Quoting General History

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Rob.Ash's picture
Quoting General History

In a paragraph I have stated something like  During the gold rush days of California, this event occurred... (in brief).  It relates to history which is easy ready online, from libraries and learnt at school.

I have put a superscript reference number at the end of the paragraph.  then as a footnote I put the reference number with the words Source:  Internet research, library books and school history on this topic.

Is this correct or could it be left out.  I cannot put a specific item on the topic as there is mountains of sources for it.

Please advise thanks


EE's picture

Rob, a citation of that type would be pointless. To cite a source as "internet research, library books, and school history on this topic" is meaningless. If a subject is discussed so often that it can be described as "easy ready online, from libraries and learnt at school," then it falls under EE's 2.5 "Common-Knowledge Rule":

2.5 Common-Knowledge Rule

Any statement of fact that is not common knowledge must carry its own individual statement of source. Distinguishing common knowledge from a statement that needs documentation is mostly a matter of common sense. If we record that the Battle of the Bulge began on 16 December 1944, no supporting evidence is needed to attest the validity of that statement or to help locate information about the event. Details about the battle are widely available. However, a statement that a certain obscure infantryman was killed by enemy fire in the course of that battle would require a citation to a reliable source.

The Editor

ACProctor's picture

Please don't take my opinion as authoritative, Rob, but I reserve the reference note citations for the source of information used in my inferences and general argument. In the case of suggesting information for further reading -- such as for historical events, detailed explanation of a term or concept, etc. -- then I tend to just use a hyperlink.


Rob.Ash's picture

Thanks this has been a great help