Citing and referencing: In-text citations

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

In-text citations: General notes

  • 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 or
    • when you paraphrase someone else's work
  • The in-text citation consists of author family name(s), in the order that they appear on the actual publication, followed by the year of publication or (in the case of a book) year of copyright of the source that you are citing. 
    • For works that have a more specific date in their reference list entry, for example (2020, Nov 5) for a newspaper article, only use the year in the corresponding in-text citation e.g. (Slater, 2020).
    • For direct quotations, make sure to include the page number as in '(Weston, 2017, p. 45)'. Where there are no page numbers (e.g., a web page), provide the paragraph number as in '(Chang, 2015, para. 2)'.
    • Page or paragraph numbers are not normally included when paraphrasing but may be included if desired.
  • The in-text citation is placed immediately after the information being cited. 
  • If the citation is at the end of a sentence, ensure the full stop is placed after the reference.
  • If quoting or citing a source that has been cited within another document, mention the original source together with the secondary reference details for example (Smith, 2012, as cited in Jones, 2018). In this case, only the secondary reference (Jones, 2018) should be included in the reference list.
    • PLEASE NOTE, HOWEVER, you should use secondary sources ONLY where you are unable to obtain a copy of the original or if the original is not available in English. 
  • 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, for example (Brown & Black, 2019) OR “Brown and Black (2019) indicate that…”
  • For citations of a republished work add the date of the original work prior to the date of the published work you are using.  For example (Orwell, 1949/2000). For further examples, including a republished book with an editor, refer to the APA Style Blog article: Book/ebook references.

Placement of citations can be important depending on the emphasis that 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: 
    • Jones (2018) has concluded that... 
  • If you wish to emphasise the information that you have paraphrased or quoted from an author, then your citation becomes 'information prominent'.  The citation will look something like this:
    • .. .as evidenced by a recent Australian study (Jones, 2018).

APA 7th in-text citation checklist 

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

Examples of in-text citations

One author

Rule Surname of author, no initials or suffixes such as Jr. The year of publication is also included.
Citation examples

. . . This was seen in an Australian study (Couch, 2017).
Couch (2017) suggests that . . . 
In 2017, Couch conducted a study which showed that . . . 


Two authors

Rule Cite both surnames every time the reference occurs in the text.

Citation examples

. . . (Zheng & Labeke, 2017)
Zheng and Labeke (2017) . . . 


Three or more authors

Rule Cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year of publication. Note: There is a full-stop (.) after al (see below).
Citation examples 

. . . (De Keyser et al., 2019).

De Keyser et al. (2019) . . .


Different authors, same surname

Rule Add 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 (1945) . . .

(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

Rule When cited together, give the author's surname once followed by the years of each publication, which are separated by a comma.
Citation examples

. . .  (Reimer, 2018, 2019).

Reimer (2018, 2019) . . .


Multiple works by same author AND same year

Rule If there is more than one reference by an author in the same year, suffixes (a, b, c, etc.) are added to the year. Allocation of the suffixes is determined by the order of the references in the reference list, not by the order in which they are cited. Suffixes are also included in the reference list, and these references are listed alphabetically by title. If cited together, list by suffix as shown below. If there is more than one reference by the same author and they each have no date, use a hyphen and then a suffix after n.d.
Citation examples

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

. . . (Stairs, 1992a, 1992b).


(Dreshcke n.d.-a) ... later in the text ... (Dreshcke n.d.-b)  


If the author is identified as 'anonymous'

Rule Use Anonymous in place of the author's surname.
Citation examples . . . (Anonymous, 2019)


Unknown 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 author(s)

Rule If organisation is recognised by abbreviation, cite the first time as follows:
Citation examples

. . . (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare [AIHW], 2019)

Note: [AIHW] is in square brackets for the initial in-text citation and thereafter as
. . . (AIHW, 2019).
However, if abbreviation not widely known, give the name in full every time:
. . . (Australian Research Council, 2016)

Do not use a comma to separate two organisation authors; for example (Monash University & Monash Health, 2020)


Multiple references

Rule List the citations in alphabetical order and separate with semicolons.
Citation examples . . . (Burst, 2017; Nguyen, 2013; Turner & Hooch, 2012).


Citing specific parts of a source

Rule For a direct quotation the page number(s) must be given. Indicate page, chapter, figure, table, etc. as specifically as possible. Use accepted abbreviations, e.g., p. for page, para. for paragraph.
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 (2015, chap.7)


Quotation from an electronic source

Rule Where page numbers are not provided, use paragraph numbers.
Citation examples   . . . (Chang, 2015, para. 2)


Personal communications


These include private letters, e-mail, and conversations. As personal communications are not accessible to others, they are not included in the reference list. However, an in-text citation is required.

Citation examples

. . . (R. Smith, personal communication, January 28, 2020).

R. Smith (personal communication, January 28, 2020) . . .


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


Note: APA 7th guidelines specify that secondary citations should ONLY be used where the original is unavailable (e.g., out-of-print). Wherever possible, read and cite the original source.

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

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 legislation 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

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 

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

as a secondary source

.  . . Chappel v Hart (1988) (as cited in Forrester & Griffiths, 2014)


Websites (but not a specific document on that site)


When citing an entire website with no mention of a specific page or particular information on the website, it is sufficient to give the address of the site in the text. No reference list entry is required.

Citation examples 

Apple is one of the most visited consumer technology websites in the world (


Web page with author


Family name and year of publication.

Citation  examples 

In a recent article on the 1918 flu pandemic Tobias (2020) suggested …


. . . in the 1918 pandemic (Tobias, 2020)


Web page with corporate author


Organisation name and year of publication.

Citation  examples 

A webpage regarding educational discounts offered by Samsung (2020) states . . 


Information on education discounts are offered by one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies (Samsung, 2020)


Web page, unknown author


Give the first few words of the title. If the title is from an article use double quotation marks. Also include the year of publication.

Citation  examples 

An Australian government agency recommend checking rainwater tanks in Queensland (“Unsealed rainwater tanks”, 2019).


Web page, no date


Use the letters n.d. - an abbreviation of the words ‘no date’.

Citation  examples 

In a self-published autobiographical article, audiovisual organisation Bose (n.d) mention . . .


The company’s history is outlined in a self-published autobiography (Bose, n.d.)


Market reports/Industry databases, no individual author


Cite the database or Market Report publisher as author.

Citation  examples 

An industry report on infrastructure construction in China by IBISWorld (2019) asserts . . .


Infrastructure construction in China was summarised in a recent industry report (IBISWorld, 2019).


Market reports/Industry databases, author


Family name and year of publication.

Citation  examples 

In an industry report on Australian crisis accommodation Richardson (2020) states . . .


Australian crisis accommodation options were recently reviewed  (Richardson, 2020).


Medicine information sources


Provide the title of the entry in double quotation marks, followed by the year of publication.

Citation  examples 

(“Perindopril,” 2021).


Drug interactions


Provide the title of each entry, separated by a comma, in double quotation marks. Follow this with the year of publication.

Citation  examples 

(“Paracetamol, Warfarin sodium,” 2021).