PhD Theses or Dissertations: Footnotes-Notes for Documentation

PhD Theses or Dissertations: Footnotes-Notes for Documentation | Tips on How to Write a Thesis or Dissertation
Providing references via footnotes or endnotes is a very different style of documentation than the author–date and numerical referencing systems. The use of notes for the primary purpose of recording citations is now almost exclusively restricted to the humanities, where its capacity for accommodating a wide variety of sources is particularly appropriate. The Chicago Manual of Style’s Notes and Bibliography method is a commonly used system, so I use it for my examples here.
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When references are provided in footnotes or endnotes, the notes generally include complete bibliographical information when sources are first cited, and shorter versions of the references (usually author surnames and shortened titles) for all subsequent citations of the same sources. Following the Chicago style of referencing within notes, the citation for a first and therefore full reference to a chapter within a book, including a page number for direct quotation, would take this form (with the titles of both the book and the Tales in italic font, though that font does not show up here):

1 Phillipa Hardman, “Presenting the Text: Pictorial Tradition in Fifteenth-Century Manuscripts of the Canterbury Tales,” in Chaucer Illustrated: Five Hundred Years of the Canterbury Tales in Pictures, ed. William K. Finley and Joseph Rosenblum (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2003), 38.

Subsequent footnote or endnote references for the same source and page number would appear in this form:

2 Hardman, “Presenting the Text,” 38.

If more than one reference appears in a single footnote, the individual references are usually arranged in alphabetical order according to author surnames (although different arrangements are possible in order to place a quoted source first, for instance, or prioritise a certain source), and the individual references are normally separated by semicolons whether they are complete or shortened citations:

3 Hardman, “Presenting the Text,” 69; Hilmo, “Power of Images,” 158; Kerby-Fulton, “Professional Readers,” 223; Olson, “Romancing the Book,” 102.

With this style of documentation, a list of references is not strictly necessary because virtually all of the bibliographical information required to find sources has already been provided in the notes, with the single exception of full page ranges for chapters or articles. This missing element is therefore sometimes added at the end of the complete in-note reference to a source and followed (if necessary) by the particular page on which a quotation is found, so the full first reference I include above would end with ‘37–72, at 38’ if no bibliography were provided in a document.

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