How to reference?

How do I reference?

To construct a reference you need to:

  1. Identify the type of item you are referencing. Is it a book, journal article, book chapter or website?

  2. Identify the essential components that you need to reference the item correctly 


Information sources

You will probably need to reference different types of sources.

It can sometimes be challenging to identify these sources.

These information sources could include:

  • Journal articles
  • Books
  • Book chapters
  • Web pages
  • Conference papers 

Reference components

When referencing different types of sources, you need to include different components.

There are reference components common to all referencing styles such as:

  • Authors
  • Titles
  • Publication years

If any essential components are missing, it will be difficult for others to locate the source.

Academic integrity signpost

For more information on how to reference, see the Academic Integrity Course


Click through the tabs below to discover the essential reference components for different information sources.


Book references generally include the following components:

  • Author's name
  • Date of publication
  • Title
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher

They may also contain:

  • Edition

The information that is included in a book reference can generally be found on the title page and the title page verso of a book.

An authored book

Run your mouse cursor over the references below to see the essential components for referencing an authored book in some common referencing styles. 

  •  APA style:

Sword, H. (2007). The writer's diet. North Shore, New Zealand: Pearson Education New Zealand.

  •  MLA style: 

Belich, JamesParadise Reforged : A History of the New Zealanders from the 1880s to the Year 2000Auckland, N.Z.: Penguin Press, 2001. Print.

  •  Chicago style:

Cartledge, Paul.  The Greeks : a Portrait of Self and Others. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.



An edited book

Some books have an editor or editors rather than an author. Edited books often contain chapters written by different authors.

Run your mouse cursor over the references below to see the essential components for referencing an edited book in some common referencing styles.



  • APA style:

Sligo, F., Olsson, S., & Wallace, C. (Eds.). (1997). Perspectives in business communication: Theory and practice. Palmerston North, New Zealand: Software Technology.

  • MLA style:

Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall, eds.  A Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.

  • Chicago style: 

Ballantyne, Tony, and Brian Moloughney, eds. Disputed Histories : Imagining New Zealand's Pasts. Dunedin, N.Z.: Otago University Press, 2006.


You can find further examples of book references on Quickcite.

Book chapters

Book chapters are often written by different authors, with an editor co-ordinating the book.

Book chapter references generally include the following components:

  • Author or authors' name(s)
  • Date of publication 
  • Title of chapter
  • Editor(s) of book
  • Title of book
  • Page numbers of chapter
  • Place of publication
  • Publisher

They may also contain:

  • Edition

Use the title page, title page verso and table of contents to find information required for a book chapter reference.

You can find further examples of book chapter references on Quick©ite.

Journal articles

Journal article references generally include the following components:

  • Author or authors
  • Date 
  • Article title
  • Journal title
  • Volume and issue
  • Page numbers

They may also contain:

Most of the information needed to create a journal article reference can be found on the first page of the article.

You can find further examples of journal article references on Quickcite.

Web pages

Web page references generally include the following components:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Title of web page

They may also contain:

  • URL
  • Date accessed

You can find further examples of webpage references on Quickcite.

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