Skip to Main Content
Library name header

Referencing guides

It is important to guide your reader back to the sources of the information you have used, and to give credit to the person who created the information in the first place.

What to look for:

  • Who created the information?
  • When did they post or publish it?
  • What is the name of the book, article, picture ....  that you used?
  • Where does the reader get it from (url or publisher information)?

On this page are some useful tools and examples of reference lists to help you to cite and reference your sources.

As you reference, be aware of copyright and how it works.

Why is Referencing important?

Referencing is important to avoid plagiarism!
Plagiarism is using someone elses work in your assignment without acknowledging where it came from.  It is a type of academic misconduct for which there may be significant consequences.  Read our Plagiarism guide for more information.

Example of a reference:

Author, Initial. (Year). Title of the book (number of edition). Publisher. 

Bruce, T. (2011). Cultivating creativity: For babies, toddlers and young children (2nd ed.). Hodder Education.

Number of edition:

  • 1st edition - You do not need to include (1st ed.).
  • Revised edition - (Rev. ed.). 

How to cite and reference a book?

A book available in print / from library database, written by an individual author

In text citation:

Coleman (2020) states that ... OR ... (Coleman, 2020). 

Reference list entry:

Coleman, H. (2020). Polish your academic writing. Sage Publications.

A book available in print / from library database, written by two authors

In text citation:

Boxall and Purcell (2022) indicate ... OR ... (Boxall & Purcell, 2022). 

Reference list entry

Boxall, P. F., & Purcell, J. (2022). Strategy and human resource management (5th ed.). Bloomsbury Publishing.

A book available in print / from library database, written by three or more authors

In text citation:

Bryant et al. (2018) suggest that ... OR ... (Bryant et al., 2018). 

Reference list entry:

Bryant, B. J., Knights, K. M., Darroch, S., & Rowland, A. (2018). Pharmacology for health professionals (5th ed.). Elsevier.

Chapter in an edited book, three authors of chapter, two editors of book:

In-text citation:

Mackey et al. (2011) ... OR ... (Mackey et al., 2011).

Reference list entry:

Mackey, J. E., Nicholas, M., & Maxwell, L. (2011). Student learning in a faculty-student practice clinic. In M. J. Bradshaw & A. J. Lowenstein (Eds.), Innovative teaching strategies in nursing and related health professions (5th ed., pp.459–474). Jones and Bartlett.  

A book with no author?

In text citation:

Italicise the title of a book, brochure or report. For example:

 (Encyclopedia of business and finance, 2014) or Encyclopedia of business and finance (2014) states ...

Reference list entry:

Encyclopedia of business and finance (3rd ed.). (2014). Gale Cengage Learning.

Can I trust this website? - Yes.

Example of a reference:

Ministry of Health. (2017, May 18). Māori health models-Te Whare Tapa Wha requirements.

Example of an in-text citation:  
The wharenui structure embodies the four foundations of Māori health and well-being (Ministry of Health [MOH], 2017).
If cited again: .. as mentioned in the summary (MOH, 2017).

  • Why is this trustworthy? 1) it is a government website 2) All the needed details can be found
  • Title - use the heading in the text above the information that you used in your writing

Can I trust this website? - Maybe.


The concept of well-being: Five types of well-being. (n.d.). The World Counts.

In-text citation:
There are five categories that make a person feel well and happy (The concept, n.d.)

  • Ask yourself if you can trust this information (Warning signs: no author, no date, don't say where they get their information from, website trying to sell you something) If you can't trust it, don't use it!
  • If there is no author, start the reference with the title
  • If there is no publication date, use n.d. in the round brackets
  • Tip: To find out more about a website and who is behind it, look for About us

What to look for?

Who = author - a person or an organisation that created the information that you are using

  • Often at the beginning or the end of the piece of information

When = date -  the date when the information on the webpage was published, updated or revised.

  • Often at the beginning or the end of the information
  • Do not use Copyright OR Reviewed on dates
  • Insert the date in round brackets. Provide the most specific date, in format: (Year) OR (Year, Month) OR (Year, Month Day) OR (n.d.)

What = title - what name has been given as a heading for the information that you are using?

  • The title or heading is not always the same as the website name
  • Include the website title after the webpage title only when it is different to the author

Where = website url - where does the reader get this information?

  • If the information comes from a web page that often changes, like an unarchived wiki, put the date that you retrieved the information in too

For support with referencing, consult your Subject Librarian