How to cite a quote

Notes/appendices

  • Limit the use of footnotes.
  • Footnotes should be used to provide additional information that is not a natural part of the text. In other words, for information that is not essential for understanding your text.
  • You can decide to use either footnotes (which go at the bottom of the page) or endnotes (at the end of each chapter or at the end of the text as a whole). If you decide to use footnotes, it is good practice to use a small font to distinguish them from the main text.
  • Be careful not to confuse references to your list of reference with the references to footnotes or endnotes.
  • Precisely how you indicate references to footnotes or endnotes will often depend on the reference style you use. For example, if you use numbered references, it is not a good idea to use numbers to refer to footnotes.
  • Appendices can contain lists of items such as tables and figures included in your dissertation, questionnaires, observation forms, interview guidelines and so on. Appendices should be numbered and placed after the list of references.

Distortion of the original meaning

Even when you are quoting a text correctly (citing the source/indicating the presence of a quotation), be careful not to take the quotation out of its original context. Apart from ethical considerations, you will risk violating the Copyright Act, as Section 25 of the Act provides, among other things, that the character of a work must not be changed or degraded. Be careful not to distort the original meanings of texts when you are assembling arguments put forward by different authors. For example, be careful when shortening quotations and do not omit references to conflicting data or arguments.

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EXERCISE

Read and compare the text in the boxes

  • Reflect on how the citation which is done conflicts with discipline methodology and the Intellectual Property Act.

Bittersøtt (Bittersweet) by Willy Pedersen is based on a qualitative research project containing interview materials on youth’s views on smoking hashish:

– How do you experience smoking hashish?– it is fucking good. Fun. You enter yourself and become one with everything. Everything is cool. Fantasy, dreams and all sorts of interesting stuff. You get fucking hungry. Eating kick. And the fits of laughter.– You also seem a bit sceptical to smoking hashish?– Problem is that you get a fucking bad emotional life from being on the road. You never cry. You almost never feel sad. If you are with a girl and she dumps you, you think: What the hell?

In the chapter På kjøret in Historien om Norge V (The history of Norway V) by Karsten Alnes, this content is represented like this:

Why did they smoke hashish?« It is fucking good. Fun. You enter yourself and become one with everything. Everything is cool. Fantasy, dreams and all sorts of interesting stuff. You get fucking hungry. Eating kick. And the fits of laughter.You never cry. You almost never feel sad. If you are with a girl and she dumps you, you think: What the hell?’»

For a more elaborate analysis, see Rognstad, Nagel, Laupsa & Tønnesson (2006) God skikk – Om bruk av litteratur og kilder i allmene, historiske framstillinger (p.120). (In Norwegian only.)

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Last updated: October 12, 2018

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