The Author Date System of Referencing

Eastern College Australia adopts, as a basic standard, the Author-Date system.

Each unit will use either the APA or the Chicago style for these Author-Date system references. Both styles are supported by and other bibliographic software such as Zotero and EndNote.

Help for Chicago is at

Help for APA is at as well as and some tips are available at

Some resources are available to help at Call No. 808 in the Resource Centre.

Eastern College Australia does not use the bottom-of-the-page system, or endnotes.

If you do not follow the style procedures outlined in this guide for ALL of your assignments you may lose marks. In extreme cases your assignment will not be accepted and you will be required to resubmit work with appropriate corrections. Generally, however, about ten percent of your mark is for presentation.

Quotations and Sources

It is very important that you correctly reference all your quotations and sources of information.

All referencing is to be in accordance with the Author-Date system, using the run-on design for the bibliography, as detailed in this booklet.

The purpose of referencing is to show where you obtained the idea(s) or information used in your assignment allowing both yourself and others to effectively go to the source.

Referencing Procedure

Correct referencing requires two parts:

  1. The first is the actual reference in the body of the text.
  2. The second is the full details of the work referred to in the text. This is placed in the bibliography following the last page of the assignment.

The actual reference in the body of the text is placed directly following the quotation or the idea that you have used in your own words.

  • For Chicago - The reference includes the author's last name and a single space, the year of publication of the book followed by a comma, a single space between the comma and the next entry which is the page number(s) of the quote or idea. (Surname of author date of publication, page number).
  • For APA - The reference includes the author's last name followed by a comma and a single space, the year of publication of the book followed by a comma, a single space between the comma and the next entry which is the page number(s) of the quote or idea. (Surname of author, date of publication, page number).

That is all that is generally needed.

A Chicago example:

 Australians are not very good at expressing themselves and it is legitimate to quote from a book as sometimes "an author clearly says something better than you could" (Fee 1993, 57).

An APA example:

 Australians are not very good at expressing themselves and it is legitimate to quote from a book as sometimes "an author clearly says something better than you could" (Fee, 1993, 57).

If the reference ends your sentence, include it in the sentence by putting the full stop after the closing parenthesis. If the reference is in the middle of the sentence, there should be no punctuation marks before or after the parentheses.

It is not necessary to repeat the author's name if you have already stated it in your text as follows:

 Australians are not very good at expressing themselves and it is legitimate to quote from a book as sometimes an author, such as Fee (1993, 57), "clearly says something better than you could".

If you cite the same reference in a second or subsequent part of your paper, still give the author, date and page/s. The author-date system does not use words like ibid. or loc. cit.

If there is more than one date given in the book, use the latest copyright date (not the latest printing date). However, with 'classics' such as Freud's work for example, an earlier date should be given along with the more recent one such as 'Freud (1896/1962)' or Calvin (1564/1967). It is misleading to give only one of these.

Direct and Indirect Quotations

It is usual to include relevant quotations in most assignments unless specifically directed not to do so by the Unit Guide. It is absolutely essential that you acknowledge them all.

The way in which you reference quotations from your reading is very important and should be done in the manner described below:

There are two ways to refer to someone else's ideas in an assignment.

  1. Direct quotation - a word for word copy of another's spoken or written words - normally referred to just as a quotation.

  2. Indirect quotation - a paraphrase or summary of another's spoken or written words.

Both are valid and both need to be referenced using the same method. The only difference is that indirect quotations do not have to be in quotation marks or indented, as they are your own words (but they are not your original idea or concept‚ and hence the need to reference them).

Quotation Marks

Short quotations (direct) can be included in the body of the text, indicated by the use of double quotation marks.

If you have a quotation within a quotation, use single quotation marks for the entire quotation, and double quotation marks inside the quotation. For example: 'The object of sound Christian Education is, as Rogers and Higgens remind us, “to further the student in their ability to know and love God and communicate Him effectively to others.„'" [The three quotation marks just here, is correct, because the end of the full quotation coincides with the end of the quotation inside the quotation.]

Block Quotations

Longer quotations (block quotations) of more than three (3) lines should be indented (on every line of the quotation) by 1 tab length from the left margin. The block quotation should also be single spaced, allowing one line spacing above and below it. In this case, quotation marks are not required and should not be used. You may find that your word processor has a preset option called "block quote" or something similar.

