Skip to Main Content

Referencing (TAFE)

In-text Citation information

In-text citation uses the WHO and WHEN elements of a reference to indicate where the information you've used has come from. Typically this is done by using the surname of the author(s) or organisation name and year of publication. For example: 

Rule: (Author Year)

The global warming and rising seas is a real threat to small island nations (Jones 2019).

Rule: Author (year)

Jones (2019) highlighted global warming is a real threat to small island nations.


In-text citations contain the following information in this order:

  • the surname (family name) of the author/authors or name of the source (organisation, government department, etc.)
  • the year of publication of the source
  • the page number/s (or paragraph numbers) of the text for direct quotations e.g. (Smith 2010:55)
  • the punctuation of the sentence should appear after the in-text citation

Direct quotes - page and paragraph numbers

Note: Page numbers are included as a part of the in-text citation if you are quoting directly from another person's work. In some cases, your teacher may specify that page numbers should be used for any in-text citation that has them available. Be sure to double check with your teacher ahead of submission. 

When including page or paragraph numbers in your in-text citations use a colon between the date and the page number or range of page numbers. If there are no page numbers available, count the number of paragraphs and substitute.


Direct Quotes

Use single quotation marks ('quote') for direct quotes. 


Page numbers

Rule: (Author Year:page number)

Single page citation: 'Many studies exist which focus on some of the individual elements of the learner journey' (Pittaway 2019:4).

Using author as part of the sentence: Pittaway (2019:4) states that 'Many studies exist which focus on some of the individual elements of the learner journey'. 

Using a range of pages for citation: (Pittaway 2019:20-25).


Paragraph numbers

Rule: (Author Year:paragraph number)

Single paragraph citation:  'Australian funds will support WFP'  (DFAT 2021:3).

Using author as part of the sentence: The DFAT (20121:3) states 'Australian funds will support WFP'.

Using a range of pages for citation: (DFAT 2021:4-7).


Direct quote 40 words or more

Display the quote in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks. Start the block quotation on a new line and indent the block about 1cm or half inch from the left margin. At the end of a block, cite the quoted source or alternatively if the quote source is mentioned at the beginning of the sentence, then only the page or paragraph numbers are needed at the end of the quote.

One author

Note: The family name of the author and the year of publication, with no punctuation between the two items.


Rule: (Author Year)

(Cole 2019).

Rule: Author (Year)

Cole (2019) states advancement technology trends are changing business communication.

Rule: (Author Year:page or paragraph number)

(Cole 2019:9).

Two authors

Note: For two authors include both names in the in-text citation, use the word 'and' to separate the authors Do not use the ampersand symbol '&'.


Rule: (Author and Author Year) 

(Blake and Smith 2019).

Rule: Author and Author (Year)

Blake and Smith (2019) reported similar results.

Rule: (Author Year:page or paragraph number)

(Blake and Smith 2019:17).

Three or more authors

Note: For a work by 3 or more authors, use the first authors' family name followed by 'et. al'. which is Latin for 'and others'. Do not use italics for 'et. al.' List all of the authors in the reference list.


Rule: (First Author et al. Year)

Climate projections reveal global mean surface warming with cumulative carbon emissions (William et al. 2017).

Rule: First Author et al. (Year)

William et al. (2017) reported climate projections reveal global mean surface warming increasing with cumulative carbon emissions.

Rule: (Author Year:page or paragraph number)

(William et al. 2017:8).

Organisation as author

Note: Where an organisation is listed as the author, especially in government and industry publications, use the name of the organisation as the author. Use the abbreviation of the organisation in the in-text citation. In the reference list use the same abbreviation followed by the full name of the organisation in parentheses.


Rule: (Abbreviation of Organisation Year)

Australia is committed to advancing human rights globally (DFAT 2020).

Rule: Abbreviation of Organisation (Year)

DFAT (2020) reported that Australia is committed human rights globally.

Rule: (Abbreviation of Organisation Year:page or paragraph number)

(DFAT 2020:45).

Editor or translator in place of author

Note: for edited or translated works, refer only to the author in the in-text citation. Refer to both the author and the editor or translator in the reference list.

If there is no personal author and the creator of the source is an editor use the editor's name in the in-text citation with abbreviation ed. or eds if there is more than one editor. For translated works with no author, use the translators name in the in-text citation with abbreviation trans.


Rule: (Editor ed Year) OR (Translator trans Year)

(Singh ed 1998)

(Bell trans 1896)

Rule: Editor by (Year) OR Translator (Year)

Edited by Singh (1998)

Translated by Bell (1896)

No author

Note: If the work does not list an author, use the name of the organisation, blog, website, newspaper, journals etc. If the above options are not available, use up to first ten words of the title in italics - make sure your in-text citation matches the reference list. 

Rule: (Title of work year)

Environmental issues are playing an increasing important role in the textile industry (Sustainable textiles environmental impact 2016).

Rule: Title of work in italics (year)

According to Sustainable textiles environmental impact (2019) environmental issues are playing an increasing important role in the textile industries.

No date of publication

Note: If there is no date for the works use the term n.d., which means no date in place of year of publication.


Rule: (Author n.d.)

The previous investigations reported by other researchers had identical results (Smith and Blake n.d.).

Rule: Author (n.d.)

Smith and Blake (n.d.) reported that the results from previous investigations were identical.

Rule: (Author n.d.:page or paragraph number)

(Smith and Blake n.d.:27).


Approximate date or estimated date: If publication date is not available use circa (meaning: about/approximately) before the year. This can be written as "c.". 


In text Citation

Rule: (Author c. Year)

(Southey c.1977)

Rule: Author (c. Year)

Southey (c.1977) alleged that..

Rule: (Author c.:page or paragraph number)

(Southey c.1977:56)

Multiple works in one citation

Note: You can cite more than one work in the same in-text citation, separate them using semicolons. Use one parentheses to enclose all citations.

When citing more than one source at the same point in your writing:

  • order each source by date from earliest to most recent
  • separate each source with a semicolon

If sources have the same date of publication, order them alphabetically by author name.


Rule: (Author Year; Author Year; Author Year)

'Planning a new library space requires knowing how people interact with collections, information technology and the services they need' (Homlgren and Spencer 2014; McDonald 2016; Smith 2016; William 2019).

Multiple works by same author - published different years

Note: When referring to more than one work by the same author but published in different years, arrange the sources in chronological order. Separate the dates with a comma. Use a colon to signify a page reference, as shown in the third example.


Rule: (Author Year A, Year B)

The trade deals between Australia and India has been successful (DFAT 2015, 2020).

Rule: Author (Year A, Year B)

DFAT (2015, 2020) commented on trade between Australia and India.

Rule: (Author Year A, Year B:page number)

The trade deals between Australia and India has been successful (DFAT 2015, 2020:4).

Multiple works by same author - published same year

Note: If there is more than one reference by the same author published in the same year, put a lower case letter after the date of each citation. Repeat these letters in the reference list as well. 


Rule: (Author Yeara) and (Author Yearb) OR Author (Yeara) and Author (Yearb)

Brown (2019a) explained the effects of colour combination. A colour system reveals its strength through its versatility of application (Brown 2019b).

Citing multiple authors with same surname

Note: If a reference list includes publications by two or more authors with the same surname, include the author's initials in all in-text citations, even if the year of publication is different.


Rule: (Author AA Year) and (Author BB Year)

A Black (2019) reported that.., whereas as S Black (2015) commented that...

Citing secondary sources

Note: It is highly recommended secondary sources should only be used if you are unable to find the original source. When you can, cite the original sources to ensure you are not using another person's interpretation. If you must use a secondary citation, use this format:


In-text Citation

Rule: Primary Author (as cited in Secondary Author Year:page number)

Mandela (as cited in Burnett 2010:625)


Note: List only the secondary source (i.e. author/editor of the book you read) in the reference list.

Citing personal communication

Note: Personal communication can include letters, e-mails, private interviews, face to face conversations, and telephone calls etc. which are usually cited in-text. No entry in the reference list is required for personal communications.

In-text Citation


Joan Clarke (personal communication, 24 April 2021).

When interviewed on 24 April 2021 Ms J Clarke confirmed...

Ms J Clarke confirmed this by e-mail on 24 April 2021.

Citing encyclopedias or dictionaries

Note: Only provide in-text citation for encyclopedia and dictionaries, do not include an entry in the reference list. Enter the title in italics.

In-text citation

Rule: Encyclopedia or dictionary name (2021)

The online Macquarie dictionary (2021) defines cruller as 'a small ring -shaped or twisted sweet, deep fried cake'.

Copyright and disclaimer