A large number of scholarly writing exercises require the writer to use a specified format and citation or referencing within the academic paper. The academic writing style to be used depends on the instructions offered by the lecturer or tutor concerned with the evaluation exercise of such papers. However, the greater determinant is the kind of profession and readership that the written academic work is meant for. There are various writing styles such as Harvard writing style, the Turabian writing style the American Psychological Association (APA) style, MLA style and many others. All these styles are designated for different types of professional writing within various professions.
The Harvard writing style is one of the commonly used writing styles in formatting papers and making citations and references within Harvard style papers.
Harvard writing style greatly influences the manner in which an author of any scholarly work is supposed to integrate the sources of his information. The first form of source integration within the academic work is in-text citations. In-text citation involves formally recognizing the source of your information within the academic work. In-text citations in Harvard style papers take the form of author-date citations enclosed within parentheses after the quotation or paraphrase of the source. Alternatively, they may be placed before these source citations, but after introductory statements containing the author or source. At times a page is included within the parentheses, but it has to be separated by a full colon.
A typical in-text citation within Harvard style papers includes the surname of the artist, organization, author, corporate author or editor if at all there is no stated author. In Harvard style papers, this should be followed by the date of publication and a page number if the material is directly quoted or a section of the page is paraphrased. Examples of quoted and paraphrased in-text citations within Harvard style papers would be as follows: Watson argues that reinforcement of stimulus plays a big role in shaping behavior (1978: 34). Summarizing an entire book or a large section of it within Harvard style papers would appear as follows: Cognition is said to develop in the early years of development (Watson 1979).
Alternatively, a comment within Harvard style papers encompassing several pages would take a form such as (Watson 1978: 12-16). If the author of a certain source is unknown the writer may use the “Anon” abbreviation within the Harvard style papers to denote anonymous. Similar authors may be cited in one sentence within Harvard style papers if they have made similar statements. When citing one or two authors of the same source within Harvard style papers, the two authors’ surnames have to be included and separated by an ampersand. When citing more than three authors of a single source within Harvard style papers the surname of the last author is used with the abbreviation “et al” to indicate that the source is authored by more than three people.
Main documents such as books and journals cited in Harvard style papers have to be italicized for easy tracing by the readers. At the end of Harvard style papers a list of references should be included with all the used sources arranged in an alphabetical order. The reference list in Harvard style papers should have the author’s names, date of production of source, name of editor, title of source in italics. It is good to note that a title and sub-title should be divided by a full colon, and the publisher and place of publication should also be included.