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APA Referencing vs. Harvard Referencing: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sara Rehman || Published on February 2, 2024
APA referencing involves author-date citation in the text and a reference list, while Harvard referencing uses author-date in-text citations and a bibliography.

Key Differences

APA referencing, established by the American Psychological Association, is used primarily in psychology, education, and sciences. Harvard referencing, a style often used in the UK and Australia, is common in humanities and social sciences.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024
In APA referencing, in-text citations include the author’s surname and year of publication, with page numbers for direct quotes. Harvard referencing also uses author-date citations but often includes page numbers for all types of citations.
Huma Saeed
Feb 02, 2024
The reference list in APA style is titled "References" and requires specific formatting for different source types. Harvard style references, typically listed under "Bibliography," also require detailed information but differ slightly in formatting.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024
APA style mandates the use of a running head and specific headings structure in documents. Harvard style is less rigid in terms of document formatting but maintains a consistent approach to citation across different sources.
Janet White
Feb 02, 2024
Both styles emphasize the importance of ethical and clear citation to avoid plagiarism but differ in citation details and bibliography organization.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Citation in Text

Author’s surname, year, page number for quotes
Author’s surname, year, page numbers more common
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Reference List Title

Titled "References"
Titled "Bibliography" or "References"
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Document Formatting

Requires a running head, specific headings
Less rigid, more flexible in document formatting
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Source Formatting

Specific rules for different source types
Similar rules, slight differences in formatting
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Common Usage

Psychology, education, sciences
Humanities, social sciences
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024
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APA Referencing and Harvard Referencing Definitions

APA Referencing

APA style uses a comprehensive reference list.
Smith, J. (2020). Title of work.
Huma Saeed
Jan 09, 2024

Harvard Referencing

Harvard referencing uses author-date system in text.
(Smith, 2020)
Sara Rehman
Jan 09, 2024

APA Referencing

It requires specific formatting for each source type.
Book: Author, A. A. (Year). Title of work.
Sara Rehman
Jan 09, 2024

Harvard Referencing

Often includes page numbers for all citations.
(Smith, 2020, p. 15)
Aimie Carlson
Jan 09, 2024

APA Referencing

APA referencing involves author-date citation in text.
(Smith, 2020)
Sara Rehman
Jan 09, 2024

Harvard Referencing

Harvard style has flexible document formatting.
The paper did not require a running head.
Sara Rehman
Jan 09, 2024

APA Referencing

APA citations include page numbers for direct quotes.
Smith (2020, p. 15) states...
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

Harvard Referencing

Common in humanities and social sciences.
As discussed by Smith (2020)...
Sara Rehman
Jan 09, 2024

APA Referencing

APA style is common in scientific writing.
The study followed guidelines (Smith, 2020).
Janet White
Jan 09, 2024

Harvard Referencing

It includes a bibliography for all sources.
Smith, J. (2020) 'Title of Article', Journal Title.
Sara Rehman
Jan 09, 2024

FAQs

Do both styles use author-date citations?

Yes, both use author-date in text.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

What is APA referencing?

A citation style used mainly in sciences.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Does Harvard referencing often include page numbers?

Yes, for most citations.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

What is the reference list called in APA?

It’s called "References."
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

What is the bibliography called in Harvard?

Typically "Bibliography" or "References."
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Is Harvard referencing used globally?

It's especially common in the UK and Australia.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Are page numbers required in APA citations?

Only for direct quotes.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

What is Harvard referencing?

A citation style common in humanities.
Huma Saeed
Feb 02, 2024

Does APA style require a running head?

Yes, APA documents often have a running head.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Is Harvard style flexible in formatting?

Yes, it's less rigid than APA.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

Does APA have specific rules for source types?

Yes, each type has specific formatting.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Do both styles require a date in citations?

Yes, both include the year of publication.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Where is APA referencing commonly used?

In psychology, education, and sciences.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

Where is Harvard referencing commonly used?

In humanities and social sciences.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Does APA style cite web sources differently?

Yes, it has specific rules for web sources.
Aimie Carlson
Feb 02, 2024

Can I switch between styles in one paper?

It's important to maintain consistency in citation style throughout a paper.
Janet White
Feb 02, 2024

Is Harvard style easier for beginners?

It can be, due to its flexible nature.
Sara Rehman
Feb 02, 2024

Are both styles used in academic writing?

Yes, both are widely used in academia.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Do both styles help prevent plagiarism?

Yes, clear citation rules aim to prevent plagiarism.
Harlon Moss
Feb 02, 2024

Can you use Harvard referencing in scientific papers?

Yes, but APA is more typical.
Janet White
Feb 02, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sara Rehman
Sara Rehman is a seasoned writer and editor with extensive experience at Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Information Technology, she combines her academic prowess with her passion for writing to deliver insightful and well-researched content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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