Indicate citations with Superscript numbers

  • Citations are indicated within your assignment text using superscript numbers,1 with a corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page. The superscript numbers appear after the punctuation.

Cite sources in full for the first footnote

  • Cite a source for the first time in full in your footnote.
  • For subsequent footnotes of the same source/s use the ibid or above n abbreviations.


Ibid and above n


  • 'Ibid' refers to the source in the immediately preceding footnote
    • do not use 'Ibid' where there are multiple sources in the preceding footnote
  • if the pinpoint reference is different from that in the preceding footnote, ibid should be followed by the different pinpoint references
    • For example:
      • ibid.
      • ibid 174-5.

Above n

  • Use 'above n' when a source has been previously cited but is not the immediately preceding citation
  • Do not use for cases or legislation
  • Refer to rule 1.4.2 for information about more restrictions to the use of 'Abone n'

Above n formula:
  • Author's surname OR corporate author OR title if there is no author, above n footnote number (of the first citation of the source), pinpoint reference
    • For example:
      • MacMillan, above n 9. (ie. Surname, above n footnote number.)
      • Nguyen and Lee, above n 15, 63. (ie. surnames, above n footnote number, page number)

Direct Quotes

  • Use single 'quote marks' to mark the start and finish of a direct quote
  • The closing quote mark should appear after a full stop but before the footnote reference.
    • For example:
      • ... which 'necessitated tracing title back through an unbroken chain of events and documents, resulting in satisfactory proof of misconduct.'7

Pinpoint references

Pinpoints are page, paragraph or section references that appear at the end of the footnote.

Pinpoint 'qualifying information' appears immediately after the pinpoint.
  • Page numbers are represented by a number only - not preceded by p.
  • Paragraphs are not preceded by para and appear in square brackets after the page number
    • For example: 35 [3]
    • For example: 56 [7] -- [18]
  • Sections of legislation - use 's' without a full stop
    • Defamation Act 2005 (Vic) s 37.

Citing secondary sources

  • Use 'Quoting' when your source quotes from another source
  • Use 'Quoted in' when your source is quoted in another source
  • Use 'Citing' when your source refers to, paraphrases or summarises from another source
  • Use 'Cited in' when your source is refered to, paraphrased or summarised in another source
  • Refer to Rule 1.3 for examples


  • Author's names appear exactly as they do in the source
  • 2 or 3 authors: - the names of all authors should be included.
    • Separate the last two authors by the word 'and'
      • For example:
        • Melissa Chan and Brett Freeman
    • All surnames should be included in above n references
  • More than 3 authors:
    • Use the name of the author appearing first on the source followed by et al.
    • Use the first author's name and et al in above n references
      • For example:
        • 4 Michael Williams et al, Concepts of Corporate Governance (McGraw Hill, 5th ed, 2011) 70-81.
  • Initials and abbreviations do not include a full stop


Dates should be written in full - that is - Day date Month Year
For example:
  • 15 July 2010
  • Friday 12 February 2012 spans eg 1986-87

Date spans

For example:
  • 21-22 May
  • 2 February - 30 September 2001
  • 1998-2005
  • 17 June - 21 July
  • 14 march 1963 - 29 November 2014


Decades do not display an 'apostrophe s' ('s) - for example:
  • 1980s or 80s

Centuries display superscript a suffix - for example:
  • 20th century


  • Titles of sources appear in italics
  • All case names and Acts should appear italicized in the text and footnotes regardless of whether whether or not they are italicized in the original source


  • Publishers are written in the briefest form to identify the publisher
    • For example:
      • Kluwer Academic not Kluwer Academic Press

  • If the author and publisher are the same then the publisher is omitted.

Other Punctuation and General Style Rules

  • End each footnote with a full stop.
  • Initials and abbreviations do not include a full stop

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16 University of Melbourne, School of Law, above n 1, 1-33.