Skip to content

Citing and referencing: In-text citations

A guide to the styles recommended by Monash schools and departments for students and researchers

In-text citing: General notes

Before using this guide check with your faculty, school or department for their specific referencing guidelines

  • Insert an in-text citation:
    • when your work has been influenced by someone else's work, for example:
      • when you directly quote someone else's work
      • when you paraphrase someone else's work
  • General rules of in-text citation:
    • a number is allocated to a source in the order in which it is cited in the text. If the source is referred to again, the same number is used.
    • Use Arabic numerals (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
    • either square [ ] or curved brackets ( ) can be used as long as it is consistent. Please check with your faculty/lecturer to see if they have a preference. For consistency in this guide we have chose to use round brackets for our examples
    • superscripts can also be used rather than brackets eg. ...was discovered. 1,3
    • reference numbers should be inserted to the left or inside of colons and semi-colons.
    • reference numbers are generally placed outside or after fullstops and commas - however check with your faculty/journal publisher to determine their preference. For consistency in this guide we are placing reference numbers after fullstops.
    • whatever format is chosen, it is important that the punctuation is consistently applied to the whole document.

The way you cite information can be important depending on the emphasis you wish to apply

If you wish to quote or paraphrase an author, and want to emphasise the author, then your citation becomes 'author prominent'. The citation will look something like this:

  • ... in his research, Jones (2) asserts....

If you wish to emphasise the information you have paraphrased or quoted from an author, then your citation becomes 'information prominent'.  The citation will look something like this:

  • ... as evidenced from a recent Australian study.(1)

Multiple works by the same author:

Each individual work by the same author, even if it is published in the same year, has its own reference number.

Citing secondary sources:

A secondary source, or indirect citation, occurs when the ideas on one author are published in another author's work, and you have not accessed or read the original piece of work. Cite the author of the work you have read and also include this source in your reference list.

  • highlight the issue Taylor (10) discusses Bridge's research work....

Examples of in-text citations

The in-text citation is placed immediately after the text which refers to the source being cited:

Using round brackets: one author has put it "the darkest days were still ahead".(1)

Using square brackets: one author has put it "the darkest days were still ahead".[1]

Using superscript: one author has put it "the darkest days were still ahead".1

The author's name can also be integrated into the text

Scholtz 1 has argued that...

Including page numbers with in-text citations:

Page numbers are not usually included with the citation number. However should you wish to specify the page number of the source the page/s should be included in the following format: one author has put it "the darkest days were still ahead".1(p23) one author has put it "the darkest days were still ahead".(1 p23)

Scholtz (1 p16-18) has argued that...

Citing more than one reference at a time:

The preferred method is to list each reference number separated by a comma, or by a dash for a sequence of consecutive numbers. There should be no spaces between commas or dashes

for example:   (1,5,6-8)