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Footnotes, Abstracts & c[1].

Footnotes, Abstracts & c[1]. -...

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THE MECHANICS OF SCHOLARSHIP Dr. Richard Palmer At whatever level and whichever course you are studying (GCSE, AS, A2, IB) your chief  concern will be with the ‘real stuff’ of your assignment – the material, the argument, the  discoveries, the conclusions drawn, so forth. And rightly so. If that  core  is inadequate in  any way, no amount of tarting-up is going to disguise that fact; for that reason alone you  should delay focusing on presentational matters until you are solidly confident about  what you have drafted – which means towards the end of the entire process.  However, that is not to denigrate attractive and professional presentation. On the  contrary,   it   is   becoming   more   and   more   important   within   educational   assessment;  moreover, the IBO have recently observed that American students tend to be much better  in this area than their UK counterparts, and it is safe to assume that this probably applies  to non-IB students too.  As   its   title   advertises,   this   document   offers   a   guide   to   the   mechanics   of  scholarship: When foot-note references are required or advisable.  How they should be written. Choosing between foot-notes and end-notes. Citing website references.  Furnishing a Bibliography. Composing an Abstract. The   guide   is   neither   comprehensive   nor   fool-proof;   different   organisations   and  publications have their own ‘house style’ and you may have to adopt the models I have  provided to fit in with others’ specific conventions and requirements. But I would hope  that you are unlikely to be found seriously wanting in any respect if you follow the  procedures laid down here. 
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1. When References Are Required Despite the stern tone of some of my observations on the first page, it is very important  that you do not feel  bullied  about foot-notes. Yes, they matter, but if you are panicked  into adopting a kind of scatter-gun approach, you will do yourself more harm than good.  You need to be sure that: The reference is necessary and relevant; it is not merely a time-wasting  paraphrase but does some real work, moving your piece forward. Naturally,   you   must   acknowledge   major   sources   if   mobilising   them   in   your   own  argument. But it is invariably a mistake to cite them in detail if they're seminal or truly  renowned.   Let   us   take   two   examples:   Elton's   work   on   the   Tudors   and   Friedman's  monetarist theories.  Any competent historian will be fully conversant with the former, any competent 
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