In the last few years, many a newspaper headline turned to the correct handling of sources in scientific papers. One or the other politician had not taken it so seriously with the labeling of sources and citations. The result: The work was subsequently classified by the university as a plagiarism and promptly there were a few doctoral degrees less in Germany. Quoting right you will achieve if you pay attention to the following.
Quote and write academically
An academic work can not do without reference to foreign sources. It is almost the duty of a scientist to sift through all the sources and theses on a subject, to agree with them, to develop them or refute them. More than a hundred footnotes in a master’s thesis or dissertation are therefore not uncommon. They are not a sign of laziness, but characterize the author as a dedicated researcher. But the highest duty is a clean handling of foreign ideas and verbatim quotes. Every little direct or indirect quote must be marked.
Citation is the tool of the scientist
Imagine science abandoning quotes altogether. Everyone would simply write a work on a topic, regardless of what others have already published on the same topic. What would that mean for research in Germany? Right. She would stagnate. The research lives on the fact that ideas and thoughts are taken up again and again, checked and further developed. A breakthrough in a particular field of research often succeeds only after years and numerous publications.
The same applies to aspiring scientists – from Bachelor to Master students. In your academic work, you’re showing meaningful quotes that have dealt with the ideas of others. You can refute or use foreign theses to strengthen your own position. But you must never sell them as your own achievements by not identifying them as a foreign source.
A so-called plagiarism has consequences – not only with politicians. These are sometimes much more drastic than just a “poor” or “insufficient” to the criticized housework or thesis. Some universities exclude copiers from further examinations or even impose a fine.
Direct and indirect quote: So you quote right
Now that you know how important correct citation is, you’ll learn to apply it now. When citing a distinction between direct and indirect quotes.
In a direct quote, a sentence or paragraph is taken literally from the source. It is marked by quotation marks at the beginning of the sentence and at the end of the sentence. You can omit parts of a direct quote in which you mark the omission with.
But you must make sure that you do not change the meaning of the sentence by omitting a word or phrase. When direct quote even spelling mistakes are taken. To avoid being blamed, you must mark them with a [sic] behind the word in question. At the end of the direct quote there is a footnote that specifically names the cited source in the form of a bibliography.
An indirect quotation reflects the content of a foreign source in its own words. It is often initiated by an indirect speech in the subjunctive, for example: Müller writes in his essay, correct citation is one of the basic skills of any scientist. Even after the indirect quotation, the footnote refers to the complete bibliography at the end. The difference to the direct speech is that here the indication of the footnote begins with a “cf.”.
Reference: It depends on the right form
There are also certain rules for specifying the source within the footnote and in the bibliography. Each source must be unique. Accordingly, you must design the bibliography. It is also important that you build up the references in your work always the same, so you can quote books and articles in magazines correctly:
Book: Surname Author, first name Author: Title of the book, place of publication of the book, year of publication of the book, page number Journal article: Last name Author, first name Author: Title of the journal article, in: Title of the journal, issue number, year, page number Online sources: Correctly quote from the internet.
Be careful when citing sources from the internet. Here you will find only some serious and credible content. So you should carefully check the source and author of the source. At the same time, difficulties often arise when citing Internet sources. Not only that, the content in the World Wide Web are constantly changing, often the author and editor of an article can not be traced. Nevertheless, standards have also prevailed in the citation way here:
Internet sources: last name of the author, first name of the author: title of the entry, place, creation date or year of the last update, URL, date of access. As the access date, you always enter the date on which you last accessed the website. Often you will not find any information on the Internet about the title, author, date of origin or the author. Such sources no longer correspond to the scientific standard and should not be cited by you.
The American Way: Quoting after the Harvard system While in Germany sources are packaged in footnotes, in English-speaking countries the so-called Harvard citation is common. The Harvard citation technique is now also appearing at German universities. Especially in social science subjects, it is increasingly establishing itself as the citation method of first choice. The Harvard system omits footnotes and inserts references in shorthand directly after the citation.
The so-called “Harvard quotation method” is now no longer unknown at German universities. (Last name of author Year of publication: page number) The specification of author, year of publication and page number in brackets is called a short document. The complete bibliography can only be found in the bibliography at the end of your scientific work.
Both citation methods have advantages and disadvantages. You need to ask your supervisor what citation he prefers. When citing footnotes, the text remains clearer and easier to read. But creating and managing footnotes means more effort for the author. Of course, once you have chosen a citation method, you have to keep it for the whole work.