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Writing A Dissertation In The Harvard Style: An Effective Strategy


There are many formatting styles out there and you may be asked to write your paper in any one of them. It is a shame that there is not just one style that you must learn and use for your entire education. That is just too much to ask. When you are writing your dissertation which is a huge paper that you will be asked to write towards the end of your degree program, you will quickly see that there are some very specific criteria that you must uphold to.

Your paper must be set up a certain way. The main reason why you are asked to follow a format is so that all of the papers that are written for a certain field of study or teacher, all have the same format and look the same. Here are some ways to help you effectively write your dissertation in the Harvard formatting style.

  1. You will need to have one inch margins on all sides of your paper and all lines must be double spaced.
  2. Include a header that shows the page number all the way to the right and the title all the way to the left.
  3. Create a cover page that states the title of the essay, your name, and the school’s name. This should be directly in the center of the page.
  4. The text of your paper will start on the next page and it will begin with an introduction. Start your paper with an interesting fact or statement that will draw your audience in to the paper.
  5. The thesis statement is the main point of the paper and it should be displayed near the end of the introduction.
  6. The body paragraphs will prove your thesis statement. That is the main point of the essay.
  7. You will add in-text citations when quoting a source. You will add quotes to help prove your thesis. After you add the direct quote, you will write the last name followed by the publication date in parenthesis. The entire bibliographic information will be in a separate section at the end.
  8. The last paragraph of the text is the conclusion that restates your main ideas to enforce them to your readers.
  9. Include a bibliography that lists the information about your sources. There is a specific way to write each type of paper so it may be necessary to find the exact citation information.