The following text is taken, and edited for brevity’s sake and to a small degree for readability’s sake, from the online article “Writing references”, published on the site of Norges Handelshøyskole.

The original article contains much more and more detailed information and we suggest you study it for a deeper understanding of how to write proper references for your readers.


The purpose of writing proper references is that the reader, without difficulty, should be able to retrieve the referred documents. If you refer to a part of a larger work, you have to refer it in a way that it enables the reader to locate the exact spot where the reference/quote is taken from.

The source has to be referred both as a simple reference in the actual text and in a seperate literature list at the end of the thesis. There are several ways of setting up a list of references. In the following  we are recomending a simple and straightforward version.

References in the text:

References written i the text should be a reference to the reference in the alphabetical reference list at the end of the thesis. In the reference in the text you write authors last name and year of publication in parenthesis.

If the book is written by two authors you include the last names of the two authors. If there are more than two authors, write the last name of the first author followed by “et al.”.

Examples of references in text:

… the relative value/price of a substitute compared to an industry’s product (Porter 1985)

Porter (1985) points out that segment interrelationships…

If you have two authors: (Hill and Jones 2001)

More than two authors: (Horngren et al. 2000)

Quotation: Porter (1985) so adequately puts it “Competitors are both a blessing and a curse.”

Examples of literature list.

Book when the entire book is used:

With one author:

Porter, Michael E. (1985): Competitive advantage: creating and sustaining superior performance. Free press, New York

With two authors:

Brealey, Richard A. og Stewart C. Myers (2003): Principles of Corporate Finance. 7th ed. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, Boston, Mass.

With more than two authors:

Copeland, Thomas E. et al.(2000): Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies. 3rd ed.  Wiley, New York.

With editors:

Global cases in benchmarking: best practices from organizations around the world (1998). Editor: Robert C. Camp. ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee, Wis.

Book when only one chapter of the book is used:

Singh, Darshan: Benchmarking on-the-job training (1998). (In: Global cases in benchmarking: best practices from organizations around the world . Editor: Robert C. Camp. ASQ Quality Press, Milwaukee, Wis., p. 357 – 370)

Book/booklet as part of a series:

Jenkins, Mark (1994): Discovering the implicit strategies of entrepreneurs. European institute for advanced studies i management,Brussels.(Working paper, 94-12)

Journal article:

Klepacki, Laura et al.(2003): Beauty in motion. (In: Women’s wear daily, vol. 186, no. 106, p. 16)

Main elements of internet citation:

  • Name of author
  • Document title
  • Title of work/series/journal
  • Date of publication or last update
  • URL in
  • Date of downloading in (parenthesis)

Homepage of an organization:

Financial Accounting Standards Board, <>(7 juli 2003)

Online discussion paper:

Bjorvatn, Kjetil og Tina Søreide. 2003. Corruption and market reform. NHH Department of economics Discussion paper 06/03 May. Bergen: Norges handelshøyskole. <> (3. juli 2003)

Online newspaper

Pizza at 3 a.m. The observer online 17.12.03 <>. (17. December 2003)


Van Slyke, David M, The Mythology of Privatization in Contracting for Social Services. Journal of Banking & Finance, vol. 27 nr. 5 (2003): 949. Business source premier,  EBSCO Host (9. juli 2003

Source: Norges Handelshøyskole, <> (2008)