UTS Library

In-text Referencing

Use an in-text reference when you are paraphrasing, quoting (must provide a page number), discussing ideas and theories, supporting claims and arguments, using data and statistics, using graphs, figures or illustrations from other sources. 

The basic elements of an in-text reference are an author’s surname or family name (or an organisation name if the source has an organisation as its author) and the year of publication, but there are different ways these can be added to your text.

The theory was first propounded by Larsen (1971), and was confirmed two decades later (Williams & Jones 1991). In 2018, Qing et al. confirmed...

When writing, it doesn’t matter which form you use – choose the option that makes the point you are trying to make as clear and as easy to read as possible. Often, the outside brackets form is used towards the beginning of a sentence, and the inside brackets form is used at the end of a sentence.

Authors in your in-text reference

Creating an in-text reference depends on how many authors were responsible for the item being referenced. Here are some examples:

One author

(Larsen 1971) or Larsen (1971)

Two authors

Note the use of and instead of & when using two author names outside the brackets.

(Williams & Jones 1991) or Williams and Jones (1991)

Three authors

Note the use of and instead of when using multiple author names outside the brackets.

(Tarnoud, Rossi & Monticelli 2014) or Tarnoud, Rossi and Monticelli (2014)

Four or more authors

If there are four or more authors, list the first author and replace the other authors with et al.

(Brown et al. 1983) or Brown et al. (1983)

More examples can be found on the HELPS sample essay pages.

Multiple sources in the same in-text reference

If you are referencing two or more different sources within one in-text reference, use semicolons to separate the sources. There is no limit to number of sources you can include in a single in-text reference; however, you should make sure they are ordered alphabetically by first author surname. Don’t put an ampersand (&) between the last and second last authors if you are doing this:

(ABS 2011; Statistics Estonia 2018)

If you are trying to reference multiple works by a single author from different years, use a semicolon to separate the years of publication. See the authors section for instructions on how to reference two references by the same author, published in the same year.

(Mckie 2018; 2019) or Mckie (2018; 2019)

Captioning a graph or figure

When using a graph or figure, create a caption underneath with the word ‘Figure’, the figure number, a colon, a brief description and then an in-text reference. The in-text reference must contain a page number to indicate where the graph or figure can be found in the referenced work.

Black and white image of  dome-like building. Caption reads: Figure 2: Bruno Taut’s Glass Pavilion (Ascher-Barnstone, p.34)
Figure 2: Bruno Taut’s Glass Pavilion (Ascher-Barnstone 2018, p. 34).

Reference list

Ascher-Barnstone, D. 2018, The break with the past : avant-garde architecture in Germany, 1910-1925, Routledge, Abingdon, UK.

Tips:

  • The short description should be the one used to describe the image in the original source. If that is too long, or if there is no short description in the original source, you should create one yourself.
  • Reference the source of the graph or figure according to where you found it, (eg: a book or a web page). In the Asher-Barnstone example above the image was found in a book.
  • If you made a graph with data that you found in several sources, include all these sources in the in-text reference after the caption, separated by semicolons (with page numbers where appropriate). Include all the sources in your reference list. See captioning a table for an example of this.

Captioning a table

When captioning a table, write the word Table followed by the table number, a colon, a brief description, and an in-text reference. The caption is placed above the table:

In-text

Table 1: Oil Consumption by continent (BP 2017, p. 17).

Table 1: Oil Consumption by Continent (BP 2017, p.17)

 

Table 2: Persons aged 0-15, 16-64, 65+ in Australia and Estonia in 2011 (ABS 2011; Statistics Estonia 2018).

Table 2: Persons aged 0-15, 16-64, 65+ in Australia and Estonia in 2011 (ABS 2011; Statistics Estonia 2018)

Reference list

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, 2011 census, counting persons, place of enumeration, Tablebuilder, viewed 30 November 2018, <http://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/censushome.nsf/home/tablebuilder>.

BP 2018, BP Statistical review of world energy, viewed 29 November 2018, <https://www.bp.com/content/dam/bp/en/corporate/pdf/energy-economics/statistical-review/bp-stats-review-2018-full-report.pdf>.

Statistics Estonia 2018, RV021: Population by sex and age group, 1 January, viewed 30 November 2018, <http://andmebaas.stat.ee/Index.aspx?lang=en>.

Tips

  • The short description should be the one used to describe the image in the original source. If that is too long, or if there is no short description in the original source, or the data comes from several sources, you should create one yourself.
  • If you made a table or graph with data that you found in several sources, include all these sources in the in-text reference after the caption, separated by semicolons (with page numbers where appropriate) and include all the sources in your reference list (as in the example Table 2 above).
  • Reference the source of the table according to where you found it: book, journal article, website etc.
  • For documents found online in PDF form, use page numbers when citing in-text.

No date or approximate date

If you have no date for a reference, use n.d. (for 'no date') instead of the year:

In-text reference

... as it permeated society (White n.d.). Brown (n.d., p. 8) said the same thing ...

If you only have an approximate date, put c. (for 'circa', meaning around) in front of the year:

In-text reference

... melancholy sounds  (Beethoven c. 1813). Schubert (c. 1829) showed similarly ...

Repeated in-text references

Sometimes you may need to use a particular in-text reference quite often. In this case you can leave out the repeated in-text references within a particular paragraph, provided it is clear that you are still referring to your original in-text reference. You do need to repeat the in-text reference when you start a new paragraph, or in the same paragraph after you mention a different in-text reference.

For example:

Larsen (1971) was the first to propound the new theory. He claimed that the old theory was 'manifestly inadequate' (p. 89), and follows this up with a series of arguments (p. 92). The international implications of this are shown to be quite serious. Although it was shown later that parts of the old theory are still quite good (Brown et al. 1983), Larsen's (1971) overall criticism remains valid. They can be shown to be applicable in a wide variety of situations and across many disciplines.

The principle point arises from how we interpret the 'ambiguity coefficient' (Larsen 1971, p. 3) ...