Referencing direct quotes in Harvard style

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The Harvard style of referencing follows an author-date format. The surname of the author along with the date of publication is used to cite a quotation or idea borrowed from another author. 

Follow these rules when directly quoting from a source in Harvard style:

Short direct quotations

A short direct quote is one to two lines long. When you are using a short direct quotation from a source, it should be enclosed in quotation marks. The following format is used:

“Quotation” (surname of the author, year of publication of the source)


“He put up his book of notes in a very deliberate manner” (Gaskell, 1855). 

While referencing this quotation in the reference list, you will follow the following format:

Surname of the author, initial(s). (Year of publication) Title of the source. Place of publication: Publisher.


Gaskell E. (1855) North and South. London: Vintage Publishing

Longer direct quotations

Quotations that run for more than two lines should be separated from the paragraph. A free line should be left above and below the quotation.

A colon is placed before the quotation. Unlike short quotations, longer quotations are not enclosed in quotation marks. The author name, date of publication, and the page number are included.

The font size of the quotation should be at least 2 points smaller than the font size of the rest of the text.


The narrator describes why Radley house was different from the otherwise amiable neighborhood of Maycomb county. As stated by Lee (1960, p. 9):

The Radleys, welcome anywhere in town, kept to themselves, a predilection unforgivable in Maycomb. They did not go to church, Maycomb’s principal recreation, but worshiped at home; Mrs. Radley seldom if ever crossed the street for a mid-morning coffee break with her neighbors, and certainly never joined a missionary circle.

This clearly shows why the Radleys were different.

Published October 29, 2020.

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