Public Services and Procurement Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Institutional Links


Important notice

Good news! We have updated our writing tools. Writing Tips and The Canadian Style have been combined to create a new tool called Writing Tips Plus.

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks. Within a few weeks, Writing Tips will no longer be available.

To begin your search, go to the alphabetical index below and click on the first letter of the word you are searching for.

bibliographies: secondary source citations

When referring to a work that has been cited within another, list as the first component of your entry the work that is the focus of your text: either the work that has been quoted or the work in which it is quoted.

The first-mentioned work, or primary reference, should be listed in the standard fashion.

For the second document, or secondary source, the bibliographic data should be separated by commas instead of the usual periods. If the secondary source is a book, enclose the publication data in parentheses:

  • Burns, Robert. Epistle to a Young Friend. 1786. Quoted in Robertson Davies, The Deptford Trilogy: The Manticore (Toronto: Macmillan, 1987).


  • Davies, Robertson. The Deptford Trilogy: The Manticore. Toronto: Macmillan, 1987. Quoting Robert Burns, Epistle to a Young Friend, 1786.