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Footnote - Referencing Guide

Citing in the Text

Citing in the Text

Indicating the Relevant Citation in the Text

A number in superscript format, placed in the text of the essay, indicates the relevant footnote.

Citations are numbered sequentially in the order in which they appear in the text and each citation corresponds to a numbered footnote containing publication information about the source cited.

The notes generally serve two purposes: to cite sources and to make cross-references to previous notes.

Phrases used to introduce cited material are called signal phrases. These phrases usually come before quotations.

No distinction is made between print and electronic references when citing within the text. Here are some examples of this kind of referencing:

The theory was first put forward in 1987.1
Scholtz2 has argued that...
Several recent studies3 have suggested that...
For example, see 4.
The largest lesion in the first study was 10 cm.5

It is not necessary to mention either the author(s) or the date of the reference unless it is relevant to your text.

It is not necessary to say "In reference6 ...", "In6 ..." is sufficient.


Footnotes are listed at the bottom of the page on which a citation is made. A numeral is placed in the text to indicate the cited work and again at the bottom of the page in front of the footnote. A footnote lists the author, title and details of publication, in that order. Footnotes are used when there are only a small number of references. If there are a large number of notes, they may be placed either at the end of the chapter or the end of the whole work.

Here is an example of this kind of referencing:

Breaker Morant has been described as, "... a hard-fisted bushman, a versifier, womaniser, drunkard, gambler, a brilliant horseman, social success, brave soldier, and a ruthless adversary ...".1 It is, however, the circumstances which led to his trial and execution, which most concern the average Australian. Morant and his fellow soldier Handcock have been viewed as "scapegoats of the Empire".2 ...

The corresponding footnotes have the following format:

1.    Kit Denton, Closed File (Adelaide: Rigby, 1983), 68.

2.    Barry Bridges, "Lord Kitchener and the Morant/Handcock Executions", Journal of the Australian Historical Society 73 (June 1987): 37.

Authors names are presented in full if known, with given name or initials before surname.

The title and subtitle are capitalised.

Publication details for a book are enclosed in parentheses.

Commas are used to separate the main elements of the citation.

Titles of books and journals are italicised if typed or underlined if hand-written.

Title of chapters, titled parts of a book, or titles of journal articles are enclosed in quotation marks.

Subsequent Citations

A footnote cannot reappear out of sequence.

The content of a footnote which applies to more than one citation must be repeated under a new citation number.

To avoid repetition of an exact citation, a cross reference may be used:

18.    see note 3 above

If referring to the immediately preceding footnote, you may use Ibid.

Subsequent citations of sources already given with minor differences, such as page numbers, should be shortened whenever possible.

The short form should consist of authors' surname, shortened title (4 words or less) and page number:

1.    Regina M Schwartz, "Nationals and Nationalism: Adultery in the House of David," Critical Inquiry 19, no. 1 (1992): 131-32.

2.    David N. Freedman and Jeffrey C. Geoghegan, "House of David Is There," Biblical Archaeology Review 21, no. 2 (1995): 78-9.

3.    Schwartz, "Nationals and Nationalism," 138.

4.    Freedman and Geoghegan, "House of David," 79.

5.    Ibid.

6.    Ibid., 78.

Citing More Than One Source at a Time

Although more than one note citation should never appear at a single location (such as 7,8), a single footnote can contain more than one citation:

1.    Regina M Schwartz, "Nationals and Nationalism: Adultery in the House of David," Critical Inquiry 19, no. 1 (1992): 131-32.; David N. Freedman and Jeffrey C. Geoghegan,"House of David Is There," Biblical Archaeology Review 21, no. 2 (1995): 79.

See the All Examples page for examples of in-text and reference list entries for specific resources such as articles, books and web pages.