How to cite the Style Manual

This style guidance is for Australian Government writers following the manual’s referencing and attribution rules. Those outside the Australian Government might follow other rules.

You don’t need to cite the Style Manual when you use its guidance to create content.

Use referencing style for mentions of the Style Manual

A long-held convention is that titles mentioned in body text follow their equivalent referencing style. We recommend that Australian Government writers follow the styles shown in either of the Author–date and Documentary–note systems.

If you mention the Style Manual in your content, treat it as the name of a website. Follow the capitalisation style of our website – title case – and use italics. A hyperlink is optional.

Introduce the shortened form ‘Style Manual’ in parentheses at first mention. Use the shortened form for later mentions.

Example

The Australian Government Style Manual (Style Manual) contains useful guidance about apostrophes. The Style Manual also provides accessibility callouts for most topics.

When you mention a webpage from the Style Manual in your content, treat it as part of a larger publication or series. Use sentence case and quotation marks.

Example

I found the answer in ‘Acronyms and initialisms’.

Cite the Style Manual using referencing and attribution rules

Always cite the Style Manual when you paraphrase it or quote it in your content.

The following examples show how to cite the Style Manual website and a webpage in the manual using Author–date and Documentary-note rules. The rules are:

  • ‘Entire website’
  • ‘Webpage as part of a lager publication or series’.

Both rules appear on the Author–date page in ‘Sequence the elements of online sources’ and on the Documentary-note page in ‘Reference all elements of online sources’.

Please also hyperlink the name of our website and any webpages you cite.

Author–date

Author–date is suitable for most government content. This system comprises an in-text citation and a full citation in the list of references. For the full citation, use italics and title case for the name of our website. Follow this with our URL.

Example

Initialisms are pronounced as letters and acronyms as words. WofG – meaning ‘Whole of government’ – is pronounced as ‘double u of gee’, so it’s an initialism, not an acronym (APSC 2023). [In-text citation]

APSC (Australian Public Service Commission) (2023) Australian Government Style Manual, stylemanual.gov.au, accessed 21 February 2023. [Full citation in reference list – cited as a website]

To cite a Style Manual webpage in Author–date, use:

  • quotation marks for the title of the webpage
  • sentence case and italics for the name of the publication
  • title of the website followed by ‘website’.

Example

Don’t use a full stop after a contraction. The only exception is when: ‘the contraction ends a sentence and isn’t followed by another punctuation mark’ (APSC 2023). [In-text citation]

APSC (Australian Public Service Commission (2023) Contractions, Australian Government style manual, Australian Government Style Manual website, accessed 20 June 2023. [Full citation in reference list – Style Manual cited as a publication and a website]

Documentary-note

Follow the citation rules in ‘Documentary–note’ if you use endnotes or footnotes in your content. The order of some elements differs from the order shown in Author–date.

Example

Australia, like many countries, has a style guide for government employees to follow.1 [Reference marker]

1Australian Public Service Commission, Australian Government Style Manual, stylemanual.gov.au, 2023, accessed 28 February 2023. [Note – Style Manual cited as a website, with website URL]

Australian Government style is to use code for mathematical symbols, not punctuation.2 [Reference marker]

2Australian Public Service Commission, ‘Mathematical relationships’, Australian Government style manual, Australian Government Style Manual website, 2023, accessed 10 September 2023. [Note – Style Manual cited as a publication and a website]

About this page

This page was updated Wednesday 5 June 2024.