12 Recommendations to Help you Submit a Conventional and Acceptable Paper Tip 9: Creating acceptable footnotes, endnotes, references and bibliographies 12個獲得學術認可的論文撰寫技巧之九:善用註腳、附註、參考文獻以及書目

The community of scholars has rules that govern how dissertations, theses and other academic papers are composed and formatted. Academic convention has established what is acceptable and what is not. Following is one of 12 recommendations to help you submit a conventional and acceptable paper.

Tip 9–Creating acceptable footnotes, endnotes, references and bibliographies

The paper is written! Take a bow. A break is deserved after all the work of researching, outlining, and writing a scholarly composition. However, even though pre-writing and writing stages of the paper are complete, the post-writing phase is just beginning. Like the finishing stage of any creative work, post-writing can, through carelessness, spoil all that preceded it.

Several final-stage tasks must be satisfactorily undertaken if a paper is to win acceptance. The first of these is the formal attribution of source material to authors and other purveyors. Full credit is given to discoverers of truth, or anyone else whose earlier work enhances a paper, through sequential annotations. These include footnotes, endnotes and bibliographies.

Before beginning writing, a writer should have determined the format required by the assigning professor, e.g. Modern Language Association (MLA), American Psychological Association (APA), or Chicago Style. While several styles are acceptable, they differ in their details. Whichever style is assigned, a writer is expected to work consistently within its framework.

Each format explains how a writer is to signal the presence of related information in a secondary location. The signaling methods vary. A notation might be parenthetical, or a subscript, or a superscript, and might direct a reader to a footnote, or an endnote. These and other variables in annotation style have to be mastered to avoid confusing a reader or frustrating a professor.

Bibliographical citations also are tightly structured. For example, while an endnote generally is one sentence long, a bibliographical entry often is expected to be three sentences. Furthermore, the familiar Latin abbreviation “ibid”—used to represent a citation identical to one preceding it—no longer is universally acceptable. Familiarity with usages and formats is a key to success.

Tightly linking the content of a paper to cited and perused sources is a crucial task, but not a creative one. No imagination is needed. It is a mechanical overlay, a by-the-book consolidation of disparate references and sources that systematically unites the paper. An academic paper with regimented citations earns the paper authority and earns its writer legitimacy as a scholar.

Posted at 2011-04-28 14:50:42

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