only in not the first), Publisher, Place of publication, page number (if applicable).

Real example-

Renny, M. 1956, The end of humanityas we know it, Knowledge Base, Austin.


Author’s Last Name, First initial. Year of publication, Title of article in single quotation marks, Title of article (underlined or in italics), volume, issue, page number.

Real example-

Hendrickson, Myrna. 2006, ‘The misinterpretation of astrological signs.’ Horoscopes for All, 23, 4, p. 16.

Web site

Author Last name, First initial, date of publication, title of publication in single quotation marks, Publisher, edition (only if not the first), type of medium, date retrieved, full web url address.

Real example-

Moses, Wendy. 2008, ‘Best trees for your backyard,’ Garden Days, [Online], Retrieved 31 December 2009 from:  http://www.treedom7.org/yards/12001/htm.







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