How to cite -- IMPORTANT! : LUSENET : 6805-team-6 : One Thread

As you may remember, I am going to do the subciting for our whitepaper -- that is, I will be editing it for proper citation reference format. To ensure that everything goes smoothly in the end when we merge our separate sections, here is a suggested operating procedure for everyone to use when writing their separate sections.


When writing your section, make sure you notate the reference for every fact, quotation, or assertion that you got from another source. Sentences get mixed up as you write and edit, and it is very difficult in the end to remember where a particular quote came from. Thus, I would be very anal about keeping a reference notation with EVERY sentence.

Ben, Lauren, and I discussed the best way to do this from the standpoints of web posting, style editing, and technical editing. We think that the easiest and best way to do this is as follows. PLEASE follow the directions below.

First, keep a separate list of sources. You can number these sources and refer to them in the text of your section by their numbers. If you do this, use your initials and then the number (e.g. MH-1, MH-2, etc.) so that when we intermix our sections, we know whose list to look at. I will need the following information for each source:

BOOKS -- author(s), title, year, page on which the cited material appears. SMALLER WORKS WITHIN A BOOK (e.g. an essay from a collection of essays) -- author(s) of smaller work, title of smaller work, editor(s) of book, title of book, page on which the smaller work begins, page on which the cited material appears, year. JOURNAL ARTICLE -- author(s), title of article, name of journal, volume number, year, page on which the cited material appears. NEWSPAPER OR MAGAZINE ARTICLE -- author(s), title of article, name of newspaper or magazine, date as it appears on the publication (e.g. September 17, 1984), page on which cited material appears. WEB PAGE -- URL, title of web page, date last modified (or if not available, date you accessed it). STATUTES -- Legislative body that passed it (e.g. what state -- if it's Congress, it's just U.S.C.), section and/or chapter number, date. CASES -- FULL CASE TITLE, FULL CITATION, name of court, year it was DECIDED (never mind when it was argued or filed), page number on which cited material appears. E.g., John H. Doe and Doe Tires, Incorporated v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 248 Mass. 67, 98, 83 N.E.2d 103, 130, Mass. Supreme Judicial Court, 1997. Note that in this example, there are two reporters cited: Mass. and N.E.2d. In the Mass. reporter, the case starts on page 67 and the cited material is on page 98. In the N.E.2d reporter, the case starts on page 103 and the cited material appears on page 130. Not all of this information is needed for every single type of case, but it's easier for me to get everything from you and use what's needed, rather than teaching you what is needed and having you do it. Note also that if you are citing from something other than the majority opinion (for example, if you are citing from a dissenting opinion or a concurring opinion), I also need the name of the judge that wrote that dissent or concurrence. Finally, if your case is online (from Westlaw or Lexis-Nexis) but is not published in a regular reporter, indicate the database in which you found it (e.g. ALLFEDS, GENFED, SUPCT-ALL, etc.), the special Westlaw or Lexis number (e.g. 98 WL 283718), and the exact date, month, and year of the decision. If you use a source material that is not on this list, notify me and I will tell you what information I need for it.


Putting all of the above information together, the easiest way to cite in your text is probably to list, in parenthesis following the relevant material, the number of the source (as listed on your bibliography page), followed by the specific page number where the cited material appears (if appropriate). For example, a sentence in your text might look like this:

As Shakespeare once said, "First, let's kill all the lawyers." (*MH-29, page 87*).

I would see this, look at your bibliography list for source number 29, and know that the quotation came from page 87 of that source.

So now you may be wondering, why are there asterisks immediately after the "(" and immediately before the ")" ? That's because Ben is going to write a program that will search through your text (once you are done all your writing and editing), collect all the citations (which will be identified by the special parenthesis-asterisk markers), compile them, and number them consecutively. This will make it much easier for Lauren to read the text as she does her stylistic review, and it will make it much easier for me to check the citations, and it will make it much easier for us all to consecutively number our footnotes/endnotes once we intersplice all the sections.


Checking everyone's citations and putting them in proper Bluebook format is going to be a very large task. I want to do it properly and I estimate that for a 100-page paper it will take me 2 days. That means that all the writers should be COMPLETELY DONE with their writing by December 8, so that Lauren and I will have time to proofread and edit the beast. This is an extremely important part of the process, and we should not give it short shrift.

If you have questions or comments about any of the above, please ask it ASAP. There may be something we forgot about, or we may be able to make that proverbial stitch in time. Otherwise, happy writing!

- Michelle.

-- Anonymous, November 23, 1998

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