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Analysing reference lists

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The following tasks are based on the reference list from the sample essay used in other sections of this tutorial.

Read through the list of references listed at the end of the sample essay. How many different texts have been referred to in this essay? Do you think this is an adequate number?


A total of eight texts has been referred to. This is probably an adequate number for an undergraduate essay. Keep in mind that your lecturers require you to read widely for your essays, so you should aim to have a healthy reference list. Remember that a reference list should include only those texts you have cited in your essay, and not those you have merely read. For this reason it is a useful strategy to try to include, where relevant, a citation for each text you read.


Australian Bureau of Statistics (1996). Divorces, Australia. Canberra: Australian Government Printing Service.

Bell, R. and G. Zajdow (1997) Family and household. In R. Jureidini, S. Kenny and M. Poole (eds). Sociology: Australian Connections. St Leonards. NSW: Allen and Unwin

Bilton, T., K. Bonnett and P. Jones (1987). Introductory Sociology, 2nd edition. London: MacMillan.

Haralambos, M. (1995). Sociology: Themes and Perspectives, 3rd edition. London: Bell and Hyman.

Harrison, M. (1995). Grounds for divorce. Family Matters. No 42 pp 34-35.

Johnson, V. (1981). The Last Resort: A Women's Refuge. Ringwood: Penguin.

Kilmartin, C. (1997). Children divorce and one-parent families. Family Matters. No. 48. ( Available online Opens in a new window)

McDonald, P. (1993). Family Trends and Structure in Australia. Australian Family Briefings No 3. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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