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Chicago Style vs. Harvard Referencing Style — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on December 5, 2023
Chicago Style uses footnotes or endnotes for citations, while Harvard Referencing Style employs in-text parenthetical references. Both offer different formatting and organization for sources.
Chicago Style vs. Harvard Referencing Style — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Chicago Style and Harvard Referencing Style


Key Differences

Chicago Style is a citation and formatting guideline that is widely used in the humanities and some social sciences. It is known for its comprehensive approach to documentation. Harvard Referencing Style, on the other hand, is commonly used in various academic fields and is characterized by its in-text parenthetical citations.
Chicago Style offers two main documentation systems: notes-bibliography and author-date. The notes-bibliography system is more popular in humanities, especially in literature, history, and the arts. Harvard Referencing Style uses a system where the author’s name and publication year are placed in parentheses directly after the quote or paraphrase.
In Chicago Style, if using the notes-bibliography system, citations appear as footnotes or endnotes. A full bibliography at the end of the work lists all sources. In contrast, Harvard Referencing Style requires a reference list at the end where full details of sources are provided, following the in-text citations.
Chicago Style places more emphasis on the source's original publication date, particularly in its author-date system. Harvard Referencing Style emphasizes the author's name and the date of publication in its in-text citations, aiding readers in locating the full citation in the reference list.
Lastly, Chicago Style offers guidelines not just for citations but also for manuscript preparation, from margins to font choices. Harvard Referencing Style is more focused on how sources are cited both within the text and in the final reference list.

Comparison Chart

Ype of Citations

Footnotes or endnotes
In-text parenthetical references

Main Focus

Original publication date
Author's name and date of publication

End Documentation

Reference list


Humanities, especially literature, history, and arts
Various academic fields

Additional Guidelines

Offers manuscript preparation guidelines
Focuses mainly on citation

Compare with Definitions

Chicago Style

Chicago Style emphasizes the original publication date of sources.
Using Chicago Style, he highlighted the initial publication dates of his references.

Harvard Referencing Style

Harvard Referencing Style requires a detailed reference list at the end of the paper.
She meticulously arranged her sources in a Harvard Referencing Style list.

Chicago Style

Chicago Style offers both notes-bibliography and author-date citation systems.
She opted for the Chicago Style author-date system for her psychology report.

Harvard Referencing Style

Harvard Referencing Style is widely used across various academic disciplines.
He appreciated the versatility of Harvard Referencing Style in his multidisciplinary studies.

Chicago Style

Chicago Style refers to a set of guidelines for formatting and citing sources in academic writing.
She used Chicago Style to cite the old manuscripts in her thesis.

Harvard Referencing Style

Harvard Referencing Style is a system for in-text parenthetical citations in academic writing.
She found the Harvard Referencing Style efficient for her biology paper.

Chicago Style

Chicago Style is a comprehensive manual covering not just citation but also manuscript preparation.
The Chicago Style manual advised her on the right margin size.

Harvard Referencing Style

Harvard Referencing Style emphasizes the author's name in citations.
By adopting Harvard Referencing Style, she could easily attribute ideas to their original thinkers.

Chicago Style

Chicago Style is a citation system employing footnotes or endnotes.
For his history paper, he preferred the Chicago Style footnotes.

Harvard Referencing Style

Harvard Referencing Style uses the author-date format for in-text citations.
The Harvard Referencing Style allowed her to quickly locate sources by the author's name.

Common Curiosities

How is a direct quote cited in Chicago NB style?

Use a superscript number at the end of the quote and provide a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page.

What is the Chicago Style?

Chicago Style refers to the citation and formatting guidelines established by the University of Chicago Press, primarily used in history, literature, and arts.

When is the Notes-Bibliography system used?

It's mainly used in humanities - specifically literature, history, and the arts.

How is a book cited in Chicago Author-Date style?

Author's Last Name, First Name. Year. Title. Publisher.

How is a direct quote cited in Harvard style?

“Quotation” (Author's Last Name, Year, p. page number).

How do you reference a book in Harvard style?

Author's Last Name, Initial(s). Year. Title. Edition (if not the first). Publisher.

How many formats are available in Chicago Style?

Chicago Style offers two basic citation systems: Notes-Bibliography (NB) and Author-Date.

How do the two styles differ in bibliography entries?

Chicago Style tends to be more detailed, especially in the Notes-Bibliography system, while Harvard emphasizes the author's name and publication year.

Where did Harvard Referencing originate?

Despite its name, Harvard Referencing wasn’t developed by Harvard University, but the style took its name because it was widely adopted there.

6. What is Harvard Referencing Style?

Harvard Referencing Style is an author-date citation method predominantly used in the academic world.

How do you cite a journal article in Harvard style?

Author's Last Name, Initial(s). Year. "Title of article." Journal Name, volume number(issue number), page range.

11. Which fields commonly use Harvard Referencing?

Social sciences, business, and nursing are among the fields that commonly use Harvard Referencing.

Are there specific tools to help with these citation styles?

Yes, there are several reference management tools and software like Zotero, Mendeley, and EndNote that can assist with both styles.

Is one style better than the other?

Neither style is inherently better; the choice depends on the field of study and publisher or institution requirements.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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