Thesis Writing guide

The notes and quotations in a thesis, a necessary element in a scientific work, often constitute a problem of no small importance for those who have not yet had the opportunity to write a text. For this reason, when you find yourself writing the thesis you will have to be very careful about how to do it in the most correct way.

During the writing of the thesis you could in fact realize that some indications could excessively burden the text or you could have the need to explain to the reader some details about what he is reading, necessary details but that would occupy too much space in the text, distracting the reader’s attention from the focus of the speech. The solution to these problems are notes and citations. In this post we will deepen their use.

How to make notes

The first fundamental characteristic, to keep in mind when we are going to standardize the layout of the thesis, is that the notes must be homogeneous in terms of style, character and font size. Usually for the latter 1 or 2 points less than the text are used (note 10 if the text is 12) to make sure that the eye is not bothered by the presence of notes at the bottom of the page and does not confuse them with the text you are reading.

Types of notes: bibliographic notes and comment notes
There are different types of notes. Before using one, you need to know what it is. Let’s see together what it means bibliographic notes and comment notes.

The bibliographic notes

The bibliographic notes are used to indicate a book or an article which is spoken of in the text or from which a quotation is derived. The best point (but not the only one) in which to insert the note is after the surname of the author, as in this example:

This we can say thanks to the contribution of Mario Rossi², published posthumously in January 2018, very relevant for the evolution of the sector.
In this case, in the note it is necessary to insert the author, the title of the work, the city of publication, the publisher, the year of publication and the pages from which the cited information was taken:

Rossi M. How to cure the notes of a book, Rome, WeCanJob Editore, 2018.
A suggestion could be to report correctly the works in the note right away, so as to find yourself at an advantage when editing and editing the bibliography.

When in the quotations we have to repeat the same indications several times, we can use these Latin formulas:

  • ibidem (or ibid.) = in the same place (for a quote identical to the one in the previous note)
  • ivi = in the same place (for a quote identical to the one in the previous note, but with different page numbers)
  • op. cit. = in the aforementioned work (to cite a work already mentioned, although not in the previous note)
  • cit. = as mentioned above (for a work already mentioned whose title must be repeated)
  • idem (or id.) = the same author
  • The comment notes
  • The comment notes are used to add some observations or clarifications that would excessively burden the text, or that could break the thread of the speech. Some examples can be:
  • Data referring to the second half of 2017
  • The full text of the interview is available in the Appendix
  • How to make quotes
  • During the writing of the thesis, you may find yourself in the situation of having to quote a part of a text. How to avoid being accused of plagiarism? Nothing could be easier. Here are some strategies for your quotes:

In the case of a few lines you can use the quotation marks as in this example:

  • Rossi emphasizes that “the importance of the quotation in a text is equal to that of the text itself” and that “it is always important to insert in the note the source from which we took the quotation” ¬≥.
  • If the citation concerns several lines instead, it may be appropriate to separate the cited text, narrowing the margins and the character and reducing the line spacing to 1. When inserting the citations it may be useful to have recourse to the squares of omission they allow you to mention only the parts that interest you.