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AGLC4 referencing and writing guide

Introductory Guide to ALCG4 referencing

When do I add a Footnote?


Footnotes should be used whenever information or ideas from sources are discussed. Sources such as legislation, cases, and secondary sources such as books, journals, reports, newspapers, interviews, radio, television and information from the internet must be acknowledged in text and detailed in your footnotes.

Footnotes are also used to provide extra information that is not appropriate to include in the body of the text.

They are used to back up an argument or to acknowledge a source that has contributed to an argument.


How can I create a Footnote?


To create a footnote in Word, click the 'References' tab in the toolbar, then click 'Insert Footnote'.

Your footnotes will be created in sequential numbers for the entire document.

Always remember:

  • In the text of your document, the footnote number always appears after punctuation, i.e. after a full stop or comma.
  • Always add a full stop at the end of each footnote citation.
  • A semicolon is used to separate multiple references in one footnote.


What is a pinpoint?


A 'pinpoint' refers to a specific page or paragraph to which a reference is being made. For example, you would cite a specific page in a book that you use as a source.

Pinpoint references should appear after the start page and be preceded by a comma and a space.

For more guidance, see rule 1.1.6.

What about using multiple sources?


When there are multiple citations in one footnote, the order of sources in the footnote should be in order of most relevant or important in context and this is a matter of judgment for the author. If such an ordering approach is not appropriate, then an ordering system that the author thinks is most appropriate for the context (e.g. alphabetically or chronologically).

A semicolon should be used to separate the sources, and the word 'and' should not be used to separate the last two sources.

For more guidance, see rule 1.1.3.

What about using the same source many times?


When a particular source is cited more than once in a paper, the full bibliographic details should not be provided each time in a footnote. The terms ‘ibid’ and ‘n’ are used to refer to previous citations.

For more guidance, see rule 1.4.



‘Ibid’ is an abbreviation of the Latin term ‘ibidem’, meaning ‘in the same place’. Use ‘ibid’ to refer to a source in the immediately preceding footnote, including any pinpoints. 'Ibid' should not be used where there are multiple sources in the preceding footnote.

‘Ibid’ should always be capitalised when it appears at the start of a footnote. If there is a pinpoint reference, that is, a reference to a specific place in the cited text, and the next footnote is to the same work and to the same place in the cited text, use ‘ibid’. The pinpoint reference should not be repeated. If you refer to the same source as in the immediately preceding footnote but to a different page or section, use ‘ibid’ followed by the pinpoint reference, that is, the different page or section number. 



Use ‘n’ to refer to a source that has been cited in a previous footnote other than the immediately preceding one. For cases and legislation, a short title may be used followed by a cross-reference (n) in parentheses.


See the examples of repeat citations using ‘ibid’ and 'n' provided below.

Example footnotes


1. Penfolds Wines Pty Ltd v Elliott (1946) 74 CLR 204, 210 ('Penfolds Wines').

2. Joycey Tooher and Bryan Dwyer, Introduction to Property Law (LexisNexis Butterworths, 5th ed, 2008) 27.

3. Ibid 52.

4. Penfolds Wines (n1) 224.

5. Defamation Act 2005 (Vic) s 37.

6. Ibid s 38.

6. Banking Act 1959 (Cth) ('Banking Act').

7. Ibid.

8. Tooher and Dwyer (n 2) 15.

9. Ibid 20.

10. Banking Act (n 6) s 5.

11. Encyclopedic Australian Legal Dictionary (online at 10 September 2013) 'comity'.

12. Simon Young and Sarah Murray, 'An Elegant Convergence? The Constitutional Entrenchment of Jurisdictional Error Review in Australia' (2011) 11(2) Oxford University Commonwealth Law Journal 117, 118.


(Example courtesy of UWA Library.)