Citing and referencing: In-text citations

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

General format - author prominent and information prominent citations:

There are two styles of citation, known as author-prominent and information-prominent. Both styles are equally acceptable and you can use both styles within one text.

In information prominent citations, you include both the author's surname and the date of publication in parentheses. 

Rule: (Author year)

Example: Connections can be made between current politics and curriculum in schools based on established theories (Green 2018).

In author prominent citations, the author's surname is included in the text of the sentence, outside the parentheses, and the year (in parentheses) is included directly after the author's name.

Rule: Author (year)

Example: Green (2018) makes connections between politics and curriculum drawing on preceding theorists.


In-text citations - no year of publication:

If there is no date for the source, use the term n.d., which means no date, in place of the year in the in-text citation.

Example: (Francis n.d.)


In-text citations - quotes and page numbers:

The Style Manual specifies that page numbers are only included in in-text citations when you are directly quoting another person's work. However, you may want to include page numbers for paraphrases and summaries in some situations. For example, when citing information from a book or other long text, including page numbers in your in-text citations can help your reader to locate the information.  Additionally, some unit coordinators may want you to include page numbers in your in-text citations as a general rule.  Check your assignment instructions and ask your unit coordinator if you are unsure. 

When including page numbers in your in-text citations, write them after the year and use a colon in between the year and the page number or page range, for example:

For a single page, information prominent citation: 'Representation is inherently, inescapably political. Representation and power go hand in hand' (Green 2018:33).

For a single page, author prominent citation: Green (2018:33) states that 'representation is inherently, inescapably political. Representation and power go hand in hand'.

For a page range citation (e.g. for a long quote that spans multiple pages, or when paraphrasing information that spans multiple pages): (Green 2018:22-23)

The Style Manual specifies to use single quotation marks (e.g. 'quote') for direct quotes.  However, text-matching software such as Turnitin does not recognise single quotation marks, it only recognises double quotation marks (e.g. "quote"). If you use single quotation marks for quotes, Turnitin will show these as text matches.  If you are unsure what quotation marks to use for your assignment, check with your unit coordinator. 


Examples of in-text citations:

One author:

Rule: (Author year) or Author (year)

Example: (Jones 2017) or Jones (2017)


Two authors:

The Style Manual states to always use the term 'and' to separate authors, rather than using symbols such as '&'.

Rule: (Author and Author year) or Author and Author (year)

Example: (Francis and Black 2019) or Francis and Black (2019)


Three or more authors:

Use the term et al. (a Latin term meaning 'and others') after the first author's surname in all citations.  List all authors in the reference list.

Rule: (Author et al. year) or Author et al. (year)

Example: (White et al. 2016) or White et al. (2016)


Organisation as author:

In the case where an organisation is listed as the author (common in government and industry publications), use the name of the organisation in the place of a person. The Style Manual states to use the abbreviation for the organisation's name in all in-text citations. But this would only apply if the organisation is recognised by an abbreviation.

Rule: (Abbreviation of organisation year) or Abbreviation of organisation (year)

Example: (DFAT 2016) or DFAT (2016)


Citing multiple sources at the same time:

If you want to cite several sources at once, for example when reporting on multiple studies with similar findings, you can include multiple sources in one citation separated by semicolons.

Example: (Jones 2017; Francis and Black 2019; White et al. 2016)


No author:

If a post or article doesn’t list an author, use the name of the blog, website, newspaper, or magazine. If none of these options are available, use the first ten words of the title in place of an author. Make sure that the name that you use in the reference list matches the name that you use for these citations.


Citing secondary sources:

A secondary citation should only be used when the original source is unavailable.  Wherever possible, read and cite the original source rather than relying on another author's interpretation.  If you need to include a secondary citation, the format is:

Example: (Thomas 1980 as cited in Williams 2015)

In the reference list, only include the source that you actually read (Williams 2015 in the example above).


Multiple works by the same author in the same year:

Use a lower case letter after the year for each citation, and use these letters in the reference list as well, so that your readers can identify each source.  Use the letter a for the first source you cite, the letter b for the second source, etc.

Rule: (Author yeara) ... (Author yearb) OR Author (yeara) ... Author (yearb)

Example: (Wright 2015a) .... Wright (2015b)


Citing personal communications:

Personal communications can include emails and conversations.  Include an in-text citation for these, stating that it is a personal communication, along with a full date. Don't include these sources in your reference list. 

Example: (Mary Smith, personal communication, 24 October 2020)


Citing legal sources:

The 2020 edition of the Style Manual provides detailed information for citing different types of legal sources.  Please refer to the Legal material section of the Style Manual for full details.

In many cases, legal material only needs to be cited in-text and doesn't need a reference list entry.  Check with your unit coordinator or supervisor if you are unsure.   The information in the in-text citation is the same as the information provided in the reference list, and the format varies depending on the type of legal material.  See the legal sources section of this guide for more information about in-text citations and reference list entries for bills, acts, and treaties.


Editor or translator in place of an author:

If the main creator of the source is an editor, use their name in the in-text citation and include the abbreviation ed, or eds if there is more than one editor. 

For translated works, use the original author’s name in the in-text citation.