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Referencing (TAFE)

In-Text Citation - general rules

In-Text Citations (Author - Date citation system)

Provide the author, year and page number of the quote in the in-text citation either in parenthetical e.g. (Luna, 2020) or narrative format e.g. Luna (2020). To indicate a single page use the abbreviation "p." (e.g., p. 25); for multiple pages use abbreviation "pp." and separate the page range with a dash (e.g. pp. 37-40).

You need to provide an in-text reference if your writing is influenced by someone else's work for example:

  • when you using a direct quotation. (Author, Year, pp. or p.) or Author (Year) ...... (pp. or p.)
  • when you using an indirect quotation by either paraphrasing or summarizing. (Author, Year) or Author (Year) 
  • Your teacher might want you to include the page number in the in-text citations even if you are paraphrasing an idea – ask them if you are unsure if they would like you to do this.

Direct quote less than 40 words

Display the quote in inverted commas for example: 

The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2020) states that, "Plagiarism is the act of presenting the words, ideas or images of another as your own" (p. 254). 

Direct quote 40 words or more

Display the quote in a freestanding block of text and omit the quotation marks.  Start the block of quotation on a new line and indent the block 1.25cm 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 than only the page or paragraph numbers is needed at the end of the quote, do not add a full stop after the closing brackets (APA, 2020, p. 272).

According to Gimenez (2011) 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. (pp. 48-49)

In-text references contain the following information, in this order:

  • the surname (family name) of the author/s or name of the source (organization, government department, etc.).
  • the year of publication of the source, the copyright date for a book and the last updated date on a webpage.
  • the page number/s of the text, usually for direct quotations of particular ideas and concepts, for example (Smith, 2010, p. 55).
  • If there are no page numbers, provide another way of locating the information like a heading or section name, time stamp or para number to help readers find the exact quote in the source (American Psychological Association, 2020).
  • page numbers are not normally included when paraphrasing but may be included if desired.
  • if quoting or citing a source which has been used and cited within another document, mention the original source together with the secondary reference details, for example: (Smith, 2008, as cited in Jones, 2010). Only the secondary reference (i.e. Jones, 2010) should be included in the reference list.
  • if your citation is at the end of a sentence, ensure the full stop is placed after the reference.
  • for citations in brackets with two authors the ‘&’ symbol is used. If the author citation forms part of your sentence the word ‘and’ must be used,  e.g. (Brown & Black, 2010) OR “Brown and Black (2010) indicate that…”

Examples of in-text citations

One author


Surname of author, no initials or suffixes such as Jr. Include author name in every citation, The year of publication is also included

Parenthetical citation - (Author, Year)

Narrative citation -   Author (Year)

Citation examples

...this was seen in an Australian study (Conger, 1979).
Conger (1979) has argued that...
In 1979, Conger conducted a study which showed that...

Two authors


Cite both surnames every time the reference occurs in the text. In parenthetical citations use an ampersand (&) between the names of work.

 Parenthetical citation - (Author & Author, Year) 

Narrative citation - Author and Author (Year)

Citation examples

...(Davidson & Harrington, 2002).
Davidson and Harrington (2002)...

Three or more authors


Cite the name of the first author plus "et al." in every citation. 

Parenthetical citation -  (Author 1 et al., Year)

Narrative citation  -  Author 1 et al., (Year)

Citation examples  ...(Brown et al., 1990). or
Brown et al., (1990)...

Different authors : same surname


If authors share the same surname/last name include the initials of the author's first or given name/s to their surname to distinguish them.

Citation examples

P. R. Smith (1923)... to distinguish from S. Smith's work published in 1945 also cited in the paper.
(S. A. Brown & Jones, 1961) to distinguish from (W. O. Brown & Smith, 1985).

Multiple authors: ambiguous citations

Rule If a multiple (3+) author citation abbreviated with et al. looks the same as another in text citation similarly shortened, add enough surnames to make a distinction, followed by a comma and et al.
Citation examples ...(Brown, Shimamura, et al., 1998) to distinguish from (Brown, Taylor, et al., 1998).

Multiple works: by same author


When cited together give the author's surname once followed by the years of each publication in chronological order, which are separated by a comma.

Parenthetical citation - (Author, Year A, Year B)

Narrative citation - Author (Year A, Year B)

Citation examples ... (Stairs, 1992, 1993).
Stairs (1992, 1993)...

