Referencing direct quotes in Harvard style

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If you include a direct quote in your paper, you’ll need to know how to create Harvard in-text citations. The Harvard style of referencing follows an author-date format for in-text citations; this means that the surname of the author and the date of publication are used to cite a quotation or idea borrowed from another author. If you include a direct quote in your paper and that source has page numbers, you’ll also need to know how to format page numbers in Harvard style.

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, page number if applicable).


“He put up his book of notes in a very deliberate manner” (Gaskell, 1855, p. 290). 

Note that if you mention the name of the author in the sentence containing the direct quotation, you do not have to put the author’s name in the parenthetical in-text citation.

Gaskell (1855, p. 292) writes, “She had sunk under her burden.”

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’s name, date of publication, and 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 full citation in the reference list should be formatted the same way as for shorter direct quotations.


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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