Political Science 323: Following Footnotes

The Geopolitics of Energy
Professor: Rose Kelanic
Fall 2016

Following Footnotes

Following Footnotes

Following footnotes is one of the most important aspects of scholarly research.  Historians and other academics use footnotes to provide background information and evidence for their claims. You can learn more about the subject or check the accuracy of their claims by finding and reading the original source they cited.

How to Identify What Type of Source is Cited

The first step in following footnotes is identifying what type of source it is: a whole book, an article in a newspaper, magazine or journal, or an essay in a book. There are distinctive features of each type of source that help you to determine what type of source it is:

Example 1: Tom Nairn. Faces of Nationalism: Janus Revisited. New York: Verso, 1997, 17.

This item is a book. The distinctive feature of a book citation is the publishing place and name of the publisher (New York: Verso)

Example 2: Ilya Bodonski, "Caring among the Forgotten," Journal of Social Activism 14, no.3 (1989): 117.

This item is a journal article. The distinctive features of a journal article citation are a title enclosed in quotation marks ("Caring among the Forgotten") and the volume and issue numbers (14, no. 3).

Example 3: Craig H. Roell, "The Piano in the American Home," in The Arts and the American Home, 1980-1930, ed. Jessica H. Foy and Karal Ann Marling (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1994), 194.

This item is an essay in a book. This citation has the features of a book and an article, but what helps you know it is an essay in a book is the words "in" and "ed." for editor.

Finding the Cited Source

  • Books - Search our online catalog for the author or title. When using the Author search, be sure to enter the author's last name followed by the first name.
  • Articles - Use citation linker or the library catalog; our new catalog searches many article databases as well as books.
  • Essays in books -  Search the online catalog for the editors as an Author search or the title of the book (the title in italics).

Citation Linker

Enter an article citation to find out if we have the full text available online or in print.

article title
journal title
end page 
start page
last name first name initials
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