S210 Second-Year Spanish Composition F. Jehle


Quotations and citing sources in papers


  1. Introduction. Term papers are writing and intellectual exercises, designed to let you demonstrate in written form your mental abilities, primarily those involving analysis and synthesis. It bears repeating that you are expected to give your thoughts and work, although of course you often need to cite other sources. When you incorporate in your papers ideas or words which did not originate with you but rather with someone else, you must give due credit to the original author; this also enables the reader to find that information if so desired. Failure to identify literary and intellectual “borrowings” constitutes plagiarism, which is basically passing off as your own the actual words or even the thoughts of someone else, which is intellectual or literary theft.

  2. When to site your source. You must cite your sources in term papers when:

    1. You use another person's actual words. In this case you also must use quotation marks around the quoted part. Do not change the person's words, except to capitalize the first word or to omit part of the quote. To indicate omitted words, use an elipsis, that is, three periods (...); to to add or to indicate slightly changed letters or words, use brackets.

      Según Ambrose, “Lori E. Miodus ha escrito un buen cuento, lleno [de] ... la esperanza de una persona muy valiente”.

    2. You paraphrase another person's words, that is, express his or her ideas in other words (or translate them into another language); in this case quotation marks are generally not needed, but some type of reference is obligatory.

    Exception. Ordinarily you do not have to indicate your source if you are giving information that is commonly known, such as information found in virtually any dictionary or common reference work. Examples would normally include the birth/death dates of a known author or the names of works he/she published.

    Translation of a title or quote. If you feel that it would benefit the readers of your work if you translated into Spanish a title or quote you have given in another language, here are some recommendations:

    1. Include your translation in parentheses after the quotation or in a footnote, and

    2. Make sure that the readers know that the translation is yours. In English the typical way would be to use the phrase “Translation mine”; in Spanish we could use the phrase “Traducción mía.” For example:

      La más famosa de las obras de Rodríguez es Short Stories about My Chicano Friends (Cuentos cortos sobre mis amigos chicanos, traducción mía).

  3. How to cite sources. To give the source of the quote or idea you are encouraged to use the simpler form, often found in scientific and technical writing, where the information is given in simplified form in the text itself or in parentheses after the reference, rather than in a separate footnote or endnote.1 One method for this is to use the author's last name —and if there is more than one work in your bibliography by this author, a short form of title or the date of publication— plus the page number(s). Of course, full information on the work is given in the bibliography, including the author's full name, full title of the work, and the date and place of publication.  [Please note the following quotes are fictitious, used merely for the the sake of examples.]

    Example #1. If information about the author, the work involved and the page number is included in the text itself, nothing else is needed:

    En la página cinco de “Análisis de ‘El mareo’”, McGowen afirma que “Este cuento representa ...”.

    Example #2. Only one study by the author is given in the bibliography, and the author's name is indicated in the text itself: put the page number of the work in parentheses after the reference or quote:

    En uno de estos cuentos hay un hombre llamado Ali que según Mirza “sin duda alguna representa ...” (14). [That is, page 14 of the work written by Mirza which is listed in the bibliography.]

    Example #3. Only one study by the author is given in the bibliography and the author's name is not mentioned in the text: include the author's name and the page number in parentheses after the reference or quote:

    Se ha dicho que este ensayo de Haney-Russell describe “los problemas que enfrenta a una mujer que está confusa sobre el amor.” (Smith 125). [That is, page 125 of the work written by Smith which is listed in the bibliography.]

    Example #4. The author's name is given in the text, but not the title of the work, and more than one work by this author is listed in the bibliography. For example, this individual is listed as having written both “La barca vieja” and ¡Buen Viaje!: Cuatro cuentos cortos nuevos. Put a short form of the title involved plus the page number in parentheses after the reference:

    En su prólogo Metzger insiste en que hay “aspectos universales” en cuanto a las situaciones pintadas en la literatura contemporánea (Viaje viii).

    Example #5. More than one work by the author is listed in the bibliography by this person, in this case two stories entitled “La vida importante” and “Subiendo pirámides”, but the the text does not indicate either the author or the work (include in parentheses the author's last name, a short form of the title of the work, and the page number):

    La autora misma ha comentado la importancia de la familia en sus obras (Miller, “Vida” 4).

  4. Include quotes! For practice in using documentation of this sort, use at least two quotes in the analysis part of the “term paper” project. You may use the quotes prepared for the course, or isolated parts of them . If you use any of them, include the source given in that document2 in your subsequent bibliography. Naturally, you don't have to agree with the quote; feel free to contradict it if you wish.

         1 Footnotes —notes at the bottom of the page where the citation occurs— or endnotes —notes at the end of the document— are still used in academic articles and papers, but now are usually reserved for additional information.  For more example, see the MLA style which we will follow. [Other stylesheets are used for the preparation of scholarly papers, such as the Chicago and the APA (American Psychological Association) styles.]

         2 That is: 1) there is supposedly a book named, Espejos: Comentarios sobre diecinueve cuentos contemporáneos; 2) the editor of the work is Fred F. Jehle; 3) the book is supposedly published by the IPFW Fictitious Press in Fort Wayne, Indiana; 4) the publication date is listed as 2003; 4) page numbers are as listed in the web document.


Contact: Fred F. Jehle

Home: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/

Indiana University - Purdue University Ft. Wayne

S210 Main Page

Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499 USA

URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/jehle/courses/footnote.htm