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Thread: Footnotes: A quick guide..

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    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
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    Footnotes: A quick guide..

    Footnotes: A quick guideLatin is a dead language. You actually can’t pronounce Latin in English, you’ll have to resurrect Julius Caesar for some guidance but it’s still the preferred way of referencing in legal writing. It’s noteworthy that many Universities and in particular different countries differ slightly in where they prefer the year of publication to be placed. Most of our South African Universities prefer it to be placed at the end of the reference. Okay, to it then:-
    The use of footnotes is, as indicated above, the preferred referencing method for legal writing.[1] Now, I’ve taken this verbatim, word for word, that quite alright as long as you cite the source! It’s not plagiarism if you cite your source. It often happens that an author’s definition is so potent or appropriate that it won’t be effective in your own words. The author gets acknowledged in the footnotes and references at the end of your work. Initially I found footnotes to be very problematic but now I can’t do without them! You can actually clarify so much more in your footnotes than you can clarify in the body of your paper or article and yes anyone can do it! It also helps some if you have a word count stipulation. You get to exceed your word count but creatively, you simply express certain things in your footnotes.
    Some abbreviations and what they mean:-
    1. Vide: means ‘See,’ you have carte blanche with this one, i.e. vide para 5, vide page 8
    2. Ibid: means ‘in the same place,’ you can really be creative here, ibid can refer to a specific footnote which already has a source, this source can be a printed book, a journal article or an internet source, it can either be exactly the same source or the same source but a different page or slightly different url[2]
    3.Loc cit: Means in the place already mentioned. So it’s referring to a footnote somewhere in your paper but not necessarily the one immediately above
    4. Supra means above and the latter term is easier to use correctly.[3]
    5. Op cit: This means in the book, article, journal already quoted but at a different page.
    6. Infra: means below, a book, article, journal that is mentioned in a footnote somewhere below.
    Since internet sources are common place for academia in the 21 century, I’ll use some internet sources as examples. With such sources, you always indicate the date of use. You may simply say ‘Date of use: 29 August 2012,’ or even ‘viewed 29 August 2012. Use the complete url and anything additional that may allow someone to reach that source. At TFSA ‘#’ indicates the page number.
    Is this not a sign of the times? Do people still have respect for JZ? [4] On the other hand Dave asserted that I'm not even sure it was respect for his character that got JZ elected as ANC president at Polokwane. I got the feeling it was more a rejection of Thabo Mbeki and what he'd got up to as President.
    7.Interestingly, Vieome always posts pictures and images are compelling and at times mesmerizing. Some of them have a mind of their own.[5]
    8.One can appreciate why Tec0 listens to Killswitch. I see so much corruption, it’s hard to ignore. Living on greed and possessions, is this what we died for.[6]
    9. Printed publications, I’m referring to mostly books. Again Universities and Countries do differ. Most South African Universities use the same form of Bibliography. Many are referring to their sources simply as references. The one thing about law is that literally everything you say should ideally be cited by a source
    10. Where there are three authors or less, you need to mention all three. For instance the book ‘Criminal Procedure Handbook is co-authored by 5 authors. You mention only the first author. Here you simply mention one author in the following sequence. Author Surname and initial and ‘et al’{which means: and others}[Geldenhuys T et al] Title [Criminal Procedure Hand-Book]. Publisher[Juta] Place[Cape Town] and Year[2011]
    11. So in your list of references it will look like this Geldenhus et al. Criminal Procedure Handbook. Juta. Cape Town. 2011
    12. In the footnotes, a short form of reference should be used.[7] At a trial in a superior court the charge is contained in a document known as an indictment, which is drawn up in the name of the director of public prosecutions.[8]


    [1] Vide College of Law. Tutorial 301. Muckleneuk, Pretoria. University of South Africa. 2012.page 23

    [2] Id n1 at para 3

    [3] Supra n1, para 3 page 23

    [4] Vide Blurock:http://www.theforumsa.co.za/forums/s...ainting/page13. #129. Date of use 29 August 2012.
    5 Supra n 4 #130. Date of use 29 August 2012.

    [5] Vide http://www.theforumsa.co.za/blogs/en...ce-is-a-Virtue. Date of use 29 August 2012.

    [6] Vide http://www.theforumsa.co.za/forums/s...s-cool!/page20. #192. Tec0 shared some lyrics of Killswitch. Date of use 29 August 2012

    [7] Vide Tut 301.page 23

    [8] Vide Geldenhuys T.Criminal Procedure Handbook. Page 117.
    “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” Karl Marx
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    The link to the footnotes doesn't work for me
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
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    Okay, teething problems! My main purpose for the footnotes is to acknowledge the source. I can however appreciate that since we have the available technology we should then strive to have links that works. The task of the reseracher in the 21 Century is somewhat differnt from what it was for our predecessors. They used typewriters, worked by candle light and wrote volume after volume of quality material. My single most important task to to simply acknowledge a source. In legal argument, one will normally state what you have to state in the body and then simply refer the reader to various sources. One must also appreciate that not all sources are electronic. The vast majority of sources that I will be citing going forward is the old school type, the duey system as it were. Printed books. Life for the jurist today is far easier than it was for the jurist 2 decades ago. You know with Sabinet, lexus nexis and Juta you have everything you could possibly want at your disposable. Even printed books are now available as ebooks. With extinctive prescription, the two leading authorities remain MM LOubser and his book Extinctive prescription published in 1996 and discussion paper 125 of the South African Law Reform Society. I'll just take this opportunity to tell you what a horror my initial research was. I developed a PDF questionnaire that I really believed worked, literally some 73 respondents emailed me with some nasty comments like, 'what kind of wishy, whasy, spaza shop researcher are you? Your interactive form doesn't work! When we select an option in question 1, it gets unselected when we go to question 2, it took me some 2 weeks to figure out that one had to simply change the values. I have since committed it to memory! I thought I was set! The submit ribbon didn't work! Again, a range of mean comments(Karl Marx didn't have to contend with this!) I still haven't figured out how to overcome the submit ribbon aspect so I resolved to just add a note and humble myself by pleading with the respondent to make their selections, save it and email it to me. I tallied the results abacus style, manually. One must appreciate this was even before the book and caselaw research started.
    Links, I'm committed to learn, but they won't always be applicable in posts I make on extinctive prescription simply because the vast majority of sources are printed publications and have to be cited as such....
    “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” Karl Marx
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I'll look into it. I suspect the idea is to use HTML placemarker tags and there's a permission setting issue.

    It'd be pretty neat if we can get it to work.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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