Amount of Quotation

Normally, no more than 10% of the total word count of your paper should be direct quotations. There are obvious exceptions, such as records of interviews, and pastoral reports.

Tips for Quotations

Two common difficulties with student papers are:

  1. A tendency to over-quote with direct quotations. Use quotations where they convey more than your words might, but do try to get ideas into your own words where possible.

  2. A tendency to under-reference when it comes to indirect quotations. See below on plagiarism‚ if in doubt, supply a reference.

Direct quotations:

For the most part, the use of direct quotations should occur in the following instances:

  1. When it is necessary or important to use the exact words of an author so as not to misrepresent.

  2. When it is necessary for a clear or convincing presentation of an option. Many times a quotation of this kind will stand at the beginning of a section or paragraph as a point of departure.

  3. When it is useful for the psychological impact on the reader. For example, it is often useful to quote some well-known authority who holds the opinion you are contending for. Sometimes this is especially helpful if what is said is contrary to one's ordinary expectations.

  4. When an author clearly says something better than you could, or when it is said in a clearly memorable way.

Remember to interact with direct quotations. It does not help to leave them hanging in limbo without comment or qualification. If it is worth quoting, then the quotation is worth commenting on.

Indirect quotations:

A few clues as to when to use indirect quotations:

  1. When the information you are rewording is not commonly known (it might only be in one or two of your many sources for example, or you may conclude that it is not a well-known piece of information).

  2. When the material says something controversial or unusual.

  3. When the information is supporting your argument.

You do not need to reference material that appears in most sources or is commonly known.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic integrity is prized not just by Eastern College Australia as a Christian educational institution, but by all educational (especially higher education) institutions. There are a number of dimensions to this form of honesty, but the basic principle is that since your work is under your name, it should be something that you can defend as yours, and as accurate.

Academic Integrity means "acting with the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect and responsibility in learning, teaching and research. It is important for students, teachers, researchers and all staff to act in an honest way, be responsible for their actions, and show fairness in every part of their work. Staff should be role models to students. Academic integrity is important for an individual’s and a school’s reputation." (taken from the Exemplary Academic Integrity Project)

Data and Information

When you present data, it should be accurate. If you have had to count something, for instance, as part of an assignment, you should be presenting the number that you, not someone else, counted (and not one that you made up).

Similarly, when you are writing a verbatim, it should represent what was actually said, not what you wish was said or vaguely recollect as having been said. All sources of information presented in your paper must be documented.


By putting your name to an essay or an assignment, you are saying that it is your own work and that what is not referenced as the work of another is your own work. You need to be able to honestly say that they are indeed your own words and ideas. For that reason, it is a general rule in education that you must give references to words and ideas that are not your own.

Failure to acknowledge the source of ideas is plagiarism. This is a serious offence, especially in an academic context. Plagiarism effectively means stealing someone else's work, or ideas, or actual words, and claiming then for yourself. This is the case whether it is intentional or not, since you must acknowledge their true owner. Students should make a careful study of the material on the Eastern College Australia website, where the policy, processes and potential penalties are outlined. Academic Integrity Policy. Those needing editorial assistance can refer to the Student Progress Policy.

An impression of plagiarism will result in an investigation of the work, and if verified after consultation with the student and relevant decision makers, a failure mark may be recorded for your paper. In some cases, plagiarism may result in exclusion from the College.

If you are in doubt, please speak to the academic in charge of your unit or another member of the academic staff.

Eastern College Australia reserves the right to take any reasonable steps in checking for plagiarism or any other evidence of academic dishonesty. This is done to preserve the value of everyone's study.

Editorial and Other Assistance

Eastern College Australia is keen to help with your learning, and it may be that you will learn better if you work with others. This may be with a study group, or with a tutor. However, you need to be sure that what you submit is your own work. If you receive editorial assistance, then you must declare it when submitting your assignment. The person who gave you that assistance must complete the form as well. The form is also available under Current Students -> Forms. Note: The draft of your paper before editorial assistance was given, must also be handed in, submitted with the assignment.

Editorial assistance usually occurs when you ask someone else to check your paper for spelling and grammar problems, or to check whether it is repetitive or too wordy, and so on.

It is also employed by students whose first language is not English. Other students who have English as their first language might rely on editorial assistance too if they are lacking in experience or confidence in writing, or know that they are poor spellers.

Editorial assistance may not involve assistance with the content or basic argument. It must be limited to fine tuning grammar, spelling, and general expression.