Reference quotes

Referencing is acknowledging where you have quoted someone else or used their ideas in your essay. You need to reference within the body of your essay, as well as in your bibliography. There are a couple of different ways to do this:

In-text referencing

This is the most common way to reference, and it involves placing some basic details about the source in brackets next to the quote. An in-text reference should include:

  • author's surname
  • year of publication
  • page number where the quote appears.

‘Research is only useful if you can see where you found it.' (Grenville, 2001, p. 30)

You would then include the following reference in your bibliography at the end of your essay:

Grenville, K 2001, Writing from Start to Finish, Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, N.S.W.

Footnotes and endnotes

Another way to reference a quote or idea is by using footnotes and endnotes.

Both footnotes and endnotes usually involve a small in-text number that appears next to the quote. This number points the reader to an area in the text where they can find the quote's bibliographical details.

These details can be found either at the end of a chapter or essay – endnotes – or at the bottom of each page – footnotes.

Some abbreviations that appear in footnotes and endnotes include:

  • ‘Ibid.', meaning that the reference is the same as the one in the note before it
  • ‘Op. cit.', usually followed by an author's name, meaning ‘already cited'. The footnote refers to a text by that author, which has already been referenced.

You probably won't need to use footnotes and endnotes until upper secondary school or university, but it's worth knowing how they work so you can recognise them when you're reading.

Footnotes can also be used to give extra information which isn't included in the body text.