Skip to Main Content

Referencing style - AGLC4: Footnotes

This Guide provides basic information on formatting references according to the Australian Guide to Legal Citation 4. It also provides information on using AGLC4 with EndNote.

Citation sources - Using footnotes

Superscript numbers with corresponding footnotes should be used whenever information or ideas from any source are discussed. Footnotes need to be numbered consecutively. Please see the Footnote example below. For more detailed information, consult Chapter 1 of the full AGLC4 manual online.

Footnotes are also used to: 

  • provide extra information that is not appropriate to include in the text.
  • to back up an argument.
  • to acknowledge a source that has contributed to an argument.

The superscript number should be placed at the end of the portion of text to which the corresponding footnote refers. The number should appear after any relevant punctuation (such as a full stop or a comma). When first using a source, it is necessary to include the full citation details in the footnote. This means that the first time you cite a source, you need to provide full citation details. For more information on this, please see the following pages of the full AGLC4 Guide: 1, 12, 46, 76 and 89.  

How to insert the footnotes section in your Word document:

The references in your essays will need to be indicated by a superscript number. To add a footnote, you will need to position your cursor in the correct location (straight after any punctuation or straight after any text). You can then create the footnotes section by clicking on the References tab on the ribbon and then selecting Insert Footnote.

The footnotes section will then appear at the bottom of your Word document. 

You will then be able to add your citations!

Multiple citations in a footnote

When there are multiple citations in one footnote, the order of sources in the footnote should be in the order of most relevance/importance to the proposition in the text 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 in the full AGLC4 manual online.

Repeat citations

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 in the full AGLC4 manual online.


‘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. See the example of repeat citations using ‘ibid’ provided below. For more information and examples on the Ibid Rule, please see Rule 1.4.3 (page 11 of the full AGLC4). 

(n    )

Use  (n    )  to refer to a source that has been cited in a previous footnote, other than the immediately preceding one.

  • For most Secondary sources, the citation should be formatted like this: Author Surname (n previous footnote number) pinpoint. For more information on what to do when several works by the same author are cited, please see page 9 of the full AGLC4. For information on how to treat Secondary sources authored by a body, please see page 9 of the full AGLC4. 
  • For Cases and Legislation, a short title may be used followed by a cross-reference (n) in parentheses.

For more information and some examples, please see Rule 1.4.1 (pages 9 - 10 of the full AGLC4). For more information on short titles and how and when they can be used, please see Rule 1.4.4 (pages 12 - 13 of the full AGLC4). 

Superscript numbers and Footnotes example


 Except for logos, Canva designs or where otherwise indicated, content in this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence.