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Footnotes and Notes

Important Features and Elements of Academic Texts


Citations play an important role in academic texts. They are used to demonstrate the familiarity of the citing author with the field of investigation, to provide support for his/her research claims or criticism. Also, by describing what has already been done in the field, citations point the way to what has not been done and thus prepare a space for new research (Swales, 1990: 181).

Giving credit to cited sources is called d o c u m e n t a t I o n. There are two main methods of documenting. The first one, numeric, involves putting a number near the reference (usually in square brackets), e. g.: In [5] the authors give an interesting numerical account of the advantages and disadvantages of the BV-formulation for the image restoration problem.

The full reference is given then in the bibliography at the end of the text— in numerical sequence, or as a footnote at the bottom of the page.

The second procedure of documenting, which is probably more popular, consists in putting a short reference in the text itself. Normally, it includes the authors (authors') last name(s) and the year of publication and page numbers in parentheses (separated/not separated by a comma or a colon), e.g.: (Osofisan 1986, 786-7), or (Chan 1993: 31). If a reference is made to the whole work, the page numbers are usually not given: (Durning, 1990). If several authors are simultaneously cited, their names are separated in parentheses by a semicolon: (Edwards, 1992; Schujdiner, 1995). Sometimes, an ampersand (&) is used in place of and between the names of two authors, e.g.: (Sudhof & Jahn, 1991). If a reference is made to a paper written by more than two authors, it is possible to give the name of the first author followed by the Latin abbreviation et al.: (Liu et al., 1992; Erickson et al., 1992). As in the first case, the full references are given in the bibliography at the end of the text. However, referencing formats vary across disciplines, and it is advisable to check the journals in the areas of research interest, which usually follow certain style sheets.

Failure to provide the appropriate documentation may lead to the accusation of plagiarism. Plagiarism is conscious copying from the work of others. In Anglo-American academic culture, plagiarism is treated as a serious offense. Sometimes, however, it is possible to borrow some information or phrases unintentionally, although this is not treated as a valid excuse. Always provide references to the sources you use or mention in your research!

The words or phrases of other authors used (quoted) in academic writing are called

q u o t a t I o n s. Quotations may be direct or indirect. There are two basic ways of using direct quotations.

1. The author's words in quotation marks (double in American usage and single as in British) are incorporated into the text and separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma (or, if necessary, by a question mark, or an exclamation point). This is typical for short quotations.

In the words of Robert Moore, 'If humankind was created, as Genesis states, in the image of God, then our exploitative, battering and polluting behaviour towards nature is a corruption of our own status' (1990:107).

2. In case of longer quotations, the quotation is indented and quotation marks are often omitted, e.g.:

Drawing on classical sources (Chiera 1938; Kramer 1956; Oppenheim 1964),

Coulmas noted that:

More than 75% of the ... cuneiform inscriptions excavated in Mesopotamia are administrative and economic documents including legal documents, deeds of sale and purchase, contracts, concerning loans, adoption, marriage, wills, ledgers and memoranda of merchants, as well as census and tax returns.

(Coulmas 1989:73)

Quotations may be indirect, that is integrated into the text as paraphrase (meaning restatement of the meaning in other words). In indirect quotations, page or chapter numbers are often given, e.g.:

In a more recent article, Pennington (1995:706) says that teacher change and development require an awareness of a need to change.

-Citations may focus either on information provided by the cited author or on the author himself/herself. In citations that highlight the information (information-prominent citations), the author's name and the date of publication are given in parentheses or a numeric reference is provided:

Although classical studies have suggested a single vesicular monoamine transporter in both the adrenal gland and the central nervous system (Henry and Scherman, 1989; Scherman, 1989), VMATl sequences do not appear in the brain.

In the citations with the emphasis on the cited author (author-prominent citations), the author's last name appears in the sentence followed by the publication date in parentheses.

Searle (1969) points out that every speech act has a proposiJonal content, and that proposition consists of acts of reference and acts of predication.

Hence, as suggested by Thibault (1989), heteroglossic tendencies do not exclude the creation and maintenance of monoglossic formations.

Author-prominent citations are frequently introduced with the verbs (called "reporting"), which may roughly be classified into the verbs referring primarily to the mental and physical processes that are part of research work, and the verbs referring to the mental processes which are expressed in the text (Thompson and Yiyun, 1991). For example:

Writing difficulties of overseas students were explored by Bloor and Bloor


Samuel Hays (1987) assumes that conservation gave way to environment after the Second World War as aesthetic and amenity values increased in relation to those of materials or commodities.

Below are appropriate lists of reporting verbs that you may find helpful.

Table 1. Major Reporting Verbs

Note that some of the reporting verbs have an evaluative meaning.

Analyze, affirm, describe, allege, discover, argue, examine, assert, explain, assume, explore, believe find out claim, investigate, contend, revise, imply, study, presume

Exercise. Decide which reporting verbs in the sentences below have an evaluative meaning (some of them are not included into Table 1 ). Consult the dictionary if necessary.

1. In her chapter "Tense and Aspect in Context" K. Bardovi-Harlig advocates using authentic texts to teach tense and aspect.

2. Aldo Leopold claims that no important change in ethics was ever accomplished without an internal change in our affections and convictions.

3. Aceves (1999) discusses the dynamics of pulses in optical fibers.

4. Following the French linguist Guillaume, they argue that deep unifying principles, or core values, govern surface realizations of grammatical markers.

5. The author shows how functional grammar approaches are useful not only in teaching grammar per se but in teaching other skills such as reading and writing.

6. Akil (1995) alleges that a closer analogy to the brain function is a symphony.

7. Evans (2000) asserts that the child appears to develop both naturalistic and intentional beliefs about the origins of life.

8. Seasholtz (1995) presumes that experiments are needed to determine when and where the binding protein is expressed and what regulates binding protein levels.

9. Christie (1996) analyzes pedagogic discourse and its significance for a culture.

10. Hatta & Taya (1987) contend that critical parameters influencing the thermal stress field are the thermal expansion coefficients of the fiber and coating.

11. In this brochure, A.V. Petrov describes brightly fluorescent minerals and their major features.


The ways of citing are quite diverse. However, several distinct patterns of using citations have already been identified. Thus, according to Swales and Peak (1994: 182-183), at least two-thirds of all citations fall into one of these three major patterns.

1. Citations with a cited author as an agent (a person who acts) of research activity. Reporting verbs in such citations are often in the past tense, e.g.:

Kotre (1995) studied the psychological research on autobiographical memory and then re-examined the life stories he had recorded over the years.

The distribution of the seal in the Arctic Ocean was described by Wesley (1989).

However, if a cited source is important, the so-called "citational present" may be used:

In "White Gloves: How We Create Ourselves Through Memory" (1995), Kotre explores the power of autobiographical memory.

Overall, tense options in this pattern depend on how close cited research is to a citing author's own investigation, opinion, or current state of knowledge. Compare:

T. Dickinson (1993) discussed a study of managers in large companies who claimed in interviews that they had equal chances for employment.

T. Dickinson (1993) has discussed a study of managers in large companies who claimed in interviews that they had equal chances for employment.

T. Dickinson (1993) discusses a. study of managers in large companies who claimed in interviews that they had equal chances for employment.

2. Citations with reference to the activity of a researcher/researchers. In this pattern, the present perfect tense is usually used:

Possibly, most of these division-specific proteins have now been identified [51, 52].

The view that writing is typically a socially situated act has been reinforced by the aims and experiences of the recent Writing across the Curriculum Movement (Young and Fulwiler, 1986).

3. Citations with no reference to the activity of a researcher/researchers. Here, the present tense is used:

Rapid-reading instruction has certain effects for second language learners (Anderson, 1983; Mahon, 1986).

Since all human variation in both health and disease is to some extent genetic, all diseases are therefore genetic (Edwards 1988).

These three patterns do not embrace all possible ways of citing. Below are some additional examples of various author-prominent citing strategies, which you may find useful for your writing.

According to Young (1996), depression can be thought of as a "natural" response to stress.

Depression can be thought of, as Young (1996) suggests, as a "natural" response to stress.

In employing in this context the term "depression," we refer especially to Young (1996) who treats depression as a "natural" response to stress.

Following Young (1996), we consider depression as a "natural" response to stress.

In this sense, we recall Young's approach to depression as a "natural" response to stress (Young, 1996).

In terms of Young (1996), depression is a "natural" response to stress.

In Young's words, depression is a "natural" response to stress (Young, 1996).

Drawing on a study of Young (1996), we raise die question of whether susceptibility to depression is tied to a "gene" that expresses itself as hormonal abnormalities seen in depressed people.

Young's research shows that depression is a "natural" response to stress (Young, 1996).

This research is based on Young's vision of depression as a "natural" response to stress (Young, 1996).

Depression as a "natural response" to stress is discussed in Young (1996)

.Exercise 2.Analyze the use of citations in the text by answering the following questions.

1. Which sentences contain direct quotations?

2. Which sentences contain indirect quotations?

3. Which type of quotation marks (British or American) are used in direct quotations?

4. Which sentences contain author-prominent citations?

5. Which sentences contain information-prominent citations?

6. Which sentences contain reporting verbs? Identify them in the sentences.

7. Which sentences follow the citing patterns suggested by Swales and Peak? What tenses (and why) are used in these sentences?8. Which sentence follows a different citing pattern?

'Different groups and societies at different times take up different positions and attitudes to nature and its various parts (Thomas, 1983). 2Roderick Nash (1989) in The Rights of Nature refers to the recent emergence of the idea that the human-nature relationship should be treated as a moral issue, and regards it as one of the major developments in recent intellectual history. 3Certainly, the role of morals, ethics and philosophy has become much more prominent in recent decades, especially since the plea by Aldo Leopold (1949) for a new 'land ethic' and the growth of the 'deep ecology' movement associated particularly with Arne Naess (e.g.,Naess, 1990;Devall, 1980). 4Indeed, Lester Milbrath (1985:162) has claimed that 'Americans are undergoing a profound transformation of their basic beliefs about the proper relationship between humans and their environment.'


Footnotes and Notes


Footnotes are put at the bottom of the page in a book or a journal. They are used to explain a word or other item, or to add some special information or a reference. End notes (or simply notes) appear at the end of the paper. They tend to be longer and more detailed than footnotes. Currently, most journals recommend to avoid footnotes and to use notes only.

A footnote or note is usually marked by a small number written above the word or item in the text. The explanation of the item has the same number. The explanations are numbered in numerical sequence. In footnotes, the first line of each entry is indented. For example:

The origins of theological tradition at the Kievan Academy date to the early years of the Bohojavlenske Brotherhood School founded in 1615'-

Footnotes and notes may also be marked by an asterisk if there are few of them Often, Latin abbreviations are used in footnotes and end notes.


Exercise3. Read through the footnotes and then answer the following questions.

'Chatman, S. Stylistics: Quantitative and Qualitative. In: Style, 1967, vol.1, p. 30.

2Ibid., p. 28.

3In PMLA, v. LXX, No. 5, p. 976.

4See Style in Language, ed. by Sebeok. New York, 1960, p. 427.

5In linguistics there are two terms now generally recognized and widely used—plane of expression and plane of content. These are synonymous to the concepts of form and content.

6Aristotle. Poetics. (Cit. from Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. Princeton, 1969, p. 628).


8Paltridge, E. Slang Today and Yesterday. London, 1935, p. 36.

9Cf. J. A. Richard's statement that "The ear ... grows tired of strict regularity, but delights in recognizing behind the variations the standard that still governs them" [Practical Criticism. London, 1948, p. 227].

'o Paltridge, E. Op. cit, p. 5.

1. What is the title of the work referred to in footnote 7? What is the title of the work referred to in footnote 2? Why is a page number added here 3? What is the title of the work referred to in footnote 105? Which footnote adds some special information to the item explained in the body of the text? Which footnote recommends additional literature on the item discussed in the main body of the text? Which footnote shows that a quotation is borrowed from another work?


Date: 2015-12-11; view: 845

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