Principle of Citation

University of Huddersfield

Principle of citation

The principle of citation is to acknowledge the source in the body of the written work.

It provides information for the reader to locate the source in the reference list.

principles of referencing diagram who what when where

When you are writing you can choose the most appropriate place to add the citation, see below for the most common examples.

Full citation in brackets at the end of the sentence, e.g.

"better assessment of the slop stability" (Singh et al., 2013, p. 264).

...supporting the children's literacy (UNICEF, 2020).

Matheus and Quinn discuss gender based occupational stereotypes... (2017).


Embed within the sentence itself, without brackets, e.g.

Singh et al. stated that new rating NSMR gives a better assessment of the slope stability (2021, p. 34).

...the 2020 report on supporting children's literacy (UNICEF).

...attitudes are not changing towards gender based occupations (Matheus & Quinn, 2017).

For further advice see your Academic Skills Tutor.


  • Put the author's family name, followed by the year of publication.
  • Do not include the author's initials in the citation.
  • When citing two authors inside brackets, use an ampersand to join the two family names together, e.g. (Levitt & Bamberg, 2017). When citing two authors within in a sentence, join them together with the word ‘and'.
  • If using Box of Broadcasts (BoB) adapt accordingly. BoB includes films, TV documentaries etc., via the University of Huddersfield subscription.
  • If referring to the title of a book, official publication, music album, film within your text, use italics and capital letters for each significant word, e.g. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
  • For further rules on capitalisation and/ or punctuation, see the APA 7th Style and Grammar guidelines or the printed Publication manual of the American Psychological Association: the Official guide to APA style (7th edition).

Quoting, paraphrasing and summarising


Quoting is directly copying the original source and putting the text in quotation marks (also known as a direct quote). You need to acknowledge the original source and add the page numbers so the reader can find the specific text.

  • For quotations of under 40 words keep within the paragraph/ text and use double quotation marks.

For example:

It has been argued that there is a "direct correlation between using the library and academic achievement" (Brown, 2008, p. 52).

  • For quotations of 40 words or more, do not use quotation marks.
  • Display the quotation in a separate and indented paragraph.
  • Page numbers (p. for one page, and pp. for more than one page, in lower case, e.g. pp. 34-35).

For example:

The author depicts a society where the characters are just trying to survive:

He tried to teach me reading and writing, too, but Mayor Prentiss caught wind of it in my Noise one morning and locked Ben up for a week and that was the end of my book-learning and what with all that other stuff to learn and all the working on the farm that still has to be done every day and all the just plain surviving. I never ended up reading too good. (Ness, 2018, p. 19)

  • Use quotations sparingly, they should be used to illustrate your understanding of the main concepts.


Paraphrasing is rewriting a section of the original text in your own words. You acknowledge the original source at the end of the paragraph, e.g. Research shows that efficient use of library resources improves academic achievement (Brown, 2019).

  • When paraphrasing or referring to an idea contained in another work, you are encouraged to provide a page number, especially when it would help an interested reader locate the relevant section in a long or complex text.


  • Summarising is to give an overview of the whole resource rather than focussing on a specific section of text. Page numbers are not required.

Citing more than one source to support an argument

  • List in alphabetical order by author's family name.

Separate each citation with a semicolon, e.g. Recent studies (Brown, 2008; Jones, 2009; Smith, 2007) show that.…

Two or more citations by the same author

  • Name the author once.
  • Cite the years of publication in date order.

Separate each citation with a comma, e.g. Research shows that efficient use of library resources improves academic achievement (Brown, 2008, 2009).

If you are using two different sources from the same author and date you can distinguish between them by adding a letter to the publication year, e.g. (Jones, 2019a, 2019b).

In the reference list, include the letter with the year and list them in alphabetical order by title, e.g.
Jones, K. (2019a). Losing our minds.

Jones, K. (2019b). Working from home.

Secondary citing

This is where you refer to a source that you have not read but that has been cited by another source that you have read.

It is always better to read and cite the original source. "Use secondary sources sparingly, for instance, when the original work is out of print, unavailable through usual sources, or available only in a language that you do not understand" (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 258).

  • Cite the author (and publication year if known) of the original work in the text.
  • Follow it with the citation for the secondary source.
  • Only include the secondary source in the reference list.

e.g. citation with publication date of original work not known:
Smith (as cited in Brown, 2008, p. 22) argued that…
Brown would be in the reference list not Smith. e.g. citation with publication date of original work known:
"the form is complicated" (Khan & Poppins, 1998, as cited in Sizemore, 2011, p. 143)
Sizemore would be in the reference list not Khan and Poppins.

Guidance for citing different numbers of authors

  • In the table below, the "…" is there to represent text in your assignment.
  • This table shows you when to use the "&" (ampersand) and when to use "and"

Number of Authors First in-text citation Subsequent in-text citations
One author According to Ramsden (2019), when adults return to education... OR …(Ramsden, 2019). As first in-text citation
Two authors Ramsden and Jones (2019) recommend... OR …(Ramsden & Jones, 2019). As first in-text citation
Three or more authors Ramsden et al. (2019) describe… OR …(Ramsden et al., 2019). As first in-text citation
Organisation with an acronym The National Health Service (NHS, 2019) reported… OR …(National Health Service [NHS], 2019) The NHS (2019) reported … OR … (NHS, 2019).
Unknown author Cite the title in place of the author.

The Handbook of Chocolate Decoration (2019) stated that…

…(The Handbook of Chocolate Decoration, 2019).

As first in-text citation

See also:

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last updated: Sun 14/Apr/2024