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AFTRS Library: How to Cite and Reference

What is Referencing

At AFTRS, academic integrity refers to respect, trust and honesty and in all aspects of staff and student academic work.

AFTRS plagiarism policy requires students to acknowledge when they use the ideas of others. In assignments and presentations, this is usually referred to as Referencing. The use of referencing conventions is also a part of good academic practice for several reasons:

  1. To show the audience where you have found your information and why you have positioned your argument in the way that you have.
  2. To show that you have undertaken a review of the relevant literature and are working at an academic level appropriate to your award qualification. That is, you are using credible, reliable sources as the basis of your argument
  3. To demonstrate that you have the academic writing skills appropriate to your award qualification.
  4. To acknowledge those that have presented the idea. In a sense, this is showing respect for the work of others.

The Reference List

A Reference List

The reference list (also known as Bibliography) concludes a research paper or document and provides all relevant information about the sources used within the written text such as the author’s name, year, the title, location, and publisher.
The list and tables below provide information about the rules and conventions of referencing the most common sources. For specific questions, consult the above mentioned websites or the APA manual (6th ed.).


Referencing Books

Referencing books:

  • Author’s last name, initial of first name(s), year, Title of book, location, publisher.
  • The title is in lower case. The first word of the title or following a colon is capitalised.
  • Location of publisher: If within the US, the states and territories are included in abbreviated form (e.g. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill); if outside the US, city name and country are included (e.g. Barcelona, Spain: Index Books).
  •  If it is an electronic book, the author, date, title, and source (URL or DOI) are included. DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier, which is a unique alphanumeric string. It is used “to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the internet” (APA, p. 189). Example with doi: Rothman, W. (2003). The “I” of the camera: Essays in film criticism, history, and aesthetics (2nd ed.). doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511616600
  • Example with URL: Schechner, R. (2013). Performance studies: An introduction (3rd ed.). Retrieved from
  • For a chapter in a printed book or eBook, the chapter title and page numbers are included. Example printed book: Strasberg (2007). A dream of passion. In H. Bial (ed.), The performance studies reader (2nd ed.) (pp. 229-230). New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Example eBook: Bacon, J. (2013). Embodied and direct experience in performance studies. In P. Harrop, & D. Njaradi (Eds.), Performance and ethnography: Dance, drama, music (pp. 113-130). Retrieved from Ebook Library.

Referencing Music Recording

Referencing a Music Recording: 

  • Writer, A. (Copyright year). Title of song [Recorded by B. B. Artist if different from writer]. On Title of album [Medium of recording: CD, record, cassette etc.] Location: Label. (Date of recording if different from song copyright date). 

Referencing a Podcast

Referencing a Podcast: 

  • Miller, A. A. (Presenter). (Year, Month Day). Title of episode [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://xxxx 

Referencing an Image

Referencing an Image: 

  • Name of image creator, A. A. (Year image was made). Title of image [file type]. Retrieved from http://xxx 

Referencing a television series

Referencing a television series: 

  • Title of series (Year). [Television series]. Country: Production Company. 

At AFTRS we use APA

There are many styles of referencing. At AFTRS, the recommended referencing style is that of the American Psychological Association known as APA 6th edition.

In-Text Citations

In-Text Citations in an essay or an article are mentions and directions to which one can refer for confirmed facts such as the source of information or ideas used. An in-text reference always has two pieces of information: the author/s last name/s and the year of publication. Page numbers are included when quoting.

Short quotations (less than 40 words) can be used as part of the sentence or as a complete sentence. The quote is an exact copy of the text and is enclosed in double quotation marks.


a) He argues “that the history of film as art has been determined by major historical shifts” (Younger, 2011, p. 27).

b) Younger (2011) argues that “it is for this reason that the history of film as art has been determined by major historical shifts in the way film has been defined as an art form” (p. 27).

A long quotation (more than 40 words) starts on a new line and is indented from the left margin. No double quotation marks are used. Example:

Younger (2011) argues:
It is for this reason we can say that the history of film as art has been determined by major historical shifts in the way film has been defined as an art form. Each of these paradigm shifts has involved the recognition of new aesthetic values and created new canons, bringing certain aspects of the cinema into sharp relief while allowing others to fall into the shadows. (p. 27)

If not directly quoting but using an idea or referring to another source, the author’s last name and the year of publication are referenced in the text, e.g.: Paradigm shifts throughout history guide us in our thinking, understanding, and interpretation of film as art (Younger, 2011).

Referencing Journal Articles

  • Author’s last name, initial of first name(s), Title of article, Title of Periodical, page numbers.
  • The journal article is in lower case and the journal title is in upper case.
  • Journal title and volume number are italicised.
  • If the journal is paginated by issue, the issue number is in parentheses.
  • If available, the DOI is included at the end of the reference; there is no period at the end of the DOI or URL.
  • If there is no DOI assigned, give the URL of the journal home page.

Referencing Motion Pictures

Referencing Motion Pictures: 

  • Title of film (Year). [Motion Picture]. Smith, A.A. (Director). 

If the name of the director is not available, the name of the primary author is used. Division of Education, 27 March 2015 4 

The basic information can be expanded in order to include a specific field/person such as the cinematographer or scriptwriter: 

  • Title of film (Year). [Motion Picture]. Smith, A.A. (Director); Jones, B.B. (Cinematographer). 
  • Title of film (Year). [Motion Picture]. Smith, A.A. (Director); Jones, B.B., & Williams, C.C. (Scriptwriters). 

Referencing Documentaries

Referencing Documentaries: 

  • Title of film (Year). [Documentary]. Smith, A.A., & Jackson, B.B. (Directors). 

Referencing an episode from a television series

Referencing an episode from a television series: 

  • Title of episode (Year). [Television series episode]. In Title of series. Country: Production Company. 

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The Annotated Bibliography

Annotated Bibliography  is a list of descriptive citations to books, articles, and documents. An annotation is a brief (usually about 150 words) evaluative paragraph. For more advice please visit How to Prepare an Annotated Bibliography by Cornell University Library.

The Literature Review

Literature Review may be defined as a critical analysis of the available literature in a given subject area. It involves:

  • searching and reading the literature in your chosen area of study,
  • extracting the desired information gathered into a summary,
  • identifying relevant and specific areas of study or research,
  • identifying areas for further investigations,
  • presenting the literature according to an organised style.

This short guide by the University of New South Wales has been prepared for postgraduate research students. This guide will get you started with your Literature review [PDF - 52k]

Citing & Referencing in PowerPoint Presentations

Text citations and references: 

The same citing and referencing conventions as in a research paper apply to presentations. This implies that any direct quotes or ideas referring to another source must be cited in the text/slide, i.e. name of the author and year of publication is included in brackets. Every PowerPoint concludes with a reference list, which provides the full citation details of all sources cited within the presentation. 


There are two options to cite images within PowerPoint presentations. 

1) The full citation is included with each image on the slide; no further citation is required in the reference list. 

2) A brief reference to the image is included on the slide and a full reference provided in the reference list at the end of the presentation. 


The University of Sydney and the University of California, Irvine (UCI) provide a simple and useful guide to citing images and diagrams in the APA style.

In order to trace an image, you can use TinEye's Reverse Image Search.