Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Write down the page number for that quote!

This is a note to myself as much as anything else.

Some minor points are major points.
We research, we read, and sometimes we find a quotation that we want to use. And so we copy that quote and go on about our business.

And at some point later down the line, we realize we need the page number for the quotation.

What boundless frustration! To have to find that book again; to have to wade through it all in search of that one, pesky quote.

When you copy down a quote, be sure also to copy the bibliographical information, especially the page number. Know what your sources are--not because it's an academic convention, but because that academic convention was developed because sometimes it's nice to be able to go back and look again at that source for a deeper understanding. And because your readers might also like to explore the ideas more fully.

Maybe the principle here is just to make sure that you record the sources you use so that you can more effectively draw from them in the future. Also it's good for your karma to give credit where it is due. Well, it is if there is such thing as karma.

No comments: