Footnotes? Don’t panic: keep calm and read the article

“In the midst of the journey of our life, I found myself in a dark forest, because the straight way was lost.” Then, like a mirage, I met … the footnotes!

In the dark forest of notes: orient yourself thanks to the priority of information

The first thing to keep in mind is that the information contained in the notes is not a priority. In fact, they have the task of adding additional explanations with respect to the main topic of the speech.

The reader can therefore reassure himself and dedicate himself freely to reading the sentence or paragraph from beginning to end, without interrupting uselessly and thus risking losing the thread of the conversation.

Once this great truth is metabolised, we have therefore dispelled a myth: one can expect to get to the point of absorbing the information contained in the note!

The 3 types of notes: at the foot of the page, at the end of the chapter, at the end of the book

The world of Notes is a real universe: much larger by type of what one believes but also less difficult to manage than one imagines!

Terms like “See”, “Vd.”, “Ibidem”, “Ivi” fill the pages of our thesis: but are we sure we know and master its meaning? Don’t panic! With this simple overview we will be able to convey the information in the correct way and communicate to the reader exactly what he needs to know.

To understand where to place the note, we need to evaluate what it is used for, that is, to understand what its main function is.

Footnote: immediately visible by the reader, contains essential bibliographical references, brief observations or clarifications useful for the immediate comprehension of the text.

Note at the end of the chapter: positioned at this point, it makes the reader understand that it contains information to be deepened in a more specific way; it can in fact contain further bibliographical references.

Note at the end of the book: it is appropriate to place in this area those notes containing thematic observations with ample evidence, which can be supplemented with in-depth analyzes in the appendix.

The bibliographic notes

They must contain the following elements, entered respectively with this order:

  • Initial episode of the author’s name
  • Full name of the author
  • Title of the work written in italics
  • Edition – or city, publisher and year of publication
  • Pages where to find the reported step

The style of the notes: numeric exponent or number in brackets?

Unbelievable but true, the concept does not change! There is no rule in this sense, the important thing is:

  • keep a progressive numbering which is zeroed at the beginning of each new chapter
  • format the text of the note so that it has a smaller body – at least one point – than the main content
  • structure the paragraph of the note so that it does not contain paragraphs
  • If you need writing tips, you can read our article on How to write the thesis: body and chapters.
  • To have other useful suggestions for the writing of the thesis, take a look at our Degree Thesis Guide section.

Good job!

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