Multiple works: by same author AND same year

Rule If there are multiple references by the same  author in the same year, use lower case letters (a, b, c, etc.) after the year. 
Citation examples

Stairs (1992b)... later in the text ... (Stairs, 1992a). ...(Stairs, 1992a, 1992b).

(Gates & Smith, 2012a)

Gates and Smith (2012b)

(Gimenez, n.d-a, n.d-b)

If the author is identified as 'anonymous'

Rule Use Anonymous in place of the author's surname.
Citation examples ... (Anonymous, 1997)

No author

Rule Give the first few words of the title. If the title is from an article or a chapter use double quotation marks. If the title is from a periodical, book, brochure or report then use italics.
Citation examples ...the worst election loss in the party's history ("This is the end," 1968).

Corporate or group of authors


If organization is recognized by abbreviation, cite the first time as follows:

Parenthetical citation -(Corporate author, Year)

 Narrative citation - Corporate author (Year)

Citation examples ... (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2005)
... (AIHW, 2005).
If abbreviation not widely known, give the name in full every time:
... (Australian Research Council, 1996)

Multiple references within one in-text citation


List multiple citations from different authors in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons. In-text citations using n.d. should be first. 

If the authors are the same person/people, arrange in order of publication and place works without a date first.  

Citation examples

... (Burst, 1995; Nguyen, 1976; Turner & Hooch, 1982).

(Smith, n.d.; Smith, 2018; Smith, 2021).

Citing specific parts of a source


Provide author - date citation for works plus information about specific part. For a direct quote the page number(s) must be given. Indicate page, chapter, figure, table, etc. as specifically as possible. Use accepted abbreviations, i.e. p. for page, para. for paragraph.


  • pages, paragraphs, sections, tables, figures, supplementary materials, or footnotes from an articles, book, report, webpage or other work; 
  • chapters, forewords or other section of authored work;
  • time stamps of videos or audiobooks; and slide numbers in Power Point presentations 
Citation examples As one writer put it "the darkest days were still ahead" (Weston, 1988, p. 45).
Weston (1988) argued that "the darkest days were still ahead" (p. 45).
This theory was put forward by Smith (2005, chap. 7)...

Quote from an electronic source

Rule Where page numbers are not provided use paragraph numbers.
Citation examples   ...(Chang, 2001, para. 2)

Personal communication: for email and other 'unrecoverable' data

Rule Personal communications are not included in the reference list. Include the authors initial and family name, personal communication, Month Day, Year.
Citation examples ... (R. Smith, personal communication, January 28, 2002).
R. Smith (personal communication, January 28, 2002)...

Citation of a secondary source: (i.e a source referred to in another publication)


In the reference list you ONLY include the details of the source you actually read - not the original source. In the example below, the original source would be Farrow (1968), which you saw cited in a paper by Ward and Decan (1988).

Primary source - reports original content

Secondary source refers to content first reported in another source

Primary source - (Author, year as cited in secondary source Author, year)

Citation examples ... (Farrow, 1968, as cited in Ward & Decan, 1988).
Farrow (1968, as cited in Ward & Decan, 1988) ...
Ward and Decan (1988) cited Farrow (1968) as finding...

Citing legislation or legal cases

The way you cite legislation or legal cases depends on whether you read the actual legislation or read about it in another source. If it is the latter, the legislation/case should be treated as a secondary source.

Rule - Legislation

The title of the leglslation and the year (jurisdiction). Note: include the jurisdiction the first time the act is cited. The jurisdiction can be dropped with subsequent citations.

Citation examples

If you used the actual legislation

The Medical Treatment Act 1988 (Vic) states......

By virtue of s. 25.1 of the Aged Care Act 1997 (Cth).....

..."A restrictive intervention may only be used on a person....." (Mental Health Act 2014 (Vic), s. 105)

as a secondary source

....Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic) (as cited in Creighton & Rozen, 2007)    

Rule - Cases

The title of the case (year). Note: Include the year with the first citation. The year can be dropped in subsequent citations.

Citation examples 

If you used the actual case

According to the case of Rogers v Whitaker (1992).....

as a secondary source

.....Chappel v Hart (1988) (as cited in Forrester & Griffiths, 2010)

 (APA, 2020, ch.8; Monash University, 2016).


American Psychological Association. (2020). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th ed.).

Monash University. (2016). Citing and referencing. Retrieved from

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