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More help with dates

For writers of footnotes

If you do academic writing, then you’ll find this article interesting: When a Rose Isn't 'Arose' Isn't Arroz: A Student Guide to Footnoting for Informational Clarity and Scholarly Discourse, by Prof. William B.T. Mock, Jr. Professor Mock describes three kinds of footnotes serving three different purposes:

  • Reference footnotes, citing the authorities supporting the text.
  • Factual footnotes, providing background facts that the reader may not know.
  • Idea footnotes, placing the writer’s arguments, opinions, and analyses in a broader scholarly context.

He then describes the proper use of each kind of footnote and gives pointers for writing them.

In a footnote near the end of the article, he gives a valuable pointer that every legal researcher will find useful: When photocopying something from a book or a treatise, always photocopy the title page, both front and back.1 Later, the photocopied title page will give you all the information you need to cite the work, saving you a trip back to the library for that information.
1 If you want to save a fraction of a tree (a twig perhaps), photocopy just the front of the title page, and write on the photocopy the most recent copyright date from the back of the title page.


Greg May

I hope he followed his own advice in putting that tip in a footnote!

Another tree-saving (and money-saving) tip: rather than copying one page to each sheet of paper, make use of the reducing capability of a copy machine to copy both facing pages from a publication onto the same 8-1/2 by 11 sheet of paper, provided (1) you can get the faces flat enough against the glass without damaging the binding; and (2) your eyes are good enough to read the reduced size type.

Er . . . "faces" should be "facing pages." How about a nice post about proofreading?

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