How to Cite a Book in AGLC Referencing
  • 3-minute read
  • 1st August 2019

How to Cite a Book in AGLC Referencing

As a legal referencing system, AGLC has specific rules for citing cases and legislation. But what about other sources, like textbooks? These are known as secondary sources. And while you can cite them, the rules are a little different. Here, we look at how to cite a book with AGLC.

Footnote References for a Book in AGLC

AGLC indicates references using superscript numbers (e.g. 1, 2, 3) in the main text of your essay. These numbers point to a footnote, where you will need to provide full source information. To cite a book, for instance, you would need to include the following information in the first footnote:

n. Author’s Name, Title of Book (Publisher, Edition, Year) Pinpoint.

In the above, edition only applies if the book has more than one published version, while ‘pinpoint’ refers to the specific page(s) cited. For instance:

1. Rory McJudge, Knowing the Law (NexusLexus, 2nd ed, 2014) 534.

Here, we’ve included ‘2nd ed’ to show that we’re citing the second edition. And the ‘534’ at the end shows we’re citing page 534 of the source.

If a source has four or more authors, meanwhile, simply name the first author followed by ‘et al’ to indicate that other names have been excluded.

Repeat Citations in AGLC

To save duplicating information if you cite a source more than once, AGLC uses a shortened footnote format for repeat citations. The rules for this depend on whether you’re citing the same source twice in a row or returning to something after citing a different source:

  • For consecutive citations of the same source (i.e. two or more citations in a row), use the Latin term ‘ibid’, which means ‘in the same place’.
  • For non-consecutive citations, give the author’s surname and a bracketed cross reference to the first citation (e.g. ‘n 1’ = first footnote).

If you’re referring to a different part of the same text in either case, you should also give a new pinpoint reference. In practice, then, repeat citations of a source would look something like the following:

1. Rory McJudge, Knowing the Law (NexusLexus, 2nd ed, 2014) 534.
2. Ibid.
3. Navigation Act 2012 (Cth) s 14.
4. McJudge (n 1) 454.
5. Ibid, 243-244.

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Here, citations 2 and 5 are consecutive citations (i.e. they refer to the previously cited book). Citation 4, meanwhile, is a non-consecutive repeat citation of the book from footnote 1. If citing more than one source by the same author, moreover, you can use a shortened version of the title in non-consecutive citations to show which source you are citing.

Books in an AGLC Bibliography

As well as citing books in footnotes, AGLC requires you to add all sources to a bibliography at the end of your document. Books go in the first section (i.e. Articles, Books and Reports), listed alphabetically by author surname.

The information you need to include here is similar to the first footnote, but with the author’s names inverted, no pinpoint reference, and no full stop:

Surname, First Name/Initial, Title of Book (Publisher, Edition, Year)

Thus, the bibliography entry for the book cited above would be:

McJudge, Rory, Knowing the Law (NexusLexus, 2nd ed, 2014)

If a source has more than one author, you should only reverse the names of the first person listed. And as with footnote references, sources with four or more authors should use ‘et al’ after naming the first listed author to show that other contributors have been excluded.

Hopefully, this post has cleared up the basics of citing a book in AGLC. If you need any help checking the referencing in a document, though, we can help.

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