"You’ve probably heard that you should avoid secondary sources when possible. It’s true—if you find great information being quoted or paraphrased somewhere, it’s well worth your effort to track down the original source so you can read it for yourself and therefore cite it directly" (McAdoo, 2010).
Why use original source
However, it’s okay to cite a secondary source if you can't find the original work, or it is out of print.
In the text, name the original source and give the citation for the secondary source. Only give the secondary source in the reference list.
Primary author (as cited in Secondary Author Year: page number)
Mandela (as cited in Burnett 2010:625)
List only the secondary source (i.e. author/editor of the book read)
Secondary Author A (Year) Title of Secondary Work, Publisher, Location.
Burnett A (ed) (2010) Chambers book of speeches, Chambers, Edinburgh.
(Cole 2019) or Cole (2019)
Two (2) authors
Three (3) or More Authors
For a work by 3 or more authors, use the first author’s name plus the Latin term ‘et al.’ (meaning ‘and others’). Don’t use italics for ‘et al.’. All authors’ names are included in the reference list.
Rule: (Author et al. Year)
Rule: Author et al. (Year)
(Weygandt et al. 2012)
Weygandt et al. (2012)
Rule: Author AA, Author BB, Author CC and Author, DD (Year) Title of book, Name of Publisher, Place of Publication .
Weygandt JJ, Kimmel PD, Kieso DE and Mladenovic-McAlpine R (2012) Accounting: building business skills, 4th edn, John Wiley, Milton Qld.
Corporate Authors/ Organisations
For in-text citations, use the abbreviation of an organisations' name when that organisation is the author.
(DFAT 2020) or DFAT (2020)
In the reference list, write the abbreviation first followed by the full name of the organisation in brackets. When citing web pages, the author and the publisher are often the same. To avoid repetition of long names, use the shortened form for the name of the website after the title.
Rule: Abbreviation of the organisation (full name of the organisation) (Year) Title, [format], Publisher, accessed date DDMMYYYY, URL
DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) (2020) Australia - Singapore digital economy agreement: fact sheet [online document], DFAT, accessed 16 June 2021, https://www.dfat.gov.au/trade/services-and-digital-trade/australia-singapore-digital-economy-agreement-fact-sheet
Author and Editor
Refer only to the author in the in-text, refer to both in the reference list.
Rule: (Author Year) or Author (Year)
or Foucault (2003)
Rule: Author A (Year) Title of book: subtitle of book (Editor E ed), Name of Publisher, Place of Publication.
Foucault M (2003) Abnormal: lectures at the Collège de France (Marchetti W and Salomoni A ed), Picador, New York.
Author quoted in another work (secondary sources)
Two items by the same author
If you have multiple works by the same author, list them in date order in the reference list.
Rule: (Author Year) or Author (Year)
Rule: Author AA (1st Year of publication) Title of work, Publisher, Location.
Rule: Author AA (2nd Year of publication) Title of work, Publisher, Location.
Kearns K (2010) The big picture, 2nd edn, Pearson, Frenchs Forest.
Kearns K (2014) The business of child care, 3rd edn, Cengage Learning, South Melbourne.
Two or more Authors with same family name
If publication date is not available use no date or circa (about.approxmately) c. before the year.
For sources that do not have a date of publication, substitute ‘n.d.’ (no date) after the name of the author.
Rule: (Author n.d.) or Author (n.d.)
(Southey n.d.) or Southey (n.d.)
Southey R (n.d), The life of Nelson, Blackie, London, England.
Approximate date or estimated date
In text citation
Rule: (Author c. Year)
Rule: (Author Year?)
The Style manual states that page numbers should be included in text citation only if the work has page numbers and you are using 'direct quotes' from another person's work. You may also want to add page numbers to paraphrases and summaries in some circumstances or desired.
When including page numbers in your intext citations use a colon between the date and the page number or range of page numbers.
Rule : (Author Year:page no) or Author (Year:page no.)
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)
Rule : (Author Year: para no) or Author (Year: paragraph no.)
Single page citation: ' Australian funds will support WFP' (DFAT 2021:3).
Using author as part of the sentence: The DFAT (20121:para 3) states that ' 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 1 cm 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 in beginning of the sentence then only the page or paragraph numbers are needed at the end.
According to Gimenez (2011:48-49) critical thinking is being able to reflect on your practice is an important part of the broader process of becoming a critical thinker. Being a good critical thinker means that you can assess the arguments presented by other people to see if they are logical, well thought out, and properly supported with relevant evidence. It is an ability that you can use when you read as well as when you listen to someone presenting a point of view or proposing an action .
The style manual specifies the use of single quotation marks ('quote') for direct quotes.
American Psychological Association (2020) Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edn, American Psychological Association, Washington DC.
Australian Government (2021) Style Manual, accessed 24 May 2021, https://www.stylemanual.gov.au/style-rules-and-conventions/referencing-and-attribution/author-date
Monash University (2020) Harvard (2020 EDN), viewed 3 June 2021, .