Harvard Referencing

Difference Between APA and Harvard Referencing: Let’s Compare Now!


Suppose you are studying for a graduate degree from a college or university. During your studies, your instructor must assign you different writing tasks. Students may find it difficult to write their tasks in a specific format. As a student, you must write your academic documents according to APA or Harvard style with proper in-text citations. If you want to obtain good grades, you must write your documents depending on these reference styles. However, most university students are confused by the APA vs. Harvard referencing conflict, which causes them to question issues like, “How to do in-text citing in APA?” How can I provide the list of references using the Harvard style?

Are you trying to make a difference between the APA and Harvard referencing styles? If yes, this article will explain the difference between APA and Harvard referencing styles.

APA Referencing Style

This is the most significant formatting method that is mostly implemented in academic writing. Typically, social science students format their assignments using the American Psychological Association (APA) style. This formatting design was created in 1929 by the American Psychological Association. The five main components of this type of formatting are covered in the following sections:

  • The title page lists the heading of the academic writing task, your name, your instructor’s name, your university name, and the submission date.
  • You should include an abstract on the second page of your academic writing task. The presence of an abstract depends on the requirement of your task. If it requires, you can include it; if it isn’t important, you can ignore it.
  • In academic writing, the next section you should include in the document according to APA style is the introduction of your topic.
  • After that, you should include the main body paragraph. The main body paragraph is divided into sections: discussion, method, results, and conclusion.
  • When adding references to your assignment, you must follow the following guidelines:
  • You must arrange these references in alphabetical order.
  • You can use the author’s last name and the year of publication in the case of only one author. Such as Bob(2010).
  • If your source contains two authors, you should place a “and” or a “&” between their last names. Such as Bob and Dave (2009) or Bob & Dave (2009).
  • Suppose your source’s authors are three, four, or five. You can write like (Bob, Dave, & Jorge, 2006) or Bob, Dave, and Jorge(2006) and also write like Bob et al (2006).

Harvard Referencing Style

The second most important style used in academic writing is Harvard Referencing. Most physiotherapists and nursing students use it in their academic writings.

When writing an assignment using the Harvard referencing style, you should follow the guidelines below:

  • When citing different sources, you must include the author’s surname, the year of publication, and its page number. Such as Bob (2010:15). Here, Bob is the author’s last name, 2010 is the publishing year of the source, and 15 is the page number of your document where you include the information.
  • For the reference list, double space is required.
  • By adding “et al.” after the last name of the first author, you can include the reference of your source up to six authors. Such as Bob et al (2001:28).
  • If multiple authors have the same last name, you can include their last names by spacing in between them, such as Bob Bob Bob (2009:35).

Differences Between APA And Harvard Referencing Style

  • APA style is used in science subject assignment writing. On the other hand, Harvard referencing style is used by physiotherapists to write their documents.
  • You can use in-text citations using APA referencing style, whereas references can be presented in the reference section of the document in the Harvard referencing style.
  • Using APA referencing style, you must include the last name of the authors if they are more than two. On the other hand, using Harvard referencing style, you can write the surname of the first author with “et al” if there are two or more than two authors. However, if you are unable to include references in your academic assignments, hire an assignment writing service UK. Their experts will include all the references in your assignments.
  • Single-spacing is used in the reference list while referencing using APA style. In contrast with Harvard referencing style, double-spacing is used in the reference list.


Writing different academic assignments with proper formatting is the most difficult part for students. Most students write their assignments perfectly but struggle with including the list of references. Students can include their references according to APA and Harvard style. Social science students mostly use the APA style, whereas nursing students mostly use the Harvard style. They are always confused between the rules of APA and Harvard referencing styles. To include citations perfectly according to these reference styles, you must understand the difference between these styles.

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