Surely you know this situation: You are currently sitting in the last lecture of a seminar and look at the clock, because the lecture-free time is getting closer. Your lecturer thanks all the students for the great participation and gives the last hints for the housework. He talks about German and American quotes, and then sends you to the semester break. Of course you are thinking what that should be again.
You really do not have to be scared! If you have first dealt with the citation, you will quickly see through what you need to value. In particular, if you are already writing your work and using a variety of citation and rules, you will quickly know how to use quotes correctly and successfully.
The quotes – a science in itself
In a study there are many different sciences. Citation, too, is a science in itself. Many students are aware of the problem that faculties have different rules regarding citation. This requires that you first learn to understand the citation or formal guidelines of your faculty. First push the actual work and the literature search backwards and then clarify with your lecturer, whether you have understood the required citation.
Are you writing a scientific paper for the first time? Then you had to read the texts of other authors. This is particularly useful if you have to do a literature search. In doing so, you also have to accept thoughts of other authors and take different citation methods into account.
With regard to the literature, there are various possibilities to incorporate these into a scientific paper. Follow the rules of your faculty. Unless there are specific rules, it is best to focus on papers written by other students and they should have received a good grade.
Why do you have to quote?
First, the quote has the task of substantiating arguments or allegations. Furthermore, citations can be discussed or criticized, in addition, new scientific findings emerge on the basis of existing knowledge. That’s why you conduct a literature search. Citation honors pioneers in a particular field. Therefore, it is not allowed to simply copy citations and use them for your own work without naming the author. You have to rely on the work of other authors. But it can also be more often that you need to do previous work to confirm your own results or conclusions.
The function of quotes
You can categorize the functions of quotes as follows:
Conceptual or methodical quote: This quote has the task to refer to a theory. This can be an instrument or a physical method.
Necessary quote: This form of quote contributes to the understanding of a work. In comparison, one uses a formal quote to highlight the work of other authors.
Evolutionary quote. If a scientific paper is based on a quoted paper, then it is an evolutionary citation.
Rejecting quote. A refusal to quote has the goal of questioning the details of a work. The point is that a negative quote refers to work that is wrong or worthy of discussion
A direct or literal quote implies that you must reproduce the text to the letter. This means that you have to reproduce any spelling mistakes unchanged. Furthermore, you must always put a literal quote in quotation marks and thus make it recognizable. The introductory quotation mark must be below and the quotation-ending quotation marks must be at the top. Do you want to highlight certain phrases? So you should make emphasis bold or italic, but with emphasis sparingly.
An indirect quote is not an exact reproduction, but merely reflects the content of the role model. It is ideal for highlighting or summarizing several sentences or sections of meaning and is always inserted with a reference (Cf.) to the footnote.
German and American citation
Both citation methods can be used in a scientific work. The American system is called the Harvard system. Both systems differ with regard to the positioning of the source. In the German citation system, the source is inserted as a footnote while the quotation is placed directly in the text in the American citation method. However, the fact is that the American style of citation is increasingly prevailing among us and of course you should ask the supervisor which citation you are allowed to use.
Which citation system can you use?
If you use the American citation method, you should expect that the work at first glance seems a little confusing and less reader-friendly. On the other hand, the use of the American citation system is much easier. Because you do not have to use footnotes. Furthermore, the bibliographic information can only be listed in the bibliography.
You should always keep in mind that both citation methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Which citation methods you decide on is up to you. Of course, this requires that your lecturer or mentor give you free choice. After all, you should keep your chosen method throughout the work and not constantly switch between German and American citation. Take a closer look at the citation methods.
Rules for citation
There are many different rules for citation. When you do a housework, term paper, or thesis for the first time, keeping track of things can be quite difficult. You can ease the work. The following are the most important rules:
The purpose of the quote must be preserved
The requirements for a correct quote are strict. You must quote so that the meaning of the quote is preserved.
No change in the linguistic form of the quote
You are not allowed to change the wording of the quote. Furthermore, you can not add or remove anything from a quote. This rule is very strict and implies that you can not even correct spelling errors in a quote.
Quote has to be taken off the unquoted text
Mark the quote with a double quote. The quote is marked with a first quote, which is located below. The quote is marked with a second quote, which is located at the top.
The linguistic form can be changed if the meaning is preserved
This rule is also obvious, meaning that you can rewrite the quote in your own words, unless the meaning of the quote is changed.
Quotations are literal representations of the cited. Paraphrases, on the other hand, are analogous representations of quotations or content in your own words. You are suitable if you have to summarize longer passages of text. Again, there are some rules that must be followed:
The meaning of a paraphrase must be maintained
A paraphrase does not have to be indicated by a quotation mark. Furthermore, your paraphrase may contain only statements that you take from the paraphrased text. Of course it is allowed to reproduce the text in your own words, but only the statements have to be preserved.
A paraphrase does not need quotes
A paraphrase can be understood as an indirect speech. You give analogously what you have read in a section of the text without the statement being literal. This leads to another important rule: A paraphrase is always in the subjunctive.
Wording must be changed in the paraphrased
This also implies that a paraphrase is not just a quote, but a meaningful rendering. Therefore, the quotation marks can be omitted and the wording must be changed in a paraphrase.
When citing there are many different rules to follow. The fact is, you have to abide by the rules, otherwise you would not express respect for older works. Proper citation allows you to respectfully deal with earlier works or works of other authors. There are numerous scientific papers. They are from authors who were pioneers within a particular area of research. With the right citation you make sure that you do not simply copy important passages of text and build into your own work. At the same time, you respect and protect the intellectual property of other authors. Of course, it can not be avoided that the right citation can cause some headaches, but you can be reassured. You are not alone. And many other students are just like you. With the mentioned rules in this report you should get a good overview and lose the fear of writing your scientific